Earlier this week we saw an article on Non-Profit2.0 called “7 Reasons Your Grant Proposals Are Being Rejected.” In it, Charlie Hullihen explains his list of don’ts, and we’re in full agreement with him. One of the big recommendations we make when evaluating a nonprofit’s grant writing history is to see a grant proposal as an opportunity to really tell your organization’s story. Sure, potential funders want to see that your organization manages its money and doesn’t have too much debt, meets the needs of the community and has solid programming in place.
Things we don’t see enough of are the numbers that reflect an organization’s impact. Make every proposal answer the question, “Because the organization did what it did, what positive impact did it bring to the community?” Get detailed with your demographics. Be sure to note any changes in your population served, as it may signal something else going on in your community.
Tell your potential grant maker how you define success in your organization. How do you know when you’ve done well? Cite the statistics and client testimonials that paint the picture you want to portray.
Don’t forget to elaborate on the diverse skill set of your board. What do they bring to the table? What is the organization able to accomplish because they are there that might not happen otherwise?
Give grant makers solid evidence that funding your organization will get major results, allowing it to continue making a strong impact.