You have a business, and you wish to know how to write a grant.
Various established nonprofits and new nonprofits that have never written grants are somewhat confused about all of the little details involved when it comes to grant writing; that is to say, what the grant writing process is all about.
Now, there are few basic procedures of the grant writing process, and I believe you should know about, and that is; the grant prospect research, first contact, research and discussion, write, submit and follow up.
Apropos, I can accurately say it is peculiarly hard to find a genuine grant; worse still, getting them is one heck of a hurdle. When it comes to finding the right sample grant letters, it can be a somewhat daunting task, but when you do get them, you need to come up with a somewhat convincing grant proposal.
If you do this right, then you’re on your way to getting a financer for your nonprofit organization.
But here is the good stuff. Do you know that almost all grants take the same structure, regarding the information provided? But most times, the formats differ pretty a little. So, for example, some grants, they’re known to involve a whole lot of questions that you need to offer answers for, while others do take the form of a narrative where you’ll be asked to write some story in which you provide the details of your project.
Regardless of which type of grant you choose, either for a business idea or nonprofit organization, you cannot be that skillful if you don’t know the basics of sample grant letters, and what are the basics? You might want to ask. Well, this article discusses about that. let’s get started.
What is a Grant?
A Grant is simply funds given by an entity, these are the charitable foundation, public bodies, or a specialized grant-making institution—to an individual or another entity, which is usually a nonprofit organization, and sometimes a business or a local government body, for a specific aim or goal linked to public benefit. Unlike loans, grants are never to be paid back.
As a verb, the term means to award or give somebody something without getting anything back from the person. For example, “Mary Hopkins was granted a pass.”
It may also mean to accept something particularly true. But, of course, the speaker would have to give an opposite opinion in this situation.
For instance, someone may say, “I grant you that it was Tony who broke the window of that house. However, we have no solid evidence to nail him in the bag” for this case, the speaker agrees to it, but then makes their point.
Then we have to take something for granted, which means to believe that something is true without considering it so much. If you take something for granted, that means you do not cherish it; for example, you take it as it’s given.
There are numerous types of grants. And the financial assistance may come from one of these companies or nonprofit institutions, local authorities, and the government.
Important Grant Writing Tips
When it comes to Grant writing, you need to know it isn’t for the weak J, but it can mean loads of cash for the nonprofits who do it pretty well.
Here’s the info, do you know that in the year 2019 alone, over 75 billion dollars were awarded by foundations? This is according to the report of Candid. What does this mean? It means there’s a whole lot of funding to be had by nonprofits willing to present their cases.
For some, grant writing isn’t peculiarly an exact science; there are still specific steps you can take to increase your organization’s chances of receiving a grant. Here are my twelve tips, briefly explained;
1. Why do you need the grant?
But, first, you need to tell and show why you need a particular grant. This is to say; you need to describe the aim of your project and make it reasonable enough to be obliged to by the guarantors.
2. Be Different
No one likes to listen to the usual type; you need to have something that piques the guarantors’ interest. So tell them how your organization is different from all other institutions or organizations of the same type. And I’ll like to be honest; it’s pretty rare for nonprofits of any type to be accepted for a grant if they have no existing relationship with the foundation, so most times, these grant proposals are woefully rejected. With that said, you need to be exact in setting your grant proposal apart from the others.
3. Have a target when it comes to your grant
The majority of grants are awarded to a specific cause rather than general support of any type.
4. Remove all Technicalities
The guarantors would pay little consideration in your grant write-up if it’s filled with a whole lot of industry jargon.
5. Make it Understandable and Clear
When it comes to the best grant writing, they’re known to be concise, understandable, and easy to be read.
6. Say the story well
You need to catch the emotions of your guarantors. Write something that makes them be like, “Aww, this is something we need to partake in and now;” they may not particularly say it that way, but it’s pretty close. In essence, make them fall in love with what you have to say.
7. Focus on the Solutions
No negative vibes here; you need to be positive in your approach; this is to say, focus on the solutions rather than talking about the problems from paragraph to paragraph.
8. Make sure the Budget is Right
Be sure your math adds up, that your budget makes sense, and it supports the goals of your grant writing.
9. It would help if you had an Objective Reviewer
When done with your sample grant letter, do send it to someone who has no idea of your organization’s mission for review. Ensure the person understands all of the basics in the grant letter; if the person does, you’re on the right track.
10. Don’t postpone
Do not try to wait till the last minute to prepare your grant. This is because if you do, you’ll make mistakes.
11. Please Pay Attention to the Details
Some foundations can be pretty picky, especially when they specify page margins, page length, etc., so be sure to follow all instructions.
12. Avoid unnecessary attachments
When most grantmakers ask for what they want, do give them what they want—it isn’t necessary to send more than what they request.
Step-by-step process to follow in Grant Writing
Before you write a sample grant letter or desire to know how to write a grant, you need to specify your problem; the problem that needs to be resolved, but the only thing drawing you back is funds. Here is a step by step process to do just that;
1. Know the Problem
When it comes to this, it simply states identifying the problem or need, but if you have one in mind before you started grant writing, then you’re cool. This could range from community-based to national issues, all of which need to be addressed from your goodwill. For example, there’s an increase of mental-related issues in your community that needs to be addressed.
