Last week, I began answering some Frequently Asked Questions about grant writing that I believe will be helpful to you. This week I’m back to share more with Grant Writing: Frequently Asked Questions Part 2. Please take a look back at those questions if you missed part 1 of this topic.
FAQ: What is the difference between a proposal and letter of inquiry/intent?
Many foundations request that those seeking funds submit a letter of inquiry or a letter of intent to express their interest in applying for funds from the foundation. Generally, a letter of inquiry is no more than three pages in length and provides highlights about the organization, its services, the needs it is trying to meet and how your organization will meet those needs. In some cases, a foundation will use the information presented in the letter to determine whether or not to request additional information or a full proposal. In other cases, the foundation will use the information contained in the letter to make a funding decision. I have worked with organizations that have submitted a two page letter of inquiry to a foundation that have received a check in the mail for $50,000 the next month. Of course, this sort of situation is rare, and truly a blessing, but not the norm.
A proposal is generally longer in length and more detailed. For instance, federal grant proposals can be 25, 50 or even 100 pages in length. Usually when a proposal is requested, the funder will also provide you with a format to follow that includes specific information that must be included in the proposal. It is important to include all of the information requested as many funders that request full proposals will use scoring rubrics that allocate points for each area.
FAQ: Can I get a grant for that?
This is probably the number one question that I receive and unfortunately, all too often, my response is “no.” Funders have specific funding interests and unfortunately, not everything is “grant fundable.” The chart below will help you to understand the type of funders that might be interested in funding your project.
FAQ: What is the number one mistake people make in grant writing?
The number one mistake made in grant writing and the number one reason grant proposals are not funded is failure to follow directions. All directions provided by the funder must be followed, including page limits, page numbering, font sizes, spaces, etc. Be sure to keep your eye on the details when grant writing. It can make all the difference between your projects going forward and not receiving funding.
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