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Maine Community Foundation Grantwriting: Increasing Your Chances for Success Meredith Jones and Bethany Murray Maine Community Foundation March 25, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Maine Community Foundation Grantwriting: Increasing Your Chances for Success Meredith Jones and Bethany Murray Maine Community Foundation March 25, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Maine Community Foundation Grantwriting: Increasing Your Chances for Success Meredith Jones and Bethany Murray Maine Community Foundation March 25, 2006

2 Maine Community Foundation With Our Thanks To David Rappoport, senior program officer at MeHAF whose PP we “borrowed” to develop this presentation

3 Maine Community Foundation Meredith Jones Bio Vice president of program development and grantmaking services at Maine Community Foundation Vice president of program development and grantmaking services at Maine Community Foundation Economic development: strategic planning, fund raising, grant writing (foundations and CDBG), program development and management, communications Economic development: strategic planning, fund raising, grant writing (foundations and CDBG), program development and management, communications Long-term care: training and communications Long-term care: training and communications Political work: fund raising Political work: fund raising Community development Community development

4 Maine Community Foundation Bethany Murray Bio Grants Assistant at Maine Community Foundation Grants Assistant at Maine Community Foundation College of the Atlantic graduate College of the Atlantic graduate Has worked with several grass roots and non- profit groups in eastern Maine Has worked with several grass roots and non- profit groups in eastern Maine Grass-roots and political organizing Grass-roots and political organizing Was a part time grant writer before joining the staff of MCF Was a part time grant writer before joining the staff of MCF

5 Maine Community Foundation MCF Commercial Mission to strengthen Maine communities Mission to strengthen Maine communities Some discretionary, competitive grant programs (project grants and capacity- building grants) Some discretionary, competitive grant programs (project grants and capacity- building grants) Most assets in donor advised funds, scholarships and funds to support specific nonprofit groups Most assets in donor advised funds, scholarships and funds to support specific nonprofit groups

6 Maine Community Foundation Outcomes for the Day Knowledge of resources available and how to find them Knowledge of resources available and how to find them Clarity about elements of good proposals Clarity about elements of good proposals Greater understanding of outcomes/goals/objectives and strategies Greater understanding of outcomes/goals/objectives and strategies Greater understanding of budgets and how to develop them Greater understanding of budgets and how to develop them

7 Maine Community Foundation Brought to You in Seven Parts Part I: Overview of where the money is (10 min) Part I: Overview of where the money is (10 min) Part II: Part II: Overview of foundations (10 min) Part II: Part II: Overview of foundations (10 min) Part III: Resources available to help you find foundations (10 min) Part III: Resources available to help you find foundations (10 min) Part IV: General tips for developing a good proposal (45 min) Part IV: General tips for developing a good proposal (45 min) Part V: Goals & objectives (5 min) Part V: Goals & objectives (5 min) Part VI: Budgets (15 min) Part VI: Budgets (15 min) Grant Review Exercise Grant Review Exercise Lunch; Wrap Up & Adjourn Lunch; Wrap Up & Adjourn

8 Maine Community Foundation Our Approach to Today Some talking at you Some talking at you Some small group work and grant review exercise Some small group work and grant review exercise Lots of questions (with a few answers) Lots of questions (with a few answers)

9 Maine Community Foundation Getting to Know You 15-second introductions: 15-second introductions:  Name, organization, grantwriting experience: A Lot, Some, or Little/None  What two things (count ‘em – only 2) do you want to know or be able to do at the end of this class

10 Maine Community Foundation Part I: Show Me The Money Who Has It

11 Maine Community Foundation Today’s Fundraising Climate There has been a 16,000% increase in the number of non- profits in the United States since There has been a 16,000% increase in the number of non- profits in the United States since There has been a concurrent dramatic decrease in public funding of non-profits during the last 20 years. There has been a concurrent dramatic decrease in public funding of non-profits during the last 20 years.  The competition for charitable dollars is intense.  Grantwriting is rarely the first or only fundraising tool that should be used (More than 80% of funds donated each year are given by individuals)  Foundation support is a fraction of total revenues for nonprofits  Have realistic goals and expectations.

