Change Your Perspective

Serving as a grant program officer changed my perspective about what foundations want from a grantee, and this new viewpoint made me a much better grantwriter . Here are a few things I learned from the “other side of the fence”:

  • It’s not about the money, it’s about the mission. In your proposal, focus less on the money you need and more on your mission and how you will meet the need you’ve identified. Be sure to select a foundation whose mission matches your organization’s mission0. Convincing an organization to contribute to your project is much easier when your project helps them further their mission and reach their goals. Pay attention to what they need and make it a win-win partnership. You can find their mission and goals on their website.
  • Follow the directions. Grantwriting isn’t a graded effort — it’s pass or fail. So include everything in your proposal that the grantmaker requests and answer every question they pose in the Request for Proposals. If you don’t, you won’t get a “C” — you’ll never even be considered.
  • No wishful thinking or sales language. Fully explain every factual statement you make in your proposal – or take it out. How do you KNOW the demand for an alcohol recovery program is high in your region? Are two other programs in your area full and not accepting new clients? Do you have a waiting list? Can you share four newspaper articles from the last two years talking about the need ? Tell the grantmaker and back it up with documentation.

There are more tips for another day, but these three are some of the most important. Practice them to get that project funded!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *