Helping Nonprofits Communicate

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5 Tips for Writing a Winning Grant

The other day we were asked for our best grant writing advice. Here are our top five best suggestions:

5. Don’t abbreviate anything until you’ve defined it first. Spell out program names, organization names, acronyms that define you clients, etc. on first reference, and include the abbreviation in parentheses just after. Then you can use the abbreviation from there on out. Don’t assume that everyone speaks your organization’s language. Example: Nonprofit Media Solutions (NMS) was co-founded by Lori and Betsy. NMS helps small to mid-sized nonprofits with a variety of communications.

4. Statistics are great for painting a picture of need, and they don’t have to be statistics the organization has determined. Is there a task force that collects data on your organization’s issue? Use their data but credit them if it helps you make your case. For example, a feeding initiative might know that poverty creates hunger, and might cite data from a nearby university that states where your state falls against the rest of the nation with regard to programming to alleviate hunger.

3. Paint the picture of need before getting into the program specifics of an organization. Start with the big picture, then narrow down on what your organization is doing to combat the problem. And, your organization doesn’t have to solve the whole problem. Likely, the whole problem is big. What thing are you doing to try to lighten the load for one set of circumstances, or one population or community?

2. Don’t create more work for yourself. If you say you’re going to create a program that doesn’t already exist if you win the money, if you win the money, you have to come up with a new program. If you’re not prepared to do that, make sure you have a plan in place to use the money for existing programming.

1. Include anticipated outcomes. They sound optimistic but show a potential grant funder that you already have a plan in place should your organization be awarded their money.

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