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Grant Writing Tips For Your Fund Raising PDF

Grant writing may become an effective fund raising method for your organization. Once you manage to learn how to get yourself organized, you will find it quite easy to assemble a successful grant proposal. Just follow the next tips in order to guarantee your success when trying to obtain the necessary grant funds for your organization. Start by getting all your supporting documents organized – there are several items that are usually asked for. Gather them and make some copies of. These documents are: Form 990 (the organization's tax return), 501(c) 3letter (the IRS tax-exempt document of your organization), the annual report, the organizational information (brochure, etc.), all your financial statements, audit, state, local fund raising permits and letters of support.

Next, you will have to learn everything about your own programs – for each of your fund able areas, you must be able to provide the program summary, the program budget and the previous success. When you prepare the program budget, you will have to include both the indirect and direct costs. Continue by identifying the target grant funders for your organization. For instance, you can check out Guidestar in order to identify your potential grant funders. You will also have to research these target grant funders. All the private foundations must file a form 990. This form is a valuable resource because your fund raising organization can use it in order to learn who sits right on the Bord of every private foundation and the real amount of its foundation assets. These valuable pieces of information will help you ask for a grant that is neither too high nor too low.

Before writing the first word in your proposal, you will have to make sure that this proposal is the best fit for your potential funder. Therefore, you will have to find out more about your funder’s priorities – you will have to make sure that your proposal will fit within these priorities. Keep yourself well organized and create a calendar in order to track all the proposal deadlines together with the necessary follow-up time lines. This will help you build positive relationships with each of your potential funders when your organization submits the proposal in a timely manner.  

Try and make new best friends with each of your potential grant funders - get to know all these people your organization works with and get your own board members involved in this. The peer-to-peer connection will increase your chances to get the funds you need for your cause. Following up on the proposals that have been declined is a wise thing for you to do because this way you will prove that your organization is serious about its work. The follow up can be used in order to provide yourself with helpful information – for instance, you can ask the foundation about the improvements you could make at your future proposals in order to get the grant. Sometimes, the answer to this question will provide your organization with truly useful insights. And don’t forget to thank these persons for their attention and time in talking with you.  

Another thing you might consider is to keep a record of all your proposals in order to refer back to them if one of your potential funders calls with questions. Keep both a digital copy and a paper copy of each of your proposals. Other tips you can use in order to maximize your chances of getting the grant your organization needs are the following ones:  starting early in order to leave yourself the necessary period of time to prepare your proposal, developing the boilerplate text that you are likely to use over and over again, following the funder’s instructions to the proposal letter: page limits, deadlines, mailing instructions, attachments, formatting, etc because each of these details is important and you must not give your potential funder a reason to disqualify your proposal right from the start, using concise and simple language, keeping everything readable and interesting, using the 1-inch margin and the 12-point fonts unless you are instructed otherwise because these are the standard formatting options, clipping or stapling your proposal – you mustn’t bind it, writing the summary or cover letter last, after you have managed to put your entire proposal together.

Continue by getting another pair of eyes in order to proof read everything for you, not inflating the financial numbers in order to appear more impressive (just share the truth – it is enough), not sending your proposal via the overnight mail because this might show procrastination and a waste of money and not using acronyms without defining them. If your request for a grant has been denied, call to thank this foundation for being interested to review the project. You can also ask out why your proposal was turned down – ask out in a polite way. You might uncover some effective ideas for improving your future approaches. Grant writing is all about practice and you will have to work at your proposals until they are the best ones. Keep writing and learning!    


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