Many organizations seek grant funding as part of their funding plan. Typically, a funding plan consists of a mix of individual donors, special events, corporate support and grant funding. For some organizations, their funding plan might also include fee for service revenue in which the organization receives payment or reimbursement for services provided. It is important to develop a diverse array of funding sources so that the organization does not become dependent on one major funding source…think, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” As a funding source, grant funds are often one of the least understood.
Far too many well-meaning individuals see grants as easy to obtain, when in reality, grant writing is part art and part science. For anyone developing a grant proposal, the following tips for grant writing success can increase your likelihood of success.
- Follow all directions. Sometimes it is difficult and downright inconvenient to use the templates or forms that the funding agency requests. However, remember that part of the grant writing process is a “test” to see if you can follow directions. You certainly don’t want to lose out on the funding simply because you used the wrong form.
- Apply only for funding when it aligns with your mission. Funders, like nonprofits, have a mission or a purpose for their existence. For example, if an organization indicates they fund organizations that work with at-risk youth and your organization’s focus is senior adults, there is no alignment. It will be a waste of time for you to apply for funding.
- Follow the order of the proposal guidelines. In other words, put the information requested where it is requested. Even if you believe that you have provided your response elsewhere in your proposal include the information in the section where it is requested.
Above all, the single best tip for grant writing success is to make your proposal easy to read. Grant reviewers are often responsible for reviewing numerous proposals in a short period of time. Those that are the easiest to read (everything in order, directions followed, no typos) get the most attention and are thus more likely to be funded. By keeping grant reviewers happy, you will increase your likelihood of funding.
Is your organization interested in adding grants to its funding plan? Contact us to learn the many ways we can help including an in-depth funding search, writing grants for your organization or by participating in our grant writing intensive.