I began my journey back in 2015, where I worked for a small nonprofit sector at a small art museum in Austin, Texas. I worked there as a volunteer for about 2 years, before moving to a part time employer and eventually a full-time employer. The organization not only helped me buy my first game console, but taught me a lot in regards to employment. In addition, I also entered a writing contest whilst working there. The organization was kind enough to offer me a grant for which I will be forever grateful of. This helped kickstart my love for reading and writing, during my spare time, I like to read books and write a little bit of science fiction. I gained a thorough understanding of how to write, and how to compose documents to attract potential donors. This was all taught during a small workshop which the organization held when I first started, they taught me the ins and outs of securing investors. At the organization, I have written probably close to a hundred different grant proposals for foundations, government agencies, corporations and individuals.
Through these life experience, I have developed my own unique writing style, and have trained my writing style to be the best it can be. My attention to detail was my highest priority when writing these proposal grants, as they were typically seen by the most important person. I had to ensure that there was absolutely zero grammatical error, and that everything I had written was the truth. I couldn’t say make up anything to make it sound better, and had to ensure that the proposal was attractive and interesting to them. If it was just another proposal, then they wouldn’t bat an eye, and just move on with their day. That’s why I had to make it interesting, keep them hooked on the idea.
Some of my tips on how to write grants.
- Ensure that you know what you are talking about. If you do not have enough experience at the organization, then it may not be at your best interest to sell the idea to someone else. If you don’t understand something, its better to ask questions than be silent. You must also thoroughly understand the reasoning behind why you need this grant funding.
- Understand the constraints and limitations. Know how much budget you are working with, and ask plenty of questions when in doubt.
- If you can’t secure a fund on your first try, don’t just give up. Give it a second try, but try a different approach. Perhaps, pay them a visit personally, or submit an application directly to someone of higher status. Perhaps even set the groundwork to secure funding the next year or sometime in the future.
- Asses whether the project would be a good fit for your organizations mission. Check that your leadership approves of your proposal, you don’t want to be getting in trouble later on for submitting a proposal that isn’t aligned with your organizations values.
- Feel confident and do your research thoroughly. Ensure that you have checked every cranny and nook twice. If a question is asked, be sure to come up with a satisfactory answer.
- Don’t give up. Competition will be tough, as there will be hundreds if not thousands of other applicants also competing against you trying to win the bid. Try to stand out as much as possible, and you must grab the readers attention whether it be via an interesting story or pitch.
- Say Thanks: If you are lucky enough to secure a funding from a vendor, then it’s important that you stay in good terms with them. This can include sending them a thank you letter or better yet paying them a visit with a small gift to show your appreciation for them. This will not only help in the long run but will also present a better image of you to them. This could be the beginning of a long term relationship between them and your organization.
- Don’t take their money and run. Give them frequent updates, invite them to meetings and get involved with them. They’re investing in your organization as they believe in your values, and it’s your job to ensure that they know how their money is being utilized.