Grant writing basics wingatePresentation Transcript
Grant Writing Basics Brook Wingate & Rich Whittington TRIAD STAGE
What is a grant?O A structured way in which a corporation, foundation or individual chooses to share their philanthropic resources with an organization whose mission they care about.O The application questions and format allow the grantor to review consistent information from prospective grantees.O Most grants are project-specific.
Before You BeginO Make sure you know AND can articulate: O Who You Are O What You Do and Why it is Important O Who You ServeO Consider creating a Style Guide (especially when several people are writing for the same organization). O The look of the organization – logos, fonts, colors O What names you use (and how you spell them)
The Basics – Who You AreO Tax Exempt StatusO Organizational structure (board and staff)O Organization missionO Brief History of OrganizationO Overall Budget
The Basics – What You WantO Program or Project DescriptionO Project Budget O Total Cost O Amount of request O Other funding sourcesO Population(s) ServedO Outcome/Benefits to community
Examples – Who You AreO Brief description of your organizations history, mission and primary activities.O State the organization’s mission.O Briefly describe the organization and its background. Indicate whether it has any standing programs and if the organization has paid staff, or operates using consultants or volunteers.O List all Board members by name and include area of expertise, gender, and ethnicity or race.
Examples – What You WantO Explain how the grant funds will be used, what will be accomplished, who will benefit and what will change in the community if this request is funded. What is the time frame for the project? What is your desired outcome?O How will progress be tracked?O Describe collaborative efforts-formal or informal-you have established or plan to establish with organizationsO working on similar issues or providing similar services.O Discuss the plans and methods being used to raise all funds necessary to accomplish the project as proposed. Indicate all commitments already obtained.O
Which comes first?O Ideally, your programs will be chosen based on your mission and goals and you will find grants to support those.O Sometimes the reverse approach is necessary. Understand major grant opportunities and consider if your programs need to align (NEA, NCAC).
Getting Started – Before Writing O FIRST: Does your program align with their funding priorities as they have described them? Do not waste your time or theirs trying to O Grantors have varying degrees of reporting “make it work”. requirements. Ensure you have systems in place to accurately monitor the progress of the grant and meet reporting requirements. O When contact information is provided, call the staff. Begin a relationship, ask questions.
Getting Started - WritingO Read questions and requirements very carefully. Answer every single part of every question.O Write Smart – drafts, proof-readers, readers unfamiliar with the program.O Follow submission guidelines carefully.
Writing for FundraisingO Remember – SELL! – every answer is an opportunity to promote your organization and program. O DON’T: Triad Stage is a professional theater. O DO: Triad Stage is an award-winning, professional theater with eleven seasons of proven success.O Be Honest – grantors do follow up, so you have to be able to do what you sayO Own your challenges – don’t gloss over issues; instead, show how you address them and/or how the grant will help you meet those challenges.
Writing for FundraisingO Be Specific – stay away from broad generalizations, especially in impact and outcomes O DON’T: This program will help hundreds of children receive a more well-rounded education. O DO: This program will enable 200 children at Sternberger Elementary School to receive more than 10 hours of hands-on arts education each week. O DON’T: Arts education helps students succeed in the classroom. O DO: Children who participate in arts education have a 50% higher graduation rate than those who do not.
Writing for FundraisingO Avoid Jargon – do not assume that every grant reviewer will know theater (exception: when the grantor is a theater organization)O Include external quotes and/or accolades, when they support your answer(s)
Finding Grant OpportunitiesO Foundation Center O By subscription O Public Library O Visit grantspace.org to find locations throughout the country where information can be accessedO The Chronicle of Philanthropy (Washington, D.C.) O Daily on line O Offers podcasts, webinars, trend information along with recent grants madeO The Philanthropy Journal O Blogs, trends
Finding Grant OpportunitiesO Facebook/Twitter O Like/follow similar organizations around the country and watch for grant award announcementsO Local community foundation O Get to know grant programs and program officers who can align your organization with prospective donors.O Annual reports and website searches O Who / what organizations are contributing to similar organizations?
Finding Grant OpportunitiesO Utilize your board O Gather information at the onset of each new fiscal year to help generate opportunities: O Employers O direct opportunity for funding? O Organizationally? O Departmentally? O Houses of worship O Social, Service, Fraternal Club memberships (do they have grant programs?)
Keys to SuccessO Understand the grantor: O What is their purpose/goal for the community? O Have they funded the arts/theater in the past? O Who is on their Board? Do you have a connection?O Understand your organization: O What is your mission? O Why are you important? O How does this project further your mission?O Understand the grant process: O Follow guidelines. O Meet deadlines. O Answer questions completely.