How To Write A Nonprofit Grant: Basics



This introduction will help give a general overview of nonprofit grant writing. If you are looking for more in-depth information about grant writing, Grantstation is an amazing resource. 9to5 Founder has an amazing partnership with Granstation that provides organizations with a year Grantstation membership for only $95 (Retail: $169). You can access the discount membership HERE.


When you're writing a request for a grant, it's important that you follow the instructions carefully. Most grants have specific requirements and guidelines as far as what they are looking to fund. You also need to make sure that your organization is qualified to receive the grant.


Writing a nonprofit grant is a carefully structured process that involves getting to know the funder, putting together a strong story about your organization, and fully demonstrating how you will invest the funds.

Writing a nonprofit grant is a carefully structured process that involves getting to know the funder, putting together a strong story about your organization, and fully demonstrating how you will invest the funds.


The first step in the process is understanding what type of funder you will be working with. Most foundations have very specific criteria for what they fund, so it’s important to read through their guidelines before starting your proposal. Once you have that information in hand and can identify what type of foundation it is (or if you don't know yet), then it's time to get to know them better.


Describe your nonprofit's mission and share other information that helps explain your goals and objectives.

You can use this section to describe your nonprofit's mission and share other information that helps explain your goals and objectives. You may want to consider the following:

  • What is the purpose of your organization?

  • Why does it exist?

  • What are its goals and objectives?

  • How do these align with those of funders or investors who might be interested in supporting you financially (i.e., a public foundation that supports sustainability efforts within local communities)?

Write a compelling story that explains why you need the grant.

You need to tell a compelling story that explains why you need the grant. This is where you should focus most of your energy. Remember, if they don't understand what your organization does and why you need this money, they can't write a winning proposal for you.

You should start by answering these questions: What do we want to accomplish? How will this help our community? How will it help others? Why are we important enough for others in our community or beyond it (the grantmaker's community) to care about us and support us with their resources?


Include a cover letter with your contact information, the date and the name of the person who has been assigned to handle the grant.

The cover letter should include the following:

  • Your contact information (name, address, phone number)

  • The date of the letter

  • The person's name who has been assigned to handle the grant

The name of the funder, program and grant should also be included.


Get to know the grantmaker.

  • Research the grantmaker.

  • Understand their mission and priorities.

  • Understand their focus, including geographic areas they serve, populations they fund, and/or issues they support.

  • Get a sense of what they have funded before. You can find this information in various places: foundation websites (for example, [https://www.nprstationsfoundation.org/about/mission](http://bitly-link) or by reviewing past grantmaking histories in databases like Guidestar (http://www.guidestar.org).

Make sure your grant request falls within the funding guidelines and meets all requirements.

Your grant request should fall within the funding guidelines and meet all requirements. For example, some organizations will only fund public health initiatives and others may focus on social services. You'll also want to make sure that you have the right type of funding (grants vs. contracts) as well as amount ($500 to $50,000+). For example, if you're writing a grant for an emergency shelter in your community, it would be inappropriate to ask for more than $5k because this would be considered a huge sum compared with what such organizations usually receive from charitable giving. Note: if your nonprofit operates at several locations across the country with multiple offices and staff members, then it may make sense for one location to take on some expenses so others can remain operational during tough times without losing any essential services like child care centers or job training workshops."


Include data and research that shows this type of project works.

Include data and research that shows this type of project works. Grant agencies want to know that the nonprofit you’re working with has a track record of success, so don’t just rely on testimonials or stories. Include data showing how similar projects have impacted the community and what their outcomes were.


Give an example of a past successful project, if possible.

Grant reviewers will be looking for evidence that the nonprofit can use funds wisely and effectively. If you have a previously successful project that you can show, even better. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your organization’s track record of using grants wisely and what it has learned from previous projects.


The more detail you can provide, the better. It shows how committed your organization is to doing good work—and that its leaders know what they are doing!


Explain why your nonprofit is qualified to execute its program.

You should state why your nonprofit is qualified to execute its program, and what makes it unique. Your organization should be able to demonstrate that it has the experience and expertise necessary to run the proposed project. This can include past successes of similar programs conducted by your organization, or in other organizations with which you have worked closely. You may also need to provide evidence of the qualifications of key staff members who would be directly involved in executing the project.


Show how you're going to use the grant money if you get it.

When you write the application, it's important to explain how you'll use the money if you get it. This is called a budget, and it helps the funder know that you're not stealing their money by giving them a detailed explanation of how they can see where their money will be used.

You should also include a timeline of when each step of your project or program will take place so that they know when funding becomes available and when it ends. For example, if your organization buys supplies for a tutoring program at two different times throughout the year (spring and fall), then be sure to explain this in your proposal so that potential funders don't think all $10,000 is going toward one event instead of being spread out over multiple events throughout the year!


Finally, make sure that any paperwork relating to grants includes an explanation as well as proof from other sources explaining why something costs what it does (such as "the cost per unit" or "$5 per hour per person").


Conclusion

The best way to get funding for your nonprofit is by writing a strong grant proposal that demonstrates how your organization will benefit from the funds. It's important to follow all of the instructions given by the funder and make sure everything is correct before submitting your application.


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