12 Maine Community Foundation Foundations Public and private (Public charities, private family foundations, corporate foundations) Public and private (Public charities, private family foundations, corporate foundations) Corporate Foundations: MBNA, UNUMProvident, Bangor Savings Bank, Bank of America, TD Banknorth, etc. Corporate Foundations: MBNA, UNUMProvident, Bangor Savings Bank, Bank of America, TD Banknorth, etc. National (Ford Foundation, Surdna, Pew) National (Ford Foundation, Surdna, Pew) NE Region (Jane’s Trust, Cox Trust) NE Region (Jane’s Trust, Cox Trust) State (MeHAF, MCF, Stephen & Tabitha King, The Betterment Fund) State (MeHAF, MCF, Stephen & Tabitha King, The Betterment Fund)

13 Maine Community Foundation How Foundations Work If you’ve seen one foundation you’ve seen one foundation! Wide variance in field but some commonalities exist: Power (in a good way) Power (in a good way) Rely on partnerships Rely on partnerships Are successful because of relationships Are successful because of relationships

14 Maine Community Foundation Corporate Support Two buckets of money are available from most for-profit enterprises: philanthropic dollars and marketing dollars Two buckets of money are available from most for-profit enterprises: philanthropic dollars and marketing dollars Marketing budgets frequently larger than philanthropic budgets Marketing budgets frequently larger than philanthropic budgets

15 Maine Community Foundation Individual Donors Best prospect is current donor Best prospect is current donor MCF donor-advised funds MCF donor-advised funds

16 Maine Community Foundation For Most of You Concentrate on local and regional funders Concentrate on local and regional funders Conduct research Conduct research

17 Maine Community Foundation Part II: Your Foundation is Your Friend Everything You Need to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

18 Maine Community Foundation Small vs. Large Foundations Generally, two types of foundations: Generally, two types of foundations:  Smaller “informal” foundations  Often small family or corporate  Generally have no staff, single staff or volunteer staff  Larger “professional” foundations  May be local, regional or national  Larger asset base (in relative terms)  Generally have program staff

19 Maine Community Foundation The Philanthropic Divide Grantseekers want general operating support. Grantseekers want general operating support. Grantmakers want to make program grants. Grantmakers want to make program grants. Why is that?

20 Maine Community Foundation What Foundations Think Most foundations want to work with applicants in identifying good projects. Most foundations want to work with applicants in identifying good projects. Foundations seek to be innovative but are also cautious. Foundations seek to be innovative but are also cautious. They seek to use their limited resources effectively. They seek to use their limited resources effectively. Widespread mission commitment and integrity. Widespread mission commitment and integrity. Cultures, policies, procedures, and decision- making processes vary considerably. Cultures, policies, procedures, and decision- making processes vary considerably.

21 Maine Community Foundation Part III: Finders Keepers Where to Find the $$$

22 Maine Community Foundation Wishful Thinking If you think a particular rich person or particular foundation ought to be giving you money, so do millions of other people! If you think a particular rich person or particular foundation ought to be giving you money, so do millions of other people!

23 Maine Community Foundation Maine Philanthropy Center Directory of Maine Grantmakers (Maine Philanthropy Center) is the most important resource in Maine. Directory of Maine Grantmakers (Maine Philanthropy Center) is the most important resource in Maine. Publishes hard copy and electronic Publishes hard copy and electronic (Tel) (Tel) Nonprofit memberships available: $50 - $250 Nonprofit memberships available: $50 - $250

24 Maine Community Foundation Foundation Center Database Foundation Center is primary U.S. philanthropy library Foundation Center is primary U.S. philanthropy library Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Finder Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Finder  Large electronic database of grantmakers (local, regional, national).  Free access (by appointment) at Maine Philanthropy Center (MPC) and its affiliated libraries.  Internet access for a fee ($19.95 per month) or can be purchased on CD-Rom.

25 Maine Community Foundation Guidestar 990s = non-profit and foundation tax returns. 990s = non-profit and foundation tax returns. May be only source of funding information, particularly for small foundations. May be only source of funding information, particularly for small foundations.

26 Maine Community Foundation Other Resources Maine Association of Nonprofits Maine Association of Nonprofits Regional Associations of Grantmakers (RAGs) Regional Associations of Grantmakers (RAGs) Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (Grand Valley State University) Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (Grand Valley State University) Information on starting, running, and funding an organization

27 Maine Community Foundation Research Tips Search using many terms Search using many terms Assess each prospect: Assess each prospect:  Does it fund in my program area?  Does it fund in my geographic area?  Do we meet other eligibility criteria? Answer “yes” to all = key prospects Answer “yes” to all = key prospects Call the funder Call the funder

28 Maine Community Foundation Internet Sources The Internet has become a very useful fundraising tool during the last few years. The Internet has become a very useful fundraising tool during the last few years. Search to see who is funding others doing similar work Search to see who is funding others doing similar work Challenges include: Challenges include:  Evaluating the quality of the information.  Finding what you want on complex sites (such as Federal agency sites).  Accessing busy sites during peak periods (such as Federal agency sites).

