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Planning Your Grant Writing Campaign: Tips for Staying Organized (Part 1)

So your fundraising events are going well, but your organization needs to find and apply for grant money to fund programs. Overwhelmed? Not sure where and how to start? Gather up your team. Mark off some meeting time on your calendar and put your heads together (delegate someone to bring the coffee and snacks). Here’s how to take it step by step.

Look at your budget honestly. What do you need to run your organization? How much of that can you count on from fundraising events, individual donors and other methods? What are your fundraising priorities? Write them out.Rank your program areas in order of which ones have the most funding priority. What’s your magic number? How much needs to be raised in your specific time frame (maybe your next fiscal year, or in the next six to 12 months)?

Since about one in every three grants gets funded, multiply your target by three. For example, if you need to raise $300,000 from private and corporate foundations, make your goal $900,000 to $1 million.

Consider where you’ve had funding success in the past couple years. Can you apply for those same grants again in the next year? If you’ve not received some of the funding you’ve applied for and gotten good feedback as to why, consider reapplying with your new knowledge to help you.

Now, think about areas for which you’ve never received grant funding. Perhaps you’ve added a new component for your programming this year. Or maybe you’ve added a new client demographic to those you were already serving. Do some research. Where are some likely areas where funding might be granted in these areas?

Finally, think BIG. What are your pie-in-the-sky grant wishes? Shoot for the moon. Which foundations or corporations would you approach that you’d be so thrilled to receive money from them you’d shout their praises from the rooftops? Write them down.

Now, go back through your list and make sure there’s the right balance among your priority programs, realistic and dream goals, and your overall number that needs to be reached. Clean up your list of goals and get it all ready. Next up: grant research.

This post is the first in a four-part series. To receive a white paper outlining the entire process, email us.

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