To get a grant for this, you need to involve the community stakeholders and agree that it is a problem that needs attention. If you don’t, or if this is not the case, then it would be quite hard to get a grant, and if peradventure you do get it, and the stakeholders do not support the mission, it may end up in failure.
2. Preparing a Draft
Before you begin, you need to put together a draft grant proposal for the project you wish to start up or that you’ve found to be the candidate for funding.
This is the stage that you assemble the detailed background information you’ll need, and decide who will write the proposal, and draft all of the key parts of the grant writing, such as;
- The executive summary
- Organizational information
- Statement of Need
- Project description
3. Start with a short executive Summary
If you wish to be an expert on writing a grant, you need a winning executive summary. This is also known as a proposal summary. An executive summary is known to be a brief synopsis of the full body of the proposal. It’s known to include or introduce your business, market segment, proposal, project goals, and in summary, your grant request.
Make sure it has sufficient specifics and details; get to that point quickly and be factual and pragmatic. Here are some things to keep into consideration;
- Make sure to keep the grant two pages long.
- Include all necessary resources, that is to say, mention the funds you’re requesting and briefly explain the sort of methodology when it comes to spending them.
- Present your organization. Well, you need not be afraid to tell the grantee about your organization’s mission, history, and objective.
Don’t do this;
- Never you give too much.
- Make sure to address the grantee, guarantor, or funder directly.
4. Introduce the Organization
For this part, you can share as much important information as you can about your project, including mission, history, etc.
You also need to include a biography of the key staff, success stories, philosophy, company goals and essentially highlight your skill.
Don’t forget to include the letter of thanks, client recommendations, and all the feedback from clients or customers and the general public; this you must do in your grant writing.
IN ESSENCE, you need to show that your project or company has the capacity and the ability to meet all deliverables from both a view in executing its goals. It does not exclude meeting all quality, legal, and safety obligations.
Here are the things to consider;
- Make sure to provide a backstory; this means you should add details like when the company started and why? Try to summarize and connect the mission to the grantee.
- Be objective, which means you should try to avoid praising yourself and be factual.
Don’t do this;
- Do not stray from the point
- And don’t go into much detail
5. Describe a Direct Problem Statement
This is one of the most significant parts of grant writing—yes, the problem statement. Although it can also be called “statement of need” or “needs statement,” this is the area you explain the issues of the project and how you can provide the solutions.
For this part, you need to do extensive research on the history of the issue. These solutions were implemented previously, and all that failed. Not to forget, you need to explain why your solution makes a difference.
For a winning grant writing, when it comes to the problem statement, it relies heavily on measurable data and how it explains the way you chip in to offer solutions.
6. State all objectives and Goals
You need to state your goals and objectives. I’ll like to tell you this: many grant writings fail, or people fail on the skill of writing a grant because they forget this one step; with this, all of their hard work goes to the ditch!
7. Project Design
This is the time to tell them how you plan on achieving your goals. Make sure to list the new hires and skills, transport, additional facilities, and all of the support services you need to deliver the project without any hassle and achieve all the defined measures for success.
A good project management discipline and strategy with all of the detailed requirements stated out and personal tasks descriptively articulated is all that’s needed; this will keep a good focus on the task at hand and the results.
8. Tracking Success
This section would have to cover process evaluation, that is, how you will track the project’s success. It also needs to introduce the timeframe needed for such evaluation and all that will do the evaluation, including certain skills or products needed and the cost of the evaluation phase of the said project.
This is one significant step to pay close attention to when writing your grant; all grantees tend to sort out evaluations of all types. In simple terms, the grantee needs to know if the project or program they are looking forward to investing in or invested in makes some difference.
No grantee would want to pay attention to your grant writing if it only talks about short-term projects with no perspective in any way. They’ll listen to you only if it’s long-term and would only reward a project if it’s large scale.
This is the reason you need to show how to make this happen with no hassles. This section of the grant writing, it’s strictly for funding needs that go way beyond the program or project, daily business, total cost of ownership, operational support, and maintenance of all types.
This may need you to state the projected cost for at least five years in the approximate.
10. Outline the Project Budget
Why are you writing a grant in the first place? It’s because you need that fund. One of the essential grant writing topics of discussion is fund allocation or budgeting. This is the moment when you go into much detail about how you’ll be using the resources at hand from an operational perspective.
Make sure you provide all the necessary justification for all expenses, including a service catalog and product offered that can be used transparently and effectively; do specify the services.
11. Follow Up
This is very important because it ensures that the grantee has received your application and is under review. It’s also an opportunity to talk with the grantee and convince them further.
And please do not rush in following up; I recommend you wait a week before reaching out to the grantee.
Well, you may receive follow-up requests for additional information. Or you may be awarded all or part of your requested funds, or you may even receive a rejection letter. So all I have to tell you when it does reach this point is, do not be discouraged in any way.
Instead, why not continue to seek funding from all other sources or basically through your creative fund-raising projects in your community.
Now, if peradventure, you don’t receive the grant you so wish, be sure to call or send you a thank-you text within two weeks and provide all the necessary follow-up information. Also, do let them know you’re still winning with the project, and chances are you might get an award in the future!
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