29 Maine Community Foundation Research – Public Identify appropriate RFPs Identify appropriate RFPs  Internet  Electronic and snail mailing lists  Professional publications Assess each opportunity Assess each opportunity  Read RFP  Check web sites for related information  Assess competitive environment  Attend bidders’ conference (if possible) Do likely benefits outweigh cost of application preparation? Do likely benefits outweigh cost of application preparation? Many foundations do not accept unsolicited proposals. If you feel they may be interested in you, put them on your mailing list for flyers, newsletters, etc. Many foundations do not accept unsolicited proposals. If you feel they may be interested in you, put them on your mailing list for flyers, newsletters, etc.

30 Maine Community Foundation Part IV: Your Mother Was Right Secrets to Success in Grant Writing

31 Maine Community Foundation Tips For Successful Grantwriting 1. Interpret guidelines narrowly and conservatively.  “Gives primarily in Vermont” means “rarely gives outside of Vermont.”  Make sure your project is a good fit. 2. Check both what a funder says they fund and what they actually fund.  If there are one or two anomalies, ignore them.  If there are many, clarify their current giving interests with the foundation.

32 Maine Community Foundation Tips 3. Chain stores = small donations or in-kind 4. Generally, larger corporate gifts require:  Significant presence in your community (such as a manufacturing plant or back office location) or corporation is locally based or  Exceptional interest in your mission area and some presence in your community.

33 Maine Community Foundation Tips 5. Think of yourself as the funder 6. Know why foundations and corporations give money:  Public spirit  Recognition  Business locus  Fashion 7. Clear, concise, organized, simple, accurate, realistic: say it with no jargon in 25 words or less  Be clear! Don’t insult your reader’s intelligence, but don’t assume he or she knows your mission area.  Spell out acronyms  Spell out acronyms

34 Maine Community Foundation Tips 8. Read and follow the guidelines 9. Your funder is your friend and you are each other’s customer. You have power! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 10. Make precise statements and as appropriate, back them up with data. Compare:  “Last year, we served hundreds of developmentally disabled children.”  “Last year, we served 1,235 individuals between the ages of 10 and 16, or more than 27% of all developmentally disabled young people in Waldo County.”

35 Maine Community Foundation Tips 11. Slick doesn’t count 12. Call if you’re unsure of something. Don’t assume. Funders cannot read minds. 13. Accurate budget; in-kind support a good thing (more about this later)

36 Maine Community Foundation Tips 14. Do your homework: Know whether or not others are doing something similar and help the funder understand what’s unique about you 15. Do exactly what the funder asks in exactly the manner the funder asks.

37 Maine Community Foundation Tips 16. If you’re successful, thank the funder 17. If you were not successful, call and find out why. Remember that foundations receive far more proposals than they’re able to fund and just because you didn’t get funding doesn’t mean the project is not worthy. 18. Use any opportunity you have to develop a relationship because in the end, people give to people

38 Maine Community Foundation Application - Overview The most common form of grantwriting for most non-profits. The most common form of grantwriting for most non-profits. Applications are generally short (3-5 pages), sometimes in letter form. Applications are generally short (3-5 pages), sometimes in letter form.

39 Maine Community Foundation The Application Cover Letter Cover Letter Title Page Title Page Summary Summary Introduction/Problem Definition and Need/Corporate Resume Introduction/Problem Definition and Need/Corporate Resume Goals and Objectives/Program Activities/Timetable/Future Plans Goals and Objectives/Program Activities/Timetable/Future Plans Facilities and Equipment:/Staffing and Administration Facilities and Equipment:/Staffing and Administration Evaluation Evaluation Budget Budget

40 Maine Community Foundation Part V: Primer on Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Indicators

41 Maine Community Foundation Why Evaluate?? Evaluation is a tool for learning Evaluation is a tool for learning Evaluation can be a tool for sustainability and growth Evaluation can be a tool for sustainability and growth Evaluation is a tool for accountability Evaluation is a tool for accountability

42 Maine Community Foundation The Five Key Concepts There are five key concepts in outcome- based evaluation: There are five key concepts in outcome- based evaluation:  Goals  Objectives  Output  Outcome  Indicators

43 Maine Community Foundation Goals A goal is a broad statement of policy. Generally, goals are ambitious and may not be fully achievable. However, they must still be realistic. A goal is a broad statement of policy. Generally, goals are ambitious and may not be fully achievable. However, they must still be realistic.  Goal (Good): To help individuals with diabetes to better manage their disease.  Goal (Bad): To end world hunger.

