Getting to 'Yes'! The Art of Grantwriting by Samuel Mahaffy


Published on

Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D. is one of the most successful grantwriters in the Northwest U.S. He has assisted more than 500 nonprofits and NGOs around the world. In this presentation, he provides a step-by-step guide to finding sources of grant funding for nonprofits and writing successful grant proposals. Samuel Mahaffy is available to consult with nonprofits seeking a new funding paradigm.

Published in: Self Improvement
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Getting to 'Yes'! The Art of Grantwriting by Samuel Mahaffy

  1. 1. Getting to ‘Yes’! The Art of Grant Writing Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Why Write a Grant? Four Reasons to Write a Grant Application Stimulate Professional Development Enhance Organizational Capacity Improve or Enhance Services FIND FUNDING! Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  3. 3. Grant Writing as an Art A high-quality grant application is: Thoughtfully planned Carefully prepared Concisely packaged Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  4. 4. You CAN write successful grant applications! Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  5. 5. Developing Ideas for the Proposal Document your case with pictures and statistics Articulate a clear need and how you will meet it. Build on your mission Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  6. 6. Do Not ‘Go it Alone’ Gain the Support of your Stakeholders! Organizational support Community support Consider a community advisory committee Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  7. 7. Identifying Funding Resources Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Federal Grants: Foundation Center Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  8. 8. Contact Samuel Mahaffy Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D. is one of the most successful grant writers in the Northwest United States. Along with his Associates he has gained more than $12M in funding for nonprofit programs. Samuel Mahaffy has written more than sixty (60) successful grant applications to federal and state agencies, and regional and national foundations. For many organizations facing financial sustainability issues, he has helped to develop innovative strategies for new funding streams. Samuel Mahaffy has assisted more than five hundred nonprofits and NGOs around the world. He has worked with institutions of higher learning, community and faith-based organizations, and public and private agencies. He offers training to organizations in grantwriting and mentorships to individuals. Samuel Mahaffy is a member of the Academy of Management, an Associate of the Taos Institute, a Founding Member of Comprehensive Nonprofit Services and an independent consultant. He earned his Ph.D. from Tilburg University in the Netherlands through the Taos Institute. Contact information: or Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  9. 9. Getting Organized to Write a Proposal Develop a concept paper Narrow down a list of potential funders Get feedback and dialog about your concept Research—Do your homework!!! Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  10. 10. Basic Components of a Proposal 1. Cover letter 2. Summary or abstract 3. Introductory description of the organization 4. Problem statement or needs assessment 5. Project objectives 6. Project design or methods 7. Expected outcomes 8. Project evaluation 9. Sustainability 10. Project budget Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  11. 11. Most Common Mistakes  Jargon or clichés  Reinventing the wheel  Biting off more than you can chew  No clear outcomes You said what? Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  12. 12. Cover Letter to a Foundation Application • One page • On letterhead • Demonstrate how you meet agency or foundations priorities • Use the funder’s language! • Be professional and respectful Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  13. 13. Proposal Summary: Outline of Project Goals Keep it brief and to the point. Include: Description of the applicant Problem to be addressed Statement of objective Outline of activities or services Evaluation design Expected outcomes Cost/benefit Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  14. 14. Introduction: Presenting a Credible Applicant Brief history of the organization and significant accomplishments Qualifications of professional staff Reference any funding being sought elsewhere Management & decision making structure Organizational structure Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  15. 15. Problem Statement or Needs Assessment Document a formal or informal needs assessment Give evidence of conversations with stakeholders Show who will benefit and how Nature of the problem with hard and specific evidence What are you doing about the problem Existing gaps in addressing the problem (how does your effort fit into others? Show how the problem will be effectively addressed Identify how the effort will be sustained Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  16. 16. Identifying the Core Issue The lack of a program or facility is never the problem. Define the problem correctly. For example, the lack of a medical center in an economically depressed area is NOT the problem. The problem is that people in the area have health needs that are not currently being met, and may not have the resources to find alternatives. Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  17. 17. Project Objectives: Goals and Desired Outcomes Use quantitative language Be specific as to anticipated outcomes Be realistic Do not confuse objectives with methods or strategies Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  18. 18. Program Methods and Program Design: A Plan of Action Activities to occur Staff needed to operate the activity Facilities used, transportation, and support services Diagram the design (draw a picture) Justify the design Highlight innovation and efficiency Provide analysis, timetables, work plans schedules, etc. in appendix when appropriate Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  19. 19. Evaluation Component is Essential! Build evaluation into the design Choose an experienced inside or outside evaluator Describe methods of measurement Formative and summative evaluation Have baseline data available Effectiveness research may win or lose your proposal Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  20. 20. Future Funding • Describe a plan for continuation • Project ongoing income and expense • Demonstrate community support for continuation Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  21. 21. Budget Development  Include salary and benefits in personnel costs and % of effort  Identify contractors and qualifications  Show break-down of non-personnel expenses  Total and summarize each category  Provide justification for the budget  Identify cash or in-kind contributions and know which is which *************************  Use available resources for model budgets  Federal Grants:  Foundation Grants: x.html Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  22. 22. Proposal Appendix Keep it simple Avoid generic items Include staff resumes where appropriate Include data tables and references Organizational documents where appropriate List of Board of Directors and contact information Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  23. 23. Additional Proposal Writing Resources Common Grant Application (National Network of Grantmakers): Grant Writing tip sheet from NIH: Writing a successful grant proposal (Minnesota Council on Foundations) Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.
  24. 24. Reach for the Sky! You can do it!!! Copyright Samuel Mahaffy, Ph.D.