In this podcast I talk with Ann Myren from Resources and Results Consulting LLC. She is a nonprofit consultant specializing in grant writing and strategic planning. In this episode she talks about planning to write a grant, how to find grants, grant writing best practices and gives us a “grant writing check list” you should use before you submit your grant application.
To start the podcast we played a quick game of “Fact or Myth”. Spoiler alert… they all turn out to be myths:
- Start ups can’t get grants. MYTH
- We must have matching funds to get grants. MYTH (but good idea)
- We must be a 501.c.3 to get a grant. MYTH (funding criteria could allow for partnering with another nonprofit)
- Grant writing is complicated and takes specialized skills. MYTH
- We can’t ask for a lot of money. MYTH
- We already got a grant from Agency “A”, we can’t ask them again. MYTH
- There are no grants for the services we provide. MYTH
- Grants won’t cover our operating expenses. MYTH
- We can function on grants alone. MYTH
TIPS TO GETTING YOUR FIRST GRANT
- Get a strategic plan. Show how you are going to do what you say you are going to do. A strategic plan is your blue print and demonstrates to the grantor that you have your act together.
- Go for smaller grants first. Not necessary but good to build off of for next grant.
- Research granting agency. Who have they given to in the past, do you meet their requirements, can they fund the amount you need.
- Contact the funder. Read their website to see who to contact and if it is encouraged.
- Get letters of support from other organizations.
- Have a budget – not just for project but for entire year.
REVIEW YOUR GRANT PRIOR TO SUBMISSION
- Did you repeat yourself? Do you say the same thing in multiple sections?
- Did you put supporting information in the grant? Did you compare it to other successful projects? Did you use quotes that substantiate your statements?
- Did you answer all the questions completely?
- Check spelling and grammar.
- Check your math. Is the budget laid our correctly? Does it add up?
- Be sure to have someone proof read your grant prior to submission.
- Keep all final documents organized in a way you can find them again on your computer. If you can’t find it you can’t repurpose for another purpose. (See organizing files here).