44 Maine Community Foundation Objectives An objective is a specific, measurable outcome achieved in a definite timeframe. An objective is a specific, measurable outcome achieved in a definite timeframe.  Objective (Good): During FY 2004, to improve diabetes self-management among 20% of clinic patients.  Objective (Bad): To help patients manage their diabetes better.  Not specific and no time-frame.

45 Maine Community Foundation Output Output = The amount of effort expended by the agency -- the goods and services produced. Output = The amount of effort expended by the agency -- the goods and services produced.  During FY 2004, all clinic patients will receive individual counseling regarding disease self-management and five diabetes awareness educational presentations will be given.

46 Maine Community Foundation Outcome Outcome = the actual result of the agency’s work -- its impact on its clients or community served. Outcome = the actual result of the agency’s work -- its impact on its clients or community served.  20% of client patients will exhibit improved control of their disease.

47 Maine Community Foundation Example I NON-OUTCOME BASED PERFORMANCE MEASURE NON-OUTCOME BASED PERFORMANCE MEASURE  During FY 2001, Homeless Services, Inc. will distribute 2,000 sandwiches at its soup kitchen.  This is output. It does not measure the program’s impact on people who are homeless or hungry. It measures the agency’s effort.

48 Maine Community Foundation Example II OUTCOME-BASED PERFORMANCE MEASURE OUTCOME-BASED PERFORMANCE MEASURE  During FY 2001, will improve the nutritional status of 25 people who are homeless as measured by assessments conducted at the beginning and end of the fiscal year.  The outcome (nutritional status improvement) is measured by an indicator (two assessments). This measures the program’s impact on clients.

49 Maine Community Foundation The Relationship is Linear! GOAL: To help individuals with diabetes to better manage their disease. GOAL: To help individuals with diabetes to better manage their disease. OBJECTIVE: During FY 2002, to improve diabetes self- management among 20% of clinic patients. OBJECTIVE: During FY 2002, to improve diabetes self- management among 20% of clinic patients. Activities: regarding disease self-management and five During FY 2002, all clinic patients will receive individual counseling diabetes awareness educational presentations will be given. Activities: regarding disease self-management and five During FY 2002, all clinic patients will receive individual counseling diabetes awareness educational presentations will be given. OUTCOME: 20% of clients will exhibit improved control of their disease. OUTCOME: 20% of clients will exhibit improved control of their disease. INDICATORS:During FY 2002, 20% of clinic patients with current HbA1c levels >9.5% will reduce HbA1c levels to 9.5% will reduce HbA1c levels to <7.0%.

50 Maine Community Foundation A few words about logic models…… A logic model is an illustration of the flow of materials and processes to produce the results desired by the organization or program. A logic model is an illustration of the flow of materials and processes to produce the results desired by the organization or program. The model can be very useful to organize planning and analysis when designing the organization and its programs or when designing outcomes-based evaluations of programs. The model can be very useful to organize planning and analysis when designing the organization and its programs or when designing outcomes-based evaluations of programs. It can also be useful for describing organizations and programs (for example, in grant proposals). It can also be useful for describing organizations and programs (for example, in grant proposals).

51 Maine Community Foundation Logic Model Template Goal (s) ObjectivesActivitiesOutcomesIndicators To help individuals with diabetes to better manage their disease. During FY 2002, to improve diabetes self- management among 20% of clinic patients. During FY 2002, all clinic patients will receive individual counseling diabetes awareness educational presentation s will be given. 20% of clients will exhibit improved control of their disease. During FY 2002, 20% of clinic patients with current HbA1c levels >9.5% will reduce HbA1c levels to 9.5% will reduce HbA1c levels to <7.0%.

52 Maine Community Foundation Part VI: Budgets = 2

53 Maine Community Foundation Follow directions! If there are specific guidelines, do exactly what you are instructed to do in exactly the manner you are instructed to do it. If there are specific guidelines, do exactly what you are instructed to do in exactly the manner you are instructed to do it. If there are no specific guidelines, be simple, accurate and clear. If there are no specific guidelines, be simple, accurate and clear.

