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Stephanie Moran Director, Community Partnership Center at Anderson University Ann Wilson Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Levinson Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Stephanie Moran Director, Community Partnership Center at Anderson University Ann Wilson Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Levinson Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stephanie Moran Director, Community Partnership Center at Anderson University Ann Wilson Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Levinson Center

2 Role at Anderson University Service engagement and service learning Networking Grant Support Student Resource for 21 st Century Scholars

3 Grant funding backstory Executive positions at 3 nonprofits, all of which regularly received grants Executive position at a corporation that grant funded Currently, grant funds and mentors start-up companies that impact local or global social or environmental issues

4 How many of you have participated in writing a grant? Was it difficult? What were the challenges associated with the grant? How much time did you spend researching, planning, collaborating, and writing the grant? What type of assessment did you do? What type of reporting did you do?

5 You may take advantage of grant opportunities in two ways: Reactively: As a response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) Proactively: By searching for matches between foundation guidelines and your nonprofit organization’s mission.


7 Capital: funds for construction, acquisition, or renovation of buildings Programmatic: Funds to support staffing, equipment, and other items that are necessary to launch a special project Operational: Funds to support ongoing operations, such as utilities, ongoing staffing costs, etc.

8 Let’s Venture Capitalists as a new Funding Resource…

9 Projects must fulfill a genuine and pressing need Projects that don’t address a real and pressing community, state, or national issue are not fundable. They might be creative. They might demonstrate strong possibilities for collaboration with potential partners. They appear to address the priorities of a funder. But they will fall short unless the need is documented with supporting data. Programs must have potential for sustainability You must be able to support the program after grant funding runs out. If grant funds support a specific project, the project must demonstrate measurable objectives. Even specific projects must fit into the goals and objectives of sustainable programming.

10 Provides a creative response to a problem or need. Demonstrates potential for sustaining the project and its outcomes after the grant period ends. Includes most of the following:  Strong data to support the project  A project manager with organizational accountability  A history of fiscal responsibility  A response to a clearly identified need or a solution to a stated problem  Collaboration with others in community  Engagement with community in identifying the need/solution  A plan for sustaining the project or outcomes

11 Executive Summary Need Statement Goals Objectives Timeline Evaluation and assessment Budget narrative Budget Organizational information Attachments –copy of tax status, Board of Directors, letters of support, annual report

12 What programs you would seek funding support for if not focused on the specific restrictions of a RFP/RFA? Responding only to open RFPs/RFAs means your organization is missing out on support from all of the funders that do not release formal RFPs/RFAs. Proactive Grant Proposals allow you to: Focus on the ideal layout of your project/program Create a true budget Keep the project/program directly in line with the strategic plan or mission/vision of your organization Develop unexpected, and long term, relationships with new funders

13 Writing the proposal first as a “boiler plate” and then looking for funders that have a mission/values similar to that of your organization and the program being proposed tends to do two things: Lead to a higher success percentage for proposals that are submitted. Make the implementation of funded programs more seamless for program staff as it is so well aligned with the strategic plan, mission, etc. of the organization. Do continue responding to RFP/RFA’s, and consider being more proactive in your grant seeking as a way to cast your net wider in your search for support.

14 Your proactive grant proposal is written. Now what? Seek the partners you want/need for your program. Ask them for what you want and give them clear deadlines. Research grant funders with relatable missions. Think creatively. Build a relationship with them. Introduce yourself. Think beyond the money. Don’t rely on only one funder. Make sure your math is correct! Find creative ways to cover operating expenses. Generally, don’t request more than 30% of the project budget per funder.

15 Comprehensive, Integrated Approach Strategically Prioritized – Not just a wish list Well Thought Out Presentation – does the proposal make sense? Reflects a Natural Progression from Planning to Implementation Describes the Impact in a Comprehensive Manner Project Shows Broad Participation Need (…Stay tuned; there’s more …)

16 Demonstration of Capacity and Ability to Succeed at Project Strong Local Commitment To, and Investment In, The Project A Strategic Plan and A Strategic Approach Sustainability of Proposal Is the Amount of the Request Reasonable? Is this a Duplication of Service? Accountability (And if that’s not enough to consider  …)

17 Know your project and what you are proposing. Keep excellent documentation throughout the process Be prepared to demonstrate that you are able to manage all aspects of the project. Build strong relationships within the applicant organization, the community, and with the funder(s). Do your homework – ask for help when you need it. Identify unusual circumstances in your community that justify the need. Keep asking yourself: Why should we get funded?

18 Although there is a lot of forgiveness in terms of writing styles, remember: Punctuation, spelling, and typos matter (your proposal represents you) Say what you mean and keep it concise. No excess wordiness, please! If it’s not in the application, it cannot be considered In a nutshell, funders want to know: Will this project make a difference? How big a difference and for whom? Can this organization actually make this happen? How much do they want and how will they use it? FINAL THOUGHTS FINAL THOUGHTS

19 Maintaining a current relationship is as important as developing a new one. Everyone wants to be a part of a winning team. Share the spotlight, and then celebrate the accomplishments, with all stakeholders, including the funders. And remember, the grant funder asks themselves not only what YOU get out of this, but also what THEY get out of it. It’s their money and their reputation on the line. Don’t waste their time with rambling, half-baked asks. Let the respect you have for your organization, the project, and the funder be reflected in the thoroughness of your planning and conciseness of your presentation.

20 And most importantly…

21 If they don’t know what you need, they can’t help you. And they want to help you. MAKE THE ASK.

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