10 Secrets to Writing Grants that Get FundedWritten by Cheryl Antier
1. Understand needs of grantors. Behind every foundation grant is a philosophy, intention or basic principal. These principles not only determine how grants are funded, if you pay attention, they will also tell you how to approach foundation and what areas of your proposal are most important to foundation. Before you even start writing grant, you need to: Find out about granting organization and understand reasons they are offering grants Determine what they want in return for funds —positive publicity, leverage of funds, provide vehicle for in-house volunteers? Discover who actually will be reviewing your application — is it director, a funding or grants committee, bureaucrats? If information isn’t available on their Website, ask for examples of recently funded projects, and also for some that have been rejected.
2. Develop your proposal to fit application. You have a great idea, you've identified a need, and you've got tools to make it work. And you have found a grantor who shares your goals. But you still have to make sure that your project matches funding guidelines of each potential funder. Make sure major budget items in your project are clearly eligible for funding. If only part of your project is relevant to a particular funding opportunity then find other way to fund rest of project, and let them know (this not only shows them how resourceful you are, it will ensure that you have enough money to actually fund your project). Use restrictions and guidelines of grant opportunity to make sure that you’ve thought your project through and have planned for all contingencies. If you don’t understand what funder needs or wants, ASK — don’t make assumptions. Look at your project through eyes of grant reviewer. Where is your project weak? What are it’s strengths? Are you duplicating services? Do you have capacity to carry out work? If you’ve got any doubts, now’s time to address them. 3. Make sure that you understand and can comply with eligibility requirements and regulations you must comply with. It's a waste of everyone’s time and resources to apply for grants whose requirements are beyond your resources. Be certain you understand what you’re getting into — including grant deadlines, scope of work, reports, etc. Can your organization commit to contract and other legal requirements? If application process takes a long time and funding is not for six months to a year, will your project still be relevant and ready to go?
4. Get a second opinion, and ask for help when you need it. Often people don't flock to help with fundraising activities. (I don’t know why!). But, if you’re new to proposal writing and you’re taking on grant writing job for your organization, once you’ve done research and know what it’s going to take to put together a winning grants package, ask for help you need from others in your organization. Get someone else to proofread your application, and make sure that it’s clear and compelling. A confusing application will end up in discard pile. When possible, ask someone who knows little or nothing about project, because if they can understand need, urgency and goals of project, you have a better chance that so with grant reviewer. The budget is one of most important parts of your application. If you don’t understand them, get help from your accountant or someone who does. Don’t be afraid to ask grantor for help. Don’t expect them to write application, but they can answer specific questions and even help you to brainstorm ideas. 5. Bring your own resources to table. Even if you’re not applying for a “match grant” every funder wants to get maximum “bang for their buck”. Identify partners, associated projects, volunteers, supporters, donors, resources, etc. You want to give them sense that you are able to stretch resources you receive to maximum amount. Provide documentation that you have more time, resources and expenditures invested into project than amount you’re requesting funds for. Funders want to fund projects that are important and valuable. Show that you have resources from a variety of places; broader support better. This will demonstrate that you’re a good risk. 6. Show public support for your project. Every project can benefit from grass-roots support and involvement. Document support. This can come from a record of volunteers, testimonials from clients, newspaper clippings, letters of support, etc. Go beyond support from “usual suspects”. Think outside box — who else in community would benefit from your project, or support it? (Think of corporate volunteers, other organizations who are in a similar line of work, or who have similar issues, your local city council members or other politicians, youth or church groups, etc.) Provide ways for volunteers to help with your project, even in beginning stages. Keep track of hours spent, take pictures, get letters of support.
The look in her eyes – Part 1Written by Deepshikha Mohapatro
Fire, fire, Natasha heard people shouting, she ran out of her house and saw that there was fire everywhere. There seemed to be so much of light all around her that she could not see anything. There is nothing like certainty in life things can change any time, any minute. Her mind was spinning; she suddenly remembered that her baby was sleeping inside house. She ran back into house. She looked at clock hanging on wall. It was 11 pm. She had seen this before, surely she had. The same clock same time; she had heard same noises.
Something was very familiar about this scene. It seemed like she had lived this before. Nancy tried to put away her thoughts.