Seven Things To Do Before Writing Your Grant Proposal
1) Identify the need
You should prepare a statement that describes the need for your program or project. Include statistical data that supports your need (i.e.: needs assessment). Identify the programming needs of your community. (i.e.: grassroots programming).
2) Collect background information about your organization
You should have readily available documentation about your organization. This collection of information should include your organization’s mission statement, a list of accomplishments, a list of previous granting organizations and the programs funded, and the resumes of key staff members and financial statements.
3) Develop a grant writing