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Obtaining grants, both public and private, for non-profits is a competitive field. When funding models depend on grant money, it is important to submit professional-looking grant proposals. Here are some tips on writing a winning proposal:
Research into an organization allows you to know whether your organization fits well with the mission of the grantmaker. If your organization does not fit with their mission, you can allocate your time and resources to seeking grants from other organizations. If your organization is a good fit, you will be able to tailor your proposal to your audience.
Similar to researching potential employers before a job interview, you should research grant-making organizations before requesting their support. It is important that you are familiar with the primary goals and objectives, types of projects, and grant-making processes and procedures before seeking a grant from an organization.
A Convincing Argument
There are essential elements included in every grant proposal; these include a single-page executive summary. The summary should be concise, including only necessary information defining your organization and its needs. A short statement of need providing an overview of the program you are seeking to fund should be included as well. The statement should include why the money is needed to meet the needs of the organization. Other parts of the proposal include a budget, an explanation of your organization’s unique ability to run the program, and a conclusion restating your case.
Facts and figures are a crucial aspect of the proposal, but it is also important that you include a human touch. You should provide the story behind the numbers. Include information about the population you serve, including testimonials and descriptions of your typical clients.
Follow the Rules
Ensure you have reviewed the grant-maker’s guidelines before writing your proposal. If you have any questions, contact the organization well before the submission deadline. Then, ensure all of the application instructions are followed. This includes submitting all parts of your application and documentation on time and free from error. Double check for common mistakes including:
- Excessive length
- Math errors
- Overuse of industry jargon
- Missing signatures
Take your Time
Writing a winning proposal takes time, so be sure to give yourself a generous window to complete your proposal. Researching the grant-maker, collecting current data and facts about your own organization, composing a proposal, and proofreading often requires more time than expected.
If you have questions about submitting a grant proposal we can help. Contact us at 818-334-8623 or click here, and we will contact you.