Often my colleagues and I are asked “What’s the best way to receive funding from Allegany Franciscan Ministries?” Our reply is always the same, and is appropriate for most funding sources: have a clear understanding of our organization and be sure to articulate the impact you hope to achieve in the community.
A well-written grant proposal that paints a clear picture of the need and of your solution makes all the difference! And remember, you don’t have to be a “grant writer” to write a grant! Yes, grant applications can be lengthy, time consuming and confusing. Submitting an engaging grant proposal is not a simple, quick process. It takes time, visioning, and reflection. Your completed request should accurately convey who you are, what the needs are, how you will address the need, how the budget and requested funds will support the project design, and how the project will create impact.
Here are my “Top Ten Tips” for stress-free (or at least less-stressed) grant writing:
10. Start early!
9. Read through all materials and related grant documents before beginning to write.
8. Reflect upon your project’s goals and how they relate to our grant-making focus.
7. Work with a team … get folks involved in the project together … talk it through.
6. Ask questions.
5. Answer the question being asked.
4. Follow the “4 C’s” – be clear, consistent, concise and creative!
3. Be realistic about what you can achieve and the funds required to get there.
2. Have someone who wasn’t involved in preparing the proposal, or who isn’t familiar with your organization and/or program, read the application before you submit it.
1. Start early! (yes, this is worth two tips!)
Most funders want you to be successful and achieve funding. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have questions or comments.