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On Today's Menu: Your Successful Grant Proposal
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On Today's Menu: Your Successful Grant Proposal


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How can you whip up a successful grant proposal? You’ll need just the right proportions of research, planning, drafting, and editing. And don’t forget to garnish with tasty feedback and a dash of good …

How can you whip up a successful grant proposal? You’ll need just the right proportions of research, planning, drafting, and editing. And don’t forget to garnish with tasty feedback and a dash of good timing!

Foundations and corporate funders are always looking for ways to make good investments in your community. To partner with them, you have to show exactly how you can help make that happen!
Webinar participants will get a special discount on Dalya’s award-winning book, “Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact.”

Who should attend: This webinar is ideal for: nonprofit directors, staff, board, volunteers, and consultants who help raise money from foundations and corporations; jobseekers are also welcome.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine

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  • 1. On Today’s Menu Your Successful Grant Proposal Dalya Massachi October 23, 2013 Twitter Hashtag - #4Glearn Part Of: Sponsored by:
  • 2. INTEGRATED PLANNING Advising nonprofits in: • Strategy • Planning • Organizational Development Part Of: (617) 969-1881 Sponsored by:
  • 3. Coming Soon Part Of: Sponsored by:
  • 4. Today’s Speaker Dalya Massachi Founder Writing for Community Success Assisting with chat questions: Jamie Maloney, 4Good Part Of: Founding Director of Nonprofit Webinars and Host: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Sponsored by:
  • 6. OUTLINE I. II. III. IV. V. Introductions The life cycle of a grant proposal 2P2R Planning System: 4 easy steps A few powerful writing techniques What’s next? Copyright 2013 6
  • 7. MY BACKGROUND • Nonprofit writer, speaker, coach: 20+ years • Authored host of proposals, articles, websites • Trained/coached thousands & co-founded Edited/ Contributed to 8 books 2000-2004: Founding Director of BAIDO 7
  • 8. ARE YOU READY? Do you have: 501 (c)(3) or fiscal sponsor Financial accounting system Strategic plan/case for support Solid board Logic Model Time/resources for grantseeking Copyright 2013 8
  • 9. POLL Are you missing any of these critical components? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 501 (c)(3) or fiscal sponsor Financial accounting system Strategic plan/case for support Solid board Logic Model Time/resources for grantseeking We have them all! 9
  • 10. LIFE CYCLE OF A GRANT PROPOSAL (6-12 months) You research foundations You begin relationships You submit an LOI or proposal Copyright 2013 10
  • 11. Program Officer reviews your proposal You answer any outstanding questions Program Officer advocates for you Board votes on your proposal You rejoice OR learn why you lost Copyright 2013 11
  • 12. Copyright 2013 12
  • 13. 2P2R PLANNING SYSTEM™ 1. Understand your Purposes 2. Define your Priorities 3. Know your Readers “Good writing does not come from fancy word processors or expensive typewriters or special pencils or hand-crafted quill pens. Good writing comes from good thinking.” – Ann Loring 4. Refine your messages Copyright 2013 13
  • 14. 1. UNDERSTAND YOUR SPECIFIC WRITING PURPOSES Inspire the funder with unique ideas Encourage the view of your org as a good investment Explain your pressing issue Show that you share goals and values Instill trust in your ability to get the job done Copyright 2013 14
  • 15. YOUR UNIQUENESS: So powerful that it cuts through inertia, gets noticed     Under-served clients, location, etc. Outstanding credentials or experience Extensive collaborations Unusual point of view or approach Copyright 2013 15
  • 16. EXAMPLE: Beyond Breast Cancer Beyond Breast Cancer is different from other breast cancer organizations in that we focus on quality of life. We acknowledge the challenges and limitations of living with breast cancer, and we believe that focusing on activities that our clients are able to enjoy cultivates a higher quality of life than might otherwise be possible. Copyright 2013 16
  • 17. WRITING WORKOUT What’s 1 unique value that your org/program adds to the community? Copyright 2013 17
  • 18. 2. DEFINE YOUR PRIORITIES Facts and figures (context, 5 W’s) Importance of the issue (current need; why should I care?) Results you envision (output, outcome; measurable benefits) Solution you propose (program details; why chosen) Track record (testimonials, history) Copyright 2013 18
