Top 5 Mistakes by i1zIK7

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									                                      Top 5 Most Frequent Mistakes



1) Trying to fit a social service project into an economic development box

Although we do give points for contributing to the quality of life for Humboldt Residents, the primary
purpose of the fund is economic development and that should be the purpose of your project. Economic
development as a side benefit is not a strong project for Headwaters. For example, a project to provide
emergency shelter for the homeless. This is a critical community project but the purpose is not to
improve the economy and create jobs – even in the long term.

2) Trying to hide the project’s purpose behind dense academic or scientific language in an attempt to
   impress the Headwaters Fund Board and/or being too verbose

The Headwaters Fund Board wants to understand the story of what you want to accomplish and why –
not an academic treatise on the background of the field you are applying for a grant in. Avoid “grant
speak” and jargon.

3) Wild or improbable unsubstantiated projections for the benefits of your project.

We have heard things like “this project will benefit every single person in Humboldt county’s economic
situation” or “This could easily create 100’s of jobs in the next few years.” Job creation claims should be
substantiated and outcomes of the project concrete and preferably measurable. You can describe the
qualitative benefits – how you will improve the quality of life for residents, but some aspects of our
outcomes should be quantitative.

4) Lack of private industry support

Successful proposals must show the support of the business sector. This is typically demonstrated
through letters of support. You may include up to 5 letters of support with your proposal and these are
very important in demonstrating that you have widespread community support for the project and are
collaborating with the private sector .

5) Proposals which are really asking for ongoing operating support for your organization.

We know this is a hard one for non-profits and understand how frustrating it is to find operational
funding. However, the Headwaters Fund, like most funders does not want to fund ongoing staff salaries
and overhead. We limit our overhead cost in project budgets to 12%. Your project should be something
which is a new or expanded program which will become sustainable after the period of the grant
funding.

								
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