54 Maine Community Foundation A Basic Budget Two categories: Two categories:  Revenues - $ coming in  Expenses - $ going out

55 Maine Community Foundation Revenues Line items should be logical for your organization. Line items should be logical for your organization. May include: May include:  State/Federal/Municipal Grants  Foundation/Corporate Grants  Individual Contributions  Earned Income (e.g.program fees, events)  In-Kind Contributions (e.g. donated supplies)  Investment Income  Other Income

56 Maine Community Foundation Tips When they give, funders are pack animals When they give, funders are pack animals  They like to fund in groups and not be the only source of funding Only one funder? Only one funder?  What about in-kind contributions?

57 Maine Community Foundation Expenses Line items should be logical for your organization. Line items should be logical for your organization. May include: May include:  Wages & Salaries  Benefits/Payroll taxes  Equipment  Office Supplies  Program Materials  Postage & Courier  Printing & Copying  Rent  Telephone & Internet  Travel  Utilities  Other

58 Maine Community Foundation Salaries Salaries are usually the biggest cost factor in any project Salaries are usually the biggest cost factor in any project You may wish to split Expenses into two sub- categories: You may wish to split Expenses into two sub- categories:  Personnel Services  Wages & Salaries  Associated costs (fringe benefits & payroll taxes)  Independent contractors  Other Than Personnel Services

59 Maine Community Foundation Prepare a List of Objectives Objectives = “specific measurable accomplishments” Objectives = “specific measurable accomplishments”  May be broad…  Reduce the high school drop-out rate by 27% in York County.  Or narrow…  Provide a series of five basket weaving classes for 250 middle school students in SAD 57.

60 Maine Community Foundation Estimate the Costs of Each Objective Develop a list of resources and activities that will be required to meet each objective. Develop a list of resources and activities that will be required to meet each objective.  This may be a simple process…  Basket weaving classes Space rentalSpace rental Instructor feeInstructor fee MaterialsMaterials

61 Maine Community Foundation Estimate the Costs of Each Objective  Or complex…  Reducing the drop-out rate. Focus groups with at-risk youth and drop- outsFocus groups with at-risk youth and drop- outs –Space rental, Consultant 1 Develop interventionDevelop intervention –Consultant 2 Implement interventionImplement intervention –Train guidance counselors (training materials, trainer fee, space rental, catering) EvaluationEvaluation –Consultant 3

62 Maine Community Foundation Estimate the Costs of Each Objective Identify specific costs for each element Identify specific costs for each element  Space rental (basket weaving classes)  Rental = $25/class  Room capacity = 50 students ($25/class x 5 classes x 5 class series = $625)($25/class x 5 classes x 5 class series = $625)  Instructor fee = $50/class ($50/class x 5 classes x 5 class series = $1,250)($50/class x 5 classes x 5 class series = $1,250)  Materials (1/2 ton tender shoots = $1,500)(1/2 ton tender shoots = $1,500)

63 Maine Community Foundation Tip Don’t know the cost of something or someone? Don’t know the cost of something or someone?  Check  Advertising (such as employment ads)  Web sites (such as computer retailers)  Appropriate data (such as employment data)  Ask vendors or colleagues

64 Maine Community Foundation Estimate Expected Revenues Compile a list of revenues associated with the program and each resource and activity. Compile a list of revenues associated with the program and each resource and activity.  Program fees  Basket weaving $2/class x 5 classes x 250 students = $2,500$2/class x 5 classes x 250 students = $2,500

65 Maine Community Foundation Compare Revenues to Expenses Basket weaving classes Basket weaving classes

66 Maine Community Foundation Re-think & Adjust as Necessary Basket weaving classes Basket weaving classes

67 Maine Community Foundation Direct & Indirect Cost Direct Cost Direct Cost  “Expenses that can be directly identified with the costing object such as a product and department.” (Barron’s Accounting Handbook, 1990).  Examples might include program supplies, program equipment, and wages and salaries for program staff.  Costs are usually presented on their own budget lines.

68 Maine Community Foundation Direct & Indirect Cost Indirect Cost Indirect Cost  “Expenses that are difficult to trace directly to a specific costing object.” (Barron’s Accounting Handbook, 1990).  Examples might include rent, utilities, telephone, office supplies, etc. and other expenses incurred organization-wide (not program-specific).  Most often calculated using a formula and not presented on individual budget lines.

69 Maine Community Foundation Direct & Indirect Cost Indirect cost is often complicated. Indirect cost is often complicated. Frequently negotiated with a state or federal agency. Frequently negotiated with a state or federal agency. Check with your financial manager! Check with your financial manager!

