Things to remember when you write your grant.
Grantwriters must have discipline. Your grant application must be organized, and planned. Foundations that award grants look for specific information about the program that is applying for funds. They expect a detailed explanation about how the funds will help the program and how the program will continue to function after the funds are spent.
Writing the proposal and doing the research do not cost a lot of money, if any at all, but it does take a lot of time. Plan in advance to apply for a grant. Think in terms of at least one year in advance. Some grant applications deadline quarterly. Some are open all year while others accept application only once every year so be prepared.
Grant writing is a full time job. If you do not have a grantwriter on your staff, it is important to the organization to have someone or a core group of stakeholders always looking for funds. Programs usually know exactly what they need; they just may not know how to put it into language that makes grantwriting sense. A grant application must be:
Keep all of the margins, type font, spacing and other technical aspects consistent throughout the entire application. When and if you use charts or other graphics they should be clear and easy to understand. If the application says write the application in 10 point Times Roman type double spaced, that is exactly what it means. It makes it easy for a foundation to have consistent type. Remember you are adjusting to what they need, Do not expect them to adjust to what you want.
Easy to read
Plan everything and assume nothing. The first person who reads your proposal might be a financial analyst who looks for sound financial planning and whether or not overall proposal fits within the financial scope the foundation. They might have an MBA from Harvard University and know nothing about non profit programs. Make sure it is financially plausible, easy to read and intellectually sophisticated. Research your funders thoroughly. There are search engines that can help you find funders.
Start with your local community foundation. They are a wealth of information and very helpful. Ask organizations that have received a grant what they did and how they did it. Most will be happy to help.
Do a through research of the foundation you are applying to for funds. They might fund other components of a start up program than you are not looking for. You might be looking for start up funds for fixed cost and they might have funds exclusively for client services.
Find out who else is doing what you want to do, who else the foundation has funded, who has applied and why their program was funded or did not get funded.
Learn about collaboratives. It is very important to know what organizations in you community can support you in you efforts to be successful.
Tell funders exactly what you want to do. Tell them how long it will take to achieve you goal and how will you do this?
Is you mission to increase the awareness that a problem exist in the community before you can increase the services needed? Will an increase in service decrease the problem? Do you need to collaborate with another organization to do this? Have a fiscal sponsor. Most if not all foundations will not take a chance on giving a new organization money if they do not have a financial record of accomplishment. Remember our Harvard MBA?
Most important is to understand that you will achieve your mission even though it might not happen then way you want it to or when you plan for it to happen. Keep praying, read the bible and most of all good luck.