Presentation on theme: "Grant Writing 101 “ There is no grantsmanship that will turn a bad idea into a good one, but there are many ways to disguise a good idea.” - Norm Braverman,"— Presentation transcript:
What keeps us from writing grants? Fear of rejection –Only 1 proposal in 5 is turned down because the idea wasn’t good enough –A rejected proposal is worth about $10,000 of free advice –The success rate is higher for proposals turned in a second time –The success rate on a third submission is almost 1:1 Fear of the process –How do you find grant givers? –How do I know they’re a match? –How do I write a proposal? –What do I do if I actually get a grant?
Not Enough Time Writing is like an Olympic event –needs constant practice. Write everyday at a regular time in the same place. 20 minutes If you don’t sit there every day, the day that it would have come well - you won’t be there.
Keys to Success Start by writing your Case Statement –A Case Statement is your argument for existence Discussed in Fundraising 101 A good Case Statement is the soil from which each proposal sprouts –If you begin with a strong Case Statement, all other writing is easier
The grant process is never wasted Can’t get a grant unless you write one We learn even when rejected Each grant written allows us to better understand who we are Armed with reviewers comments the second proposal is always stronger
It All Starts With You! Identify what your funding needs are. –What are your programs and activities? –What are your goals for the year? –Identify those that translate well into grant proposals. –Start the process of developing these into proposals.
Prepare a Draft Preparing a Draft Grant Proposal –Assemble the background information you need –Decide who will write the proposal –Draft the key components of a proposal Executive Summary Statement of Need Project Description Budget Organizational Information ***Keep this in draft form as each foundation has its own formatting
Identifying Grantors Your Public Library. –Provides free access to most grant search websites The Foundation Center website: –http://fdo.foundationcenter.org/ Your local Community Foundation. GuideStar: –http://www.guidestar.org/ National Center for Charitable Statistics. –http://nccsweb.urban.org/PubApps/search.php
Once You’ve Identified Prospects Research if they’re a match for you –Do they have an open grant cycle? –Do you fit their funding priorities? –Are they a geographical fit? –Do they fund at the levels you need? What is their process –When are proposals due? –What is their submission format? Start with a broad list and then winnow it down to those that best fit your needs.
The Most Important Step ….. Contact the potential funders and begin cultivating a relationship with them. –Briefly explain your project –Ask Questions –Inquire if this is something they are interested in funding –Listen to them –Use this information
Call the Program Officer! 4The major variable in getting proposals funded is contact with the program officer prior to submission of a proposal.
Packaging the Grant Proposal Taylor Your proposal to match the funder’s priorities Understand the funders guidelines and follow them Add a cover letter and any accompanying documents the funder requests Make sure the proposal is accurate and easy to read
You have to Play by the Rules GET the guidelines READ the guidelines FOLLOW the guidelines
Following the Guidelines You must follow the guidelines exactly. Respond to all sections. Adhere to any format restrictions. Topics must be covered in order presented in guidelines. Use headings that correspond to the guidelines.
Respond to acceptance or rejection! If your proposal is accepted: –Take care of the Letter of Agreement ASAP –Have your board president or ED send a personal note of thanks –Schedule updates and reports –Develop a relationship that will endure If your proposal is rejected: –Respond graciously –Ask the funder if you can submit again later or if they would be interested in a different project –Never complain –Don’t burn the bridge
Recycle your Rejected Proposal Success means having one in three grants funded A rejected proposal does not always mean the idea was rejected Obtain reviewer comments Call the program officer Rewrite, revise, resubmit
14 Reasons Why Proposals Fail Deadline not met Guidelines not followed Nothing intriguing Did not meet priorities Not complete Poor literature review Appeared beyond capacity of Funder Methodology weak Unrealistic budget Cost greater than benefit Highly partisan Poorly written Mechanical defects
Remember Get Read Follow –The Guidelines Call –The Program Officer