An Introduction to Grant Writing
1. You think you have a stupendous idea that could serve people in need or help your organization. You think if this idea came to fruition then so many great things would happen, but you don't have the money to do it. So you need to ask for the money, and writing a grant proposal, or many grant proposals, is one option. 2. Grant writing is a necessary component of being able to exist as a nonprofit entity for most nonprofit organizations, and yet it is one of those tedious aspects that many people tend to dread. What do you do? What do you say? How do you say it? How do you write it? Although there isn't any one formula that will work for all grant applications, there are guidelines that can be followed that will facilitate the process and perhaps help your grant proposal stand out.
3. The grant writing process is a formation of partnerships between nonprofits and funders. Nonprofit organizations have the ideas and capacity to solve problems, but need dollars with which to work. Funders have the financial resources but lack other resources necessary to create programs. By joining the two entities, an ideal partnership is formed. If you aim to build a network of foundations and corporations, then you may be able to strike a balance between the small gifts that come at a fairly steady basis, and the few, periodic larger gifts.
4. Do not count on grant writing for all of your funding, nor for quick funding. Grant writing is not a get rich quick scheme. You should also pursue grants or donations from individuals, especially your board members; community groups; churches; fundraising events; and maybe the state or federal government. Many funders want to know from what other sources you have received and/or are applying for funding.
Recent grants received by our clients include:
$25,000 for an organization providing services services for low-income persons with HIV/AIDS - for a van to transport clients to medical appointment
$20,000 for an organization providing healthcare to low-income, uninsured families - for general operating expenses
$15,000 for an agency providing mental health services - for a program for children with serious mental illness
$15,000 for an agency providing an array of services for low-income people - for their community health services program
The topic of our next blog on Tuesday, August 9th, will be “Components of a Grant Proposal.”
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Murray Covens, Principal