Don’t you love a good tip?

I had the fortune to hear a friend of mine, Betsy Baker, give a presentation on grantwriting recently.  She shared a lot of good information, and I wanted to pass on a few tips to you.

Did you know?  Over $38 billion dollars were given to nonprofit organizations from private foundations last year.  That’s a LOT of money!  And that’s just from private foundations.  It doesn’t count government money.

If you’re just getting started with grantwriting, start with a private foundation grant.  They’re easiest.  Don’t start with a government grant.

Be ready to prove that your programs are important to the community.  Your persuasive writing must demonstrate this fact to the grant reader.

When you apply to a potential funder, you are a possible investment for them.  So think about that as you’re putting your proposal together.  Would you fund you?

Talk about the benefits of your programs and projects, not the features.  Features are fact – benefits are emotion.  When you share the impact your nonprofit’s work has on the community, you’re sharing benefits.

Find potential funders that are a good match for the program or project you are seeking funds for.  When you have a hand-in-glove fit, you’re much more likely to get funded.

So do your homework before you start to write anything.



  1. Sandy,
    Thanks for sharing these tips with all. I’m chuckling because the very first grant I ever wrote was a government grant to USAID for $500,000. Luckily, I was part of a great team pulling it together. We got funded, but I’ll bet that I’d cringe today at the grant’s construction.
    Your readers might appreciate this story about how we finally got a grant we had been seeking but had been turned down for years.

  2. Sandy – I could not agree more on the importance of discussing your benefits and impact to the community in your funding applications. Even better if you are able to clearly demonstrate that return on investment with outcomes data! Keep sharing these great tips and encouraging others that do awesome and important work.

  3. Sandy, great summary to get folks focused. I liked your statement ” to prove that your programs are important to the community”. That is good advice for any type of fundraising activity and an important part of the awareness building your organization will do. Organizations that are good as telling the story of their programs importance, in any and all venues, will get donors and grantors on board.

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