Grants Step By Step

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It’s inevitable—at some point in your fundraising career, you will need to write a grant proposal. It may be for a private foundation, the marketing department of a major corporation, or a local community foundation. What they all have in common is giving the funder what they ask for. To do that, we’ll walk through how to figure out what you’re asking for and how to best communicate it; how to research a funder; when to communicate with a potential donor; how to put together the proposal; how to report your results, and funder pet peeves.

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Grants Step By Step

  1. 1. February 19, 2010 Grant Proposals Step by Step Alice L. Ferris, MBA, CFRE GoalBusters LLC www.goalbusters.net
  2. 2. February 19, 2010 What do you know about grant writing?
  3. 3. February 19, 2010 Agenda Defining your project Identifying your funder Proposal writing Pet Peeves
  4. 4. February 19, 2010 Defining Your Project
  5. 5. February 19, 2010 What are you trying to “sell”?  Why is it important to your organization?  How will it contribute to your mission?  How will people’s lives be affected?
  6. 6. February 19, 2010 What makes a project attractive to a funder?  Restricted  Start up or early stage  Limited term for funder—sustainable beyond 2-3 years  Clear and measurable impact
  7. 7. February 19, 2010 Developing a master proposal  Who  Where  What  When  Why  How
  8. 8. February 19, 2010 Boilerplate materials  Mission, Vision, Values  Board list  Staff list in project area  Audit  Form 990  501(c)3 letter  Corporate Certificate  Organizational or department budget
  9. 9. February 19, 2010 Identifying Your Funder
  10. 10. February 19, 2010 Philosophy Don't waste your time or the funder's time with a frivolous proposal
  11. 11. February 19, 2010 Basic research  Open or Invitation Only  Deadlines  Application process  Funding range (sometimes)  Areas of focus  Programmatic  Geographic  Contact information
  12. 12. February 19, 2010 Sources for information  Foundation Center  Library  Grants.gov  Google  Corporate and Foundation websites  Guidestar.org  Donor lists of similar organizations  NOZA (www.nozasearch.com)
  13. 13. February 19, 2010 Next level research: Personal Contact  To ask if this is of any interest  If you can’t find basic information anywhere else  If it’s a closed foundation but you personally know someone there  If you think your project fits within scope, but you’re not sure  If they don’t say you CAN’T call
  14. 14. February 19, 2010 Applying for a Grant
  15. 15. February 19, 2010 Follow Directions!  Determine funder requirements in research stage  Put things in their order
  16. 16. February 19, 2010 Types  Letter of Intent  Full Proposal  Follow Up Proposal
  17. 17. February 19, 2010 Letter of Intent  Usually one to three pages  Executive Summary of Project  Lets funder make initial evaluation or in the case of more informal funders, can be the only proposal
  18. 18. February 19, 2010 Full Proposal  Structure varies from funder to funder  Usually very detailed and involves lots of rules  Sometimes this can be the initial and only contact with a funder
  19. 19. February 19, 2010 Follow Up Proposal  Usually at funder's request  Sometimes may be as detailed as a full proposal  Huge variation in structure
  20. 20. February 19, 2010 Who needs to be involved  CEO or Executive Director  Program director  Volunteers sometimes  Finance director  YOU
  21. 21. February 19, 2010 Make it engaging!
  22. 22. February 19, 2010 Classic story structure “Introduce your hero, get him up a tree, throw rocks at him, then get him out of the tree.” Robert McKee, Screenwriting Guru Or George M. Cohan, depending on where you check
  23. 23. February 19, 2010 Classic Story Structure  Introduce Protagonist
  24. 24. February 19, 2010 Classic Story Structure  Introduce Protagonist  Inciting Incident
  25. 25. February 19, 2010 Classic Story Structure  Introduce Protagonist  Inciting Incident  Identify Obstacles and Barriers
  26. 26. February 19, 2010 Classic Story Structure  Introduce Protagonist  Inciting Incident  Identify Obstacles and Barriers  Propose a solution and make the funder part of it
  27. 27. February 19, 2010 Evaluation measures  Qualitative  Quantitative  How will this impact the community or end user?  NOT how it will impact your organization, necessarily
  28. 28. February 19, 2010 Editing  Especially important for group written proposals  Get outside input
  29. 29. February 19, 2010 Submit and Follow Up  Don't be late!  Follow directions  Site visits if necessary  Okay to call if they say it's okay to call  Okay to ask for feedback once they make contact
  30. 30. February 19, 2010 Proposal Writing Steps  Follow directions!  Determine the proposal type  Identify the players  Gather your facts and story  Set real evaluation measures  Save time for editing  Submit to the funder
  31. 31. February 19, 2010 Reporting  You're not done yet!  Budget time for grant management
  32. 32. February 19, 2010 Pet Peeves
  33. 33. February 19, 2010 How to turn off a funder  All data, no story  Fluffy needs statement  Not following instructions  All qualitative evaluation measures  Unrealistic budget  Bad grammar, unprofessional presentation  One size fits all proposal  Late proposal  Trying to circumvent the process
  34. 34. February 19, 2010 Questions?
  35. 35. February 19, 2010 Thank You! Alice L. Ferris, MBA, CFRE Partner GoalBusters LLC alice.ferris@goalbusters.net www.goalbusters.net www.twitter.com/goalbusters

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