Maximizing Grant Writing Success with These Quick Steps
You have returned from a meeting with your Board of Directors, where you’ve been tasked with finding, identifying, and applying for new grant programs for your nonprofit. At first, this may seem a daunting process, but by taking a few easy steps to prepare, the whole process will be a breeze!
Before you dive into searching for grants to find that perfect one, SOURCE suggests that you take a minute to get all of the important information together. Below are some common components you’ll need for grant applications:
1) Mission and Values: Make sure you have a document that clearly outlines your nonprofit’s mission and values. This will be very valuable when you start writing grants to make sure that you are aligning your application with your nonprofit’s language.
2) Financial Records: Most grant applications require a basic budget for the proposed project, so make sure you know your budget very well. Preferably, ask for the budgets going back at least two years, and also have your nonprofits 990 forms on hand. These can be very useful if the grant application asks for past information. Also, gather a list of all of your previous major funders, including past grants. Grantmakers like to know that you’ve been trusted by others in the past, so knowing all of the past individuals and organizations that have been involved in your organization will be very important.
3) Strategic or Business Plan: It’s important to know where the Board believes your nonprofit is going. If there’s confusion within, that will definitely deter grantmakers who want to make a worthy investment. Be comfortable speaking about where your nonprofit hopes to be in the next three to five years.
4) Corporate Documents: Locate your IRS tax exemption letter, among other important documents. Many grantmakers ask that you include a photocopy of your IRS letter in your application.
Compiling this information will not only make applying for grants easier, but it will also make you much more comfortable talking about all of the details of your nonprofit, which will make your grant application stand above the others!
If you have any questions about grant writing, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!