Alan Silver’s book, How to Win Grants: 101 Winning Strategies, lists seven deadly sins of grant seeking. Has your organization committed any of these sins?
1. Don’t ask for money from people who will never give it to you;
- Do ask potential investors who believe in your mission and are passionate about your cause.
2. Don’t shotgun cookie-cutter proposals to long lists of funders;
- Do customize your proposal or case statement to show that your services support the funders’ mission and priority areas.
3. Don’t contact funders until you have learned about their funding priorities, types of projects and grantees, geographic preferences, and all other things you can find out about them;
- Do your research before you contact a potential funder. Look for their priority areas, geographic preferences and previous grantees to see if there is alignment between you and them.
4. Don’t ask for funding before you know exactly what you need;
- Do have a plan that supports the expansion or enhancement that your organization is seeking through this funding request.
5. Don’t submit a grant proposal without having another person read it for meaning, content, and style;
- Do edit and review your proposal internally and perhaps with an external grant consultant.
6. Don’t talk too much about your project and write too little about it; and,
- Do provide documented information to support the value of your organization.
7. Don’t give up too soon. If you have a good idea and you refine its presentation, it’s increasingly likely someone will fund it – maybe even the funder who originally rejected your proposal.
- Do listen to the feedback, make modifications and submit again (to the same funder or a new one).
Adapted from an article in The NonProfit Times.