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Grantwriting for Success

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 39

									GRANT WRITING FOR SUCCESS
Kirsten M. Johnson
EXPERIENCE WITH GRANTWRITING
 How many people have written…
  Fewer than 5 grants
  10 or more grants
  More than you can count
KIRSTEN M. JOHNSON
 10+ years sharing the stories of nonprofit organizations
  through communications and fundraising materials.
 Writing published in books, magazines and online
  publications.
 Government, corporate, and private foundation
  proposals.
 Program expertise in aging services, youth development,
  and homeless services.
SESSION OVERVIEW
Skills needed to succeed in   What we will cover in today’s
grantwriting:                 session:

 Writer                       Simplifying the writing
 Researcher                    process
 Relationship Builder         Successful grant seeking
                                strategies
                               Research resources

                               Building relationships
“I hate writing,
   I love having
        written.”
    - Dorothy Parker
If you write grants,
  you are a writer.
All writers
experience
 writer’s
  block.
WRITING IS A THREE STEP PROCESS
 Planning
 Drafting
 Editing
PLANNING
   Making the case
        What is the problem or need?
        Why should someone invest in your work to solve it?


   Creating an outline
        Main points to make your case
        Funder questions, RFP, etc.


   Doing your research
        Funder Information
        Reader Analysis

        Program Information
DRAFTING
   Free form writing
        Resist the urge to edit
        Consider turning off your monitor


   Getting your main points down on paper
          Editing a draft is far easier than editing a blank page
   Stopping to edit at designated points
          Decide if you will stop each paragraph, section, etc.
EDITING
   Polishing what you have written
           Take time away from the proposal before you edit
 Improving clarity, style, length
 Having someone else read your proposal
           An editor from outside your program, field, etc. is especially
            valuable



PROOFREADING
   Final stage of editing
       Spelling
       Grammar
       Format
“On average today’s readers
have an attention span of 15
       words per sentence.”
               - Robert Gunning
FORMATTING

 How you format your
  proposal
 1. has a major impact on READABILITY.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL FORMATTING
 Maximize white space
 Paragraphs should be no more than 6 lines long

 Create variety through use of different paragraphs, lists,
  and subheadings
 All lists should be in bullet form
       “Bullet Sandwich”
 Indicate changes in topic with highlighted subheadings
 Use a general to specific pattern
       Subheadings and introductory sentences
   Use tables and graphs
         Top 10
 Do’s and Don’ts
of Grant Writing
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                            1
 Don’t waste your time on proposals to funders that
  aren’t interested in your work.
 Do your research, know a funders interests and if they
  are a good fit for your organization.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                           2
 Don’t create a proposal template and reuse it for every
  funder.
 Do follow the instructions and format your proposal
  according to the funders outline, questions, or RFP.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                          3
 Don’t assume your reviewer knows more (or less) than
  they do.
 Do conduct a simple reader analysis and tailor your
  proposal to your readers needs.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                            4
 Don’t neglect the proposal budget.
 Do realize that many reviewers read the budget first – it
  needs to tell the same story as your proposal.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                             5
 Don’t present an overview of the work of your organization.
 Do make a compelling case: problem, solution, alignment.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                            6
 Don’t turn your proposal in at the last minute.
 Do get your proposal in early, using regular mail delivery.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                           7
 Don’t spend your whole proposal talking about the
  problem.
 Do provide an overview of the problem, and the outline
  the specific solution you intend to implement.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                            8
 Don’t describe your work only in generalities, use buzz
  words, or trendy concepts.
 Do list concrete, specific outcomes and tie each step of
  your plan to achieving your goals.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                           9
 Don’t try to change your organization to fit a funders
  guidelines.
 Do stick to your mission, be honest, and focus on where
  your goals genuinely align with a funders.
    TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRANT WRITING


                           10
 Don’t create a document that is packed with data, but
  ultimately boring to read.
 Do paint a picture for your reader by telling the story of
  your organization and the work you want to do.
“As anyone who has ever painted a room
  knows, at least 80 percent of the job is
       in the preparation. The same can
               be said for grantseeking.”
                          - Cheryl Clarke
DOING YOUR RESEARCH
 Prospect Research
 Community Need

 Program Information
PROSPECT RESEARCH
 Private Funders
 Corporate Funders

 Government Funders
COMMUNITY NEED
 Federal, State, and County Research
 Journal Articles and Conference Presentations

 National Organizations, i.e. AARP, Alzheimer’s
  Association, MetLife
 Local and Regional Organizations, i.e. Wilder Research,
  Aging Services of MN, MAAA
 Twin Cities Compass
PROGRAM INFORMATION
 Mission, Vision, Core Programs
 Strategic Plan

 Business Plan

 Program Service Descriptions

 Participant Demographics

 Program Outcomes
Myth: You have to know someone
         in order to get funding.

  Fact: Complete and compelling
           proposals get funded.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
 The real advantage to knowing a funder, is that they
  know more about your work
 Building relationships is a skill all grant writers need
INTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS
 Executive Director
 Accounting Staff

 Development Staff

 Program Staff

 Board Members
COLLEAGUE RELATIONSHIPS
 Collaborative Partners
 Learning Communities

 Program Champions
EXPERT RELATIONSHIPS
 Public Sector Employees
 Researchers

 National and Local Trade Organizations
FUNDER RELATIONSHIPS
 Program Officers
 Trustees
STEPS TO DEVELOPING A RELATIONSHIP WITH
A NEW FUNDER
 Review existing relationships
 Introductory phone call

 Ask them for a meeting

 Send a letter of inquiry

 Call after an award or denial letter

 Invite them to special events

 Attend conferences, events, etc. where they will be
  speaking
        MCN Philanthropy Leaders Breakfast Series
“Writing comes more easily if
 you have something to say.”
              - Sholem Asch
QUESTIONS?

								
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