I Never Met A Grant I Didn't Like Many people are interested in knowing the best techniques for writing grants and who to approach for money. There are plenty of classes you can take and tips on how to write grants. Today, we will share the most important tip of all - grant writing should be the responsibility of the person in your organization who:
· Really loves to write grants · Can write with passion · Can write clearly and concisely
(I hear you muttering out there "and who on earth would that be?)
Grants don't work when the person who is writing them isn't really excited about your organization or if they just don't like to write at all. It shows. Check your results for proof. A poorly written grant can actually lose money for you even if you have a great program. Foundations rely on your ability to convey what you are doing clearly. The proposal speaks volumes about your ability to carry out the work. Other tips: · Follow directions to the letter! Foundations go out of their way to tell you what they need to see and there are reasons for that. The most important one being that if you follow the directions carefully, the foundation is able to compare each organization side by side. Faced with reviewing hundreds of grants, it is easy for grant reviewers to rule out those from applicants who can't follow simple directions. Yes, sometimes that means one copy on green paper, 12-point font and exact margins. · If you spend a lot of time saying, "I just don't have time to write grants", then it is time to get someone who does. · Fundraising, including grant writing, is a PRIORITY - not what is done when there is time. The person handling your grants and fundraising is your sales department! · Keep plugging away. Your grant application is donor education for the foundation. If a foundation seems like a fit with your organization and you are turned down, don't give up. Talk to them if you can. Keep them posted on your progress. Try again. I've seen many times when a foundation will suddenly support an organization they have turned down for several years. · Never - EVER - do a mass mailing of proposals to major foundations. Period! Foundation board and staff members often compare notes with colleagues at other foundations. This could cause you real harm. And don't believe a contract grant writing firm that tells you it is OK to do that. (Yes, they exist!) Grants are a major part of your public image. If a television station called you to conduct an on-camera interview, would you look for a student intern who needs some extra money to do your interview? Grant writing and all forms of fundraising are no place for amateurs. They require skill, experience and professionalism.