Writing a nonprofit grant proposal may sound simple, but it’s not!
You need to be clear-headed and have all the information required before you start writing. Finding grants is not easy, but when you do, you have to complete the grant application properly. To apply for a grant, some funding bodies, ask you to answer a list of questions. Others will want you to narrate what the objective of your organization is, and how are you going about achieving it.
Here are the tips on How to Write a Nonprofit Grant Proposal that is winning:
1 – Read the Grant Application Carefully
If the organization from which you are seeking a grant sends you instructions on how they want you to apply, read it carefully.
Make notes of the questions asked and highlight them. Funding bodies give grants for specific purposes. Gather the information required to answer the questions correctly.
Assess what purpose is the grant intended to fill. Remember, you must highlight the past and present achievements of your organization and its future goals.
If the grant is intended to protect human rights and your organization is working in this sector, make sure you highlight your organization’s work in this sector.
Sit back and brainstorm. What are your organization’s strong points? Your goals? What are your organization’s strengths and achievements?
After noting down all these points, you can get down to start writing.
2 – Write a Summary
Write a short single paragraph summary describing your request. In this summary:
- Explain who you are
- What is the project you intend to conduct?
- How much funding are you seeking, and how do you intend to use it?
If the funding organization requires a short narrative about your organization, this paragraph should serve that purpose.
3 – Write down an Outline
Writing an outline will help you to organize your thoughts and your plan to write the proposal.
If the grantor’s request for proposal has terms and a prescribed format, follow them.
Expand each point and explain it.
4 – Determine what types of program and projects the granter funds
Never ever assume because there is a significant amount of funding available, and the granter will fund everything.
Granters are very specific and picky about where do they want to spend their money
If the granter wants to fund education and your organization works on climate change, forget it. They will not fund you.
5 – Write the First Draft
Remember, it’s the first draft and not the final proposal. Polishing and writing the final proposal will come later.
This draft helps you to organize your thoughts and the points you have noted. Follow the granter’s clues of what they are seeking. If you fit or even fit in partially, focus on that.
If your organization has partnerships with other or similar groups, highlight that. This helps in establishing your organization’s credibility.
6 – Clearly Define Specific Goals
Don’t be vague in defining the specific goals of your organization. The better you describe them, the more likely is it that you will get funding.
For example, if you say ‘the program will help in saving the environment,’ this will get rejected. If you state ‘the funding will be used to construct a waste to energy plant,’ this will draw attention.
7 – Make It Stand Out
Read your original draft and make it stand out, make it shine. Make sure what you have drafted is clear and precise. Fancy words and long-winded explanations are the shortest routes to the dustbin.
8 – Reread the Funding Proposal
You must make sure that you are following the granter’s format and rules.
For example, if they have specified that the proposal should be emailed to them, don’t even think about faxing it to them.
9 – Create a Budget Specification
Providing numerical details about how you propose to spend the money always helps. The granter gets to know how and where the money will be spent.
10 – Specify the Milestones
Every project has measurable milestones. You must draw-up the milestones and the timeframe in which your organization proposes to achieve them.
Now you can down to finalizing writing your nonprofit grant proposal.
- Cover Letter
- Executive Summary
- Project Details
- Budget Details
- Milestones/measurable achievements
- Any other relevant documents
Make sure you have followed the guidelines and have proofread all your work. Share it with at least two colleagues and get their feedback. Incorporate relevant feedback.
Now you can finalize everything and make sure you have met the required deadline for submitting the nonprofit grant proposal.