70 Maine Community Foundation Direct & Indirect Cost No specific requirements? Keep it simple! No specific requirements? Keep it simple!  Present indirect costs as direct costs  For example, present Telephone & Internet as an individual budget line. Calculate one of two ways: Calculate one of two ways:  Based on actual cost estimates  As an appropriate percentage of total organizational expense

71 Maine Community Foundation Tips Ask for help if you need it! Ask for help if you need it!  Involve financial managers or others with expertise (such as accountants). Make sure proposal & budget agree! Make sure proposal & budget agree! Use existing budgets as templates Use existing budgets as templates Be consistent with GAAP Be consistent with GAAP Check your math! Check your math! In multi-year budgets, increase annual costs after year one to reflect inflation. In multi-year budgets, increase annual costs after year one to reflect inflation. Budgets should pass the “straight face” test! Budgets should pass the “straight face” test!

72 Maine Community Foundation Grantwriting Review Exercise  Review Guidelines and Application  Consider and Discuss the Following Questions To what extent does the grant writer connect the project to what the grant program is seeking to support (i..e community building guidelines)? Does the proposal make the case that it’s a good fit?To what extent does the grant writer connect the project to what the grant program is seeking to support (i..e community building guidelines)? Does the proposal make the case that it’s a good fit? Are the goals, objectives, strategies and measures clear? Would you change anything?Are the goals, objectives, strategies and measures clear? Would you change anything? What about the budget? What does it tell you about the project? Is anything missing?What about the budget? What does it tell you about the project? Is anything missing? At the end of the day, does the grant writer make the argument that this project will have a sustainable impact? If it does, how?At the end of the day, does the grant writer make the argument that this project will have a sustainable impact? If it does, how?

73 Maine Community Foundation Part VII: Public Agency Grantwriting Good Government in Action

74 Maine Community Foundation Overview Public grants are service contracts awarded by Federal, State and larger Municipalities. Public grants are service contracts awarded by Federal, State and larger Municipalities. Funds awarded in response to RFPs. Funds awarded in response to RFPs. Most advice relating to corporate and foundation grants applies here -- such as clarity and following directions. Most advice relating to corporate and foundation grants applies here -- such as clarity and following directions.

75 Maine Community Foundation Overview Key requirements for competitive public applications are: Key requirements for competitive public applications are:  Precisely follow instructions.  Know current trends and “best practices” in your field and reflect them in program design.  Support your narrative with appropriate models, citations and quantitative data.  Plan your application process carefully. Don’t overlook details.

76 Maine Community Foundation Tips Public grants are cumbersome, confusing, time-consuming, expensive and stressful. Know this going in. Public grants are cumbersome, confusing, time-consuming, expensive and stressful. Know this going in.  Assume 100 hours plus.  Can cost your organization many thousands of dollars in staff time and direct costs. Be selective about which RFPs you respond to. Do the best job you can. The competitive environment is often worse than you think it is. BUT... Do the best job you can. The competitive environment is often worse than you think it is. BUT...  Find out if your grant is “threshold” or “competitive.”

77 Maine Community Foundation Tips Don’t be intimated by RFPs. Don’t be intimated by RFPs.  Skim the document, and identify the sections relevant to you.  Use a highlighter to note key points. Ask for copies of successful past proposals from organizations with whom you are not competing. Ask for copies of successful past proposals from organizations with whom you are not competing.

78 Maine Community Foundation Tips Use the RFP as an outline for your application. Follow and respond point by point. Use the RFP as an outline for your application. Follow and respond point by point. If you are contemplating a collaborative grant, try and forge a relationship with your collaborators before you begin the application development process. If you are contemplating a collaborative grant, try and forge a relationship with your collaborators before you begin the application development process. Public grants often require multiple forms and complicated financial attachments. Public grants often require multiple forms and complicated financial attachments.  Sometimes, you may need signatures from people you don’t even know. Allow ample time to obtain needed signatures.  Allow ample time for preparation of financial material and for necessary internal approvals.

79 Maine Community Foundation Tips Have technical applications (such as those involving science and medicine) reviewed by individuals inside and outside of your agency with appropriate knowledge. Have technical applications (such as those involving science and medicine) reviewed by individuals inside and outside of your agency with appropriate knowledge.  Assume funder reviewers will have related but not necessarily exact knowledge of your area. Where possible, match your internal reviewers with the likely composition of the funder’s reviewers. Where possible, match your internal reviewers with the likely composition of the funder’s reviewers.

80 Maine Community Foundation Questions?????


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