Grant Writing: Best Practices for Nonprofits

For every non-profit gathering, funds come before accomplishing goals. Grants are perhaps the most comprehensive source of funds. Billions of dollars are awarded to nonprofits every year. These grants for nonprofits can help them survive or even thrive! Therefore it is safe to assume that the grant writer holds a key role in a nonprofit. We shall help you answer questions such as how to write a grant proposal? What to include? And what language can you use?

The Importance of Grant Writing

Grant writing is no easy task. For those of you tasked with coming up with the grant proposal, you will have to be persistent, factual, and effective in communication. You will be required to do thorough research, and outline the goals of the nonprofit in a very neat and concise manner. Apart from spending hours and weeks on drafting a proposal, you will also have to find a grant that is best suited for your organization. You also need to ensure that the values of the grant align with your nonprofit and they have shown an inclination for similar causes in the past.

With a mountain of tasks ahead, the thought of crafting a grant proposal might sound daunting. To ease your burden, we have curated some points that can help you increase the effectiveness of your grant proposal.

Things you can do to maximise your grant’s effectiveness

Follow the Rs

While you might be due diligently researching about the grant foundation, you will have little to no idea who is going to review your grant proposal. The grantor could be a subject matter expert and they have some training, however, you will never know how qualified they are or what experience they hold in the industry. This level of uncertainty means that your grant proposal needs to be watertight. You want to leave a lasting impression on the grantor.

There is an unspoken rule that you should follow, this rule is the 5 Rs of grant seeking. The five Rs are readiness, research, relationships, writing, and reporting. The idea is to be prepared with your research on the grant and the grantmaker, build a lasting relationship with the members of the grant foundation, prepare a perfect draft, and document the results of the funding. Following these principles shows the grant foundation your predisposition for the cause and will ensure that you are in line for future funding.

Ensure that you and the grant are a good fit

Often rookies make the mistake of applying to multiple grants. While it is a good idea to keep your options open, more often than not, a lot of these grant foundations will not be in the same tangent as your nonprofit and its goals. While doing your research, you should ensure that you select grant foundations whose interests and donation history matches your organization’s mission statement.

You should also ensure that you follow the grant proposal guidelines set by the foundation. Each foundation has unique guidelines and you need to explain how your nonprofit fits those guidelines.

Narrate your story

Storytelling is a compelling way to get funds. By storytelling we do not just mean that you need to narrate the tale of your foundation, rather, you weave a story on how your foundation has created a positive impact in society. By narrating a story, you are adding a human touch to your proposal and are appealing directly to the humanity of the grantors and showcasing to them the real-world effects of your effort.

You can curate interviews from volunteers, donors, and the people that have directly benefited from the work your organization has put in. The compilation of interviews can be woven into a story that separates your proposal from the others.

Answer the relevant questions

Your grant proposal must answer every question that can already be in the mind of a grantor. Having an unclear objective or goal can be detrimental to the chances of your grant proposal being accepted. Here are some questions you must answer in your grant proposal:

  1. What need does your organization fulfill in the community?
  2. How is your nonprofit different from the other organizations in the same field?
  3. How will your organization make a difference? Answer with the specific actions you plan to take and how will your nonprofit allocate the funds you receive.
  4. How will your organization survive after exhausting the funds? You need to make sure your figures are accurate and that your nonprofit has a plan to accrue more funds in the future.

Be concise

You mustn’t use complex words and jargon in your grant proposal. You do not want wayward thoughts and phrases to be the center of attention in your proposal. By using easy-to-read language and statements that clearly outline the aims of your organization, you will be able to persuade people to grant you funds.

How can you check if your grant proposal is easy to understand? You can get it reviewed by an outsider, preferably one who does not know anything about the matter. If they get a clear idea of what your organization aims to achieve through your proposal, then you are doing a good job.

Outline your objectives

The most important part of your grant proposal is to outline the objectives. You need to make sure that you have written about your nonprofit’s specific objectives. Go through the checklist and ask yourself are your objectives quantifiable, achievable, realistic, and relevant? If your grant proposal can cover all these details about your objective, you will have no trouble appealing to any foundation.

Final thoughts

If you thoroughly apply these elements to your grant proposal, you will have created a document that can be very appealing to grant foundations. Remember, you will need to create multiple drafts and try to improve every aspect of the proposal before you submit it.

If you have any questions, please ask below!