  • 19. RESULTS:  What does your work mean for the clients/community?  “So what?” How does your work lead to something better for the community?  “What’s in it for us?” Copyright 2013 19
  • 20. EXAMPLE: HOMELESS SHELTER PROGRAMS: soup kitchen, warm beds restrooms, child care, job & housing placement RESULTS/BENEFITS:       Higher level of nutrition and stability Higher level of employment Fewer families living in cars or on streets Less desperation, often leading to crime, drug abuse, etc. The sense of being a community that cares for everyone Lower long-term financial cost to local area Copyright 2013 20
  • 21. 3. KNOW YOUR READERS Copyright 2013 21
  • 22. PROGRAM OFFICERS • Foundation gatekeepers • Have background, concern BUT may be unfamiliar with your particular slant/niche • Are time-pressed • Want to be inspired • Have been around, frequently talk to others • Are people too (with hearts, minds) Copyright 2013 22
  • 23. WHAT INFO IS OF MOST INTEREST?  True match with your goals and priorities  Program is a high priority for you  High chance of success: realistic, specific plan  Clear, measurable impact on a vital community need (local/national) ̶ NOW New/innovative idea Copyright 2013 23
  • 24. WHAT INFO IS OF MOST INTEREST?  Beneficiary involvement  Strong evaluation plan  Strategic collaborations/unique role in the field  Replicable model  Community support & in-kind  Funded by others Copyright 2013 24
  • 25. DATA YOU NEED TO GATHER  Values, hopes, giving philosophy  Why they care about your issue  What they already know/believe  How you can help them solve probs  Information they need to fund you Copyright 2013 25
  • 26. HOW? RESEARCH!  Read their publications, websites, grant guidelines  Find out what they have previously supported (Is there enough similarity with your project, yet uniqueness in your specific approach?)  Call or email to clarify Copyright 2013 26
  • 27. 4. REFINE YOUR MESSAGES Match your READERS’ interests with your PRIORITIES (this takes time!) Copyright 2013 27
  • 28. WRITING WORKOUT: FOLLOW-UP Practice refining your messages! 1) Jot down some FIRST priorities (talking points) about your org/project (see slide 15) 2) Ask someone OUTSIDE YOUR ORG to play the role of “grantmaker” (see slides #19-21). Engage in a 3-minute phone conversation to introduce your org. Copyright 2013 28
  • 30. FOCUS ON CLARITY “The most powerful factors in the world are clear ideas in the minds of energetic men [and women] of good will.”— J. Arthur Thomson  You know all about your program, but your readers don’t; explain everything!  Avoid vagueness; talk specifics  Use examples Copyright 2013 30
  • 31. EXAMPLE Original: The tutoring program was very successful last year. Suggested Revision: Last year, the program’s 20 volunteer tutors boosted the performance of 60 young readers. [go on to explain how they did this….] Copyright 2013 31
  • 32. ENGAGE BOTH THE HEART & HEAD Your readers will remember how you make them feel more than anything else you say or do Even we left-brained people need an emotional clue Copyright 2013 32
  • 33. TELL STORIES  Talk about how people have benefited: results they have seen and importance to them  What are some components of great stories?  A beginning, middle and end (before/after)  Memorable characters  Compelling plot or conflict resolution Copyright 2013 33
  • 34. TAKE CUES FROM THE FUNDER  Remember to answer all of the funder’s questions with detailed answers  Use the funder’s language  Use headings and sub-headings with chunks accessible at a glance 34
  • 35. AVOID JARGON AND UNEXPLAINED ACRONYMS  Would your readers use the term themselves?  Does the term mean the same thing to them as it does to you? (e.g., “supportive community”)  If you must use technical terms or acronyms, explain them the first time Copyright 2013 35
  • 36. Reprinted with permission from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. Copyright 2013 36
  • 37. CULTIVATE CONCISENESS: LESS IS MORE “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” —Mark Twain  Sentences: 14-20 words max.  No freeloading words  KISSS: Keep It Short, Simple, Skimmable  Average LOI:1-3 pp.; full proposal: 5-10 pp. Copyright 2013 37
  • 38. WHAT’S NEXT? CHECK YOUR EMAIL! Spot the Weaknesses Summary Sample Grant Format Recommended Resources 38
  • 39. • FREE feedback & advice by conference call • Often with Special Guests • Covers a range of writing-related topics More info: Copyright 2013 39
  • 40. BOOK DISCOUNT 20% off a Paperback Copy 40
  • 41. EXPERT GRANT PROPOSAL REVIEW 30% off Thru 12/15/13 Get the detailed feedback you need to succeed within 2 business days 41
  • 42. WRAP-UP QUESTION What is the most valuable thing you are taking away from today? And how will you use that info?