I have been volunteering as a Grant Writer for a few non-profit organizations; While each organization is different in terms of needs, the community it serves and operating budget etc., however some elements of grant writing are similar.
Lets take a look at some of these important elements of writing a successful grant application.
- Keep in mind that most funders have a process for accepting grant applications which mostly starts with an eligibility test, followed by a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and if accepted, it is followed by the full-fledged grant application. One must pay attention to the deadlines for each of these processes.
- While writing a grant application, it helps to have a crisp Mission statement for the non-profit and use it appropriately in the application. It also helps to show how the non-profit’s mission aligns with that of the funder.
- While writing a grant application, it helps to highlight important milestones and achievements of the non-profit in order to show progress since inception and emphasize why the requested grant is needed.
- Couple of other important parameters to include in a successful grant application is the community that the non-profit serves and how rich its board members are. It helps to highlight how these board members’ experience helps in achieving the non-profit goals.
- Budget is an important component of the application and should be described in an easy to understand narrative and figures. Pie charts etc. can also be used in a full-fledged application.
- Most importantly, all funders will provide you a word limit on the LOI and grant application. Make sure you don’t cross that and make your application crisp and easy to understand.
There are obviously other factors to consider which may be specific to each non-profit organization; However the above pointers should help you get started.