Not a gift
Not free money
Not easy to find (most of the time)
Not easy to get
Grants can make the difference between
having an idea and making that idea a reality!
Countless startup companies and
organizations have used grants to create an
enterprise, make an existing business better,
and to improve the lives of the people they
It could be just what you need!!
Don’t limit yourself to one or two sources
Look for a match between your project and
the goals of the funder
Make direct contact with the funder
Request proposal guidelines
Look at previously funded projects by that
Check out the funding floor and ceiling
Pinpoint specific funding priorities
Corporations and LLC’s
Special Interest Groups
Acquire the proposal guidelines
Know the submission deadline
Determine personnel/partnership needs
Acquire permission to include others in the
Gather an informal review panel
Contact the funder if possible
Be direct and concise. More is not always
Be thoughtful and critical about each
Put your feelings out there. Be human!!
Don’t get sidetracked. Keep bringing the
reader back to your “core mission”.
Be honest about the amount of money you
need to accomplish your goal. Don’t be
excessive or extravagant with your budget.
Problem Statement or Needs Statement
Purpose of the grant
Methodology and Strategies (Timeline)
Evaluation & Critique
Organizational Info/ Credentials
Letters of Support
This is your “front porch”
Don’t build the porch before you build the
house. Write this last!!
Your Cover Letter Should Contain Your HOOK.
Sometimes this is all a reviewer will read to
make a decision. Make them want to turn the
Who you (your organization) are
What you do (be brief)
What your idea is
How will it make things better and for whom?
Align with the Funder’s purpose
Limited to one page
Should mention the amount you are asking
This is where you need to move the reader
Be honest and direct
The problem should be easily identified to the
reader in one or two sentences
Give some background and historical
Has a solution been attempted before
Need to be addressed: Explain the extent to
which the project meets the specific purpose
of the source of funds.
How the needs were determined: Describe
how you determined the needs you propose
In other words: How do you know this is what’s
The “meat and potatoes”
How will the money be used to address the
Express that without the funding, the project
will not be possible
The positive impacts of the project (don’t
forget to align with the funder’s purpose and
If you get stuck try this: write one long,
rambling sentence that starts with
“The purpose of this grant is to __________
Write down everything you can think of that
this money will accomplish. Then work on
forming this into paragraphs with supporting
statements. Here is where you need to give
Who’s going to do what?
Step-by-step and can even be bulleted
Be realistic about how much time things will
This is your “road map” to your goal
Clearly know your goals and objectives
Needs to make sense when compared to your
A timeline can be included in an Appenix
Do the methods derive logically from the need
statement and your goals and objectives?
Have you accurately presented the activities you
will be undertaking?
Did you explain why you chose these methods or
Is there a timeline that makes sense?
Have you made it clear who will perform specific
Given the resources you expect to have, are these
How will you assess your project’s success or
Board of Directors
Consumer/ Participant Surveys
Refer to your timeline
Re-evaluate your budget
Revisit your goals
Run your project like a “business”—be honest
Some funders may expect or request a
Be honest and direct
What went right and wrong
Where will you go from here
Be able to provide an accounting of funds
Keep accurate records!!
Be prepared to discuss briefly what happens
when the money runs out.
Can your project sustain itself or will it need
How can you make it sustainable?
This can be added as a paragraph in your
Who/ what is your organization?
How long have you been established?
What successes have you had so far?
What is your core mission?
Who are the key players?
What are their qualifications?
◦ Include resumes or curriculum vitae where
Blueprint for spending project funds
Will become your financial plan if the project
Should be COMPLETE and REASONABLE
Remember reviewers are often familiar with
many types of project costs such as
computers, travel, postage, phones, etc.
In most cases you don’t need to attach price
Two Kinds of Budgets
◦ Cost Reimbursement- actual expenditures are
reimbursed. Only approved expenditures will be
funded. No expenditures permitted that were not
included in the budget.
◦ Fixed Price-A fixed sum of money is given to
support the project. If expenditures exceed the
allocated funds, there is no obligation by the funder
to add additional money
Direct Costs- directly allocated to the
individual project such as personnel,
supplies, travel, equipment, telephones,
Indirect Costs- cannot be allocated to a
specific project. These include any shared
costs such as building depreciation, shared
custodial services. Most usually you can
figure 10% of your total for indirect costs.
Paragraph form explanation of your projected
Don’t feel the need to explain every item, just
give rationale for main expenditures or
anything that may seem “cloudy”.
Elaborate on travel, personnel, general
supplies, advertising, etc.
Keep it to one page if possible
Only include letters from people who will be
directly involved in the project
Give them a framework or template
Make sure they know their role
Make sure they include their contact
Give a deadline to get the letters to YOU
Proofread the letters carefully and give
yourself time for corrections
Project falls outside the funder’s mission
Amount requested is out of proportion to the
No other funding sources listed
No evidence of sustainability
Did not follow the format
Poorly written/ difficult to understand
Not sure of the impact
Out of the funder’s geographic area
Be prepared for multiple submissions
Don’t get discouraged
Have an outside person proof read and give
“The first draft of anything is crap.”
◦ ~ Ernest Hemingway