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Getting It Right! Grant Research and Writing
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Getting It Right! Grant Research and Writing



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  • 1. Barbara Talisman 312.733.7520
  • 2. Barbara Talisman Barbara Talisman is President of Talisman Associates, Inc. Talisman Associates, Inc is a full service consulting firm working with nonprofit organizations.The firm provides hands-on fund development assistance, leadership training and executive coaching to the independent sector. Barbara has been in the development field since 1983. Her experience ranges from corporate sponsorships and special events to board/membership development, grant writing and major gift solicitation as well as volunteer and staff development and training. She teaches a variety of fundraising topics and has been a guest speaker at conferences in North America, Europe the United Kingdom and Australia. Barbara began her fundraising experience on the campaign trail for national and local political candidates. Her fund development experience began at the American Heart Association and continued at the Anti-Defamation League. Barbara has published articles in Fund Raising Management, Fundraising Success, Association Forum, Fund Raising Institute, Advancing Philanthropy and Clout and has been profiled in Entrepreneur Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman, Crain's Chicago Business and Chicago Tribune. Barbara holds a Bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. She has continued her education through workshops and classes at BoardSource,The Institute for Charitable Giving, Vanderbilt University, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) regional and international conferences and Indiana University School of Philanthropy. Barbara is an AFP Master Trainer.
  • 3. 1. Priorities 2. Research 3. Case file 4. Writing 5. Planning timeline 6. Engaging staff Questions along the way….
  • 4. What are your funding priorities? Program v. General Operating Engaging staff
  • 5. Maintain focus Where to find the information: Public library Donor’s Forum Internet List of likely prospects Call to qualify prospects
  • 6. Interests and priority areas Contribution summary Method of approach Typical recipient Restrictions Type of support given Deadline(s) Gift range Budget year - June/July or Previous recipients like and Calendar unlike your agency Officers/Board of Directors Typical size of grant List How much to ask for? Financial summary Annual report Recent giving
  • 7. Conflicts of interest Match foundation interests with funding priorities Geographic headquarters Operating locations Employee residential communities Types of recipients (like yours) Types of support Giving range
  • 8. Q&A
  • 9. Foundation information Grant calendar Giving guidelines File folders Agency information - Case File Case Statement Proposal template Program components Board list Budget(s) Staff biographies Mission/Vision statement
  • 10. Request guidelines and application (if applicable) Review materials Contact appropriate program officer Phone Letter Email They can help guide you through the process Put yourself in their shoes
  • 11. Cover letter Summary Introduction Challenge - statement of need Program objectives Strategies to achieve objectives Program evaluation Current and future funding Program budget Conclusion
  • 12. Write after proposal is completed Frames the rest of the proposal Brief Clear Interesting Reduces your proposal to a sound byte – for you and program officer Identifies the organization Organization’s credibility States challenge Objectives Strategies Costs, current funding and amount requesting
  • 13. Establish image and credibility Brief history Major accomplishments Qualifications Structure and governance Uniqueness of organization Should be readable
  • 14. Case for support Describes the challenge agency will meet, change Evidence of challenge Consequences of inaction Impact on community Interest of foundation What can be reasonably achieved or expected Relates to the mission of the agency Stated in terms of clients and constituents not needs or problems of agency
  • 15. Q&A
  • 16. Program outcomes Problem-related outcomes of the program Measurable Should: Who – staff and population served Will do what - program When – time objectives will be achieved How much – objectives in numbers, people and money How to measure it - evaluation Does not describe methods
  • 17. Steps to achieve objectives How Describes reasonable scope of activities Charts, graphs Processes Reasonable sequence of activities – when Why activities were chosen Program staffing Client selection and participation
  • 18. Program overview Who will do the Impact evaluation Challenge met Cost benefit v. cost Beneficiaries effectiveness Measuring success Who will be the Data collection audience for evaluation strategy – inside and outside Data evaluation Process v. program Evaluation report evaluation Evaluation instruments
  • 19. Current and future funders Those who are supporting program now Others who have been/are being asked to support program Plan for future support Maintenance and future support Accounts for staff, equipment and supplies
  • 20. Estimate of costs Specific to program and financial need to meet objectives Direct costs Indirect costs Revenue Honest Realistic
  • 21. Restate the request Overview of the challenge Contact person Time frame Thank funder
  • 22. Q&A
  • 23. Preparation Checked with funder to determine their interest? Staff is prepared to do the work Proposal fits funding guidelines Proposal Content Well organized Clearly written Been reviewed by someone outside of the planning process Innovative ideas are clearly stated All parts of the proposal are there Followed guidelines Deadline has been met Submitting the correct number of copies Application if applicable Supporting documents Contact person identified
  • 24. Poor research Does not fall within giving guidelines Poorly written or organized Does not state or establish legitimate case for need Duplication on services Assumes the reader is knowledgeable of the subject Does not give evidence that the project can exist without funding Not financially feasible No evaluation criteria Too ambiguous
  • 25. An ongoing process Share your mission at every opportunity. Make it a natural part of what your organization does. Invite foundation representatives to: Site visits Board and committee meetings Special events Volunteer activities Add them to your mailing list: Annual reports Newsletters Direct mail Invitations
  • 26. Follow up on grant proposals Check on receipt Meeting date Site visits Personal visits Board contact Deliver on what you promise Evaluations Program reports Support materials Keep on top of payments Communicate often to: Board Staff Community
  • 27. Thank you! Talisman Blog Making a Difference Radio @BTalisman Facebook