Guest Author - Kristal Johnson
Your nonprofit has a project and needs funds for successful program development. One solution to your dilemma is to seek grant funding. But obtaining a grant is a process. There is no other word that describes it. Grant proposals shouldn’t to be scary. Especially if you have help, or better, an entire team at your agency helping you. Here are some tips for making the process easier.
I cannot stress enough how imperative it is to follow every singe direction given. Leave nothing blank. If the question is not applicable, then put N.A. accordingly. If you are unsure about the instructions, contact the funder. Usually, there is contact information included, in the form of an email or phone number. This is not the time to second-guess when it comes to your funding efforts. You want to be absolutely sure you are giving the correct information. Also, you want to follow the checklist, if provided. If not, create your own. A checklist will ensure you have met all the requirements.
Third Party Review-
Before you submit a proposal, have another person review your documents. It’s important that you choose someone that is not affiliated with your agency, or the proposed project. This is important, because they will review your proposal without any bias or knowledge of your project. If your reviewer has questions about your proposal or sees loopholes in your writing; beware. The funder may have the same questions when reviewing your proposal.
Declutter your Proposal-
One mistake that I see in my industry, is the use of jargon and acronyms in proposals. The worst thing you can do is to use acronyms that the funder does not understand. Do not assume that the funder knows the common language used around your agency. Also, too much information is just as bad as too little information. Do your research and find the balance that will convey your message in the best way.
There is a lot of information that you can find online regarding grant writing. I have included links at the bottom to get you started. If you have grant writing questions, please post in our forums.