One of the first questions Fundraising Newbies ask me is “How can I get grants to fund my organization?”
They’ve heard of other nonprofits getting grants and they want their share, too.
I don’t like to see anyone leave grant money on the table. In other words, I like to see nonprofits getting all the grant money they can.
And that takes some planning and strategy.
What I like most about the book is that it’s full of sample language, checklists, and stories that make it interesting and give the reader ideas about what they can do immediately to get more grants.
I was fortunate to get a copy of the book from Barbara Floersch at the Granstmanship Center to review. Here are some of the things I highlighted in my copy:
- Establishing credibility with a funder is an important step and can set the stage for getting funded. Lots of nonprofits skip this and go straight to talking about their programs. Early in the book, there’s a section on how to do this in a grant proposal.
- New nonprofits can be at a disadvantage when it comes to getting grants. Lots of foundations look for nonprofits with at least a few years of experience. In the book, there are several ideas for ways that new nonprofits can give themselves a boost in getting grant money.
- Describing the problem being addressed trips up lots of nonprofits. Sometimes, people get in a hurry and try to slap a proposal together without really thinking through each section. Being clear about the problem and the cause of the problem, and being able to accurately communicate it in writing can give great strength to your proposal. The book helps the reader distinguish between the problem and its cause, and understand what data will best support the proposal’s request.
- Outcomes are a hot topic these days. Years ago, you could ask for funding from a foundation with a message of “trust us” and get money. Well, no more. Today, you need to be able to accurately describe what you’ll do with a funder’s money and what outcomes you’ll achieve. Funders want to know what they’re getting for their investment in your nonprofit. The book has a whole section on outcomes to help the reader understand how to best talk about them, and how they’re different from programs. There’s also a section on Logic Models with examples to help the reader understand how they can be used in a grant proposal.
- Lots of people who work in nonprofit claim that they aren’t a ‘numbers person’ and use that as an excuse to avoid creating a solid budget to include with their grant proposal. Unfortunately, these folks don’t usually get the grant. A budget tells the story in numbers while the narrative tells the story in words. In the book, there’s a great section on creating a budget, along with what should go in the budget, justifying what you’ve included, and what indirect expenses can be included. There are several templates and examples in this section to make it easy for the numbers novice to get a handle on this important section.
If you either want to write grants and haven’t gotten started or are currently writing grants but not getting as much funding as you’d like, I recommend you get your hands on a copy of this book. There’s a lot of wisdom for you to gain in a couple of hundred pages.
The book is laid out well and is easy to read. I’m sure you’ll refer back it often as you perfect your own grantwriting skills.
Get yours at www.grantsmanshipcenter.com.