Strategies for Successful Grant Writing
In the wonderful world of fundraising, there are countless opportunities for an organization to raise money for their respective charities. While some creative thinking will set your organization apart from your competitors, traditional grant writing is an area we advise our clients to focus on. Most major corporations, in America and beyond, have grants that your organization would be eligible for.
Grants are one of the most overlooked aspects of fundraising. For many organizations, the grant application process can be overwhelming. Most organizations are working within tight budgets and timelines, and it can be challenging to allocate the necessary resources to grant research. While it may seem logical to devote resources to new fundraising initiatives, traditional grants should not be overlooked in favor of the latest fundraising trends. It's all about creating multiple income streams for your organization.
Preparation is the key to fundraising success. We cannot stress this point enough. The prospect of writing an extensive dossier on the relative merits of your charity can be a daunting task, but if you have done your research and preparation it will undoubtedly pay off. The best advice we can give you is to devote some time to researching available grants in your niche. Before attempting a first-draft, be sure that you understand the guidelines of the grant-maker. Once the research has been completed, the easy part is drafting the grant proposal and application.
A well-written grant proposal is absolutely critical for success. Be concise. Stay focused on your message. What will set your organization apart from the others? You must establish that your organization has a legitimate need of the highest priority within the first paragraph of your proposal, in order to capture the interest of your potential donor. Remember, that your proposal is but one of potentially hundreds. You have only one chance to convince them that your organization deserves their kind assistance. Get it right…the first time!
We are continually amazed at how many of our clients become intently focused on the minutiae of their projects at the expense of clarity. There are a few core issues you must address in your proposal. Who are you, and what organization do you represent? What factors determine your eligibility for the grant in question? What is the problem your organization hopes to address? Who stands to benefit from your efforts? What are your specific objectives, and how will the grant support your organizational needs? How will you monitor and track the results of your efforts? How does your grant request tie in with the overall goals of your potential donor? Answer these pertinent questions, and you will be well on your way to a successful grant proposal.
About the Author: Michelle Pearson is a former fundraising consultant, and she is passionate about making the world a better place. She is also a contributor to fundraisingknowhow.com. Learn about fundraising, advertising opportunities, sponsorships and more.