Many nonprofits may be searching for additional grant revenue to replace some funding that is being cut. Here are some suggestions for looking at new grant opportunities. These strategies work for foundation grants as well as government grants and contracts:
- Research potential funders by area of interest, past grants given to similar organizations, and funder's guidelines.
- Select a small number of prospects from the list.
- Submit letters of intent (LOIs), paying close attention to the funder’s priorities and LOI requirements.
- Submit a full proposal. In the case of larger proposals, give yourself 30-45 days if possible. Develop multiple drafts of the narrative, making sure that you answer the funder’s questions, using their outline and their language. Don’t change the order of elements, or go off on a tangent. Stick to the basics. Review, edit, refine, and hone each element until it shines.
- Start working on letters of support, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), and other attachments early.
- Set up an area where you can lay out all of the different elements of the proposal, so that you can easily see what is in place and what still needs to be assembled.
- Double-check the budget to ensure it is correct.
- Have others give the package a final check.
Anne Hays Egan, New Ventures Consulting
© 2009, New Ventures Consulting
Anne Hays Egan is president of New Ventures Consulting, a firm that works regionally and nationally with nonprofit agencies, networks, and national organizations as well as state associations, management assistance centers, government agencies, community planning groups, and grantmakers. New Ventures focuses on organizational development and sustainability; Anne Hays Egan has helped hundreds of organizations throughout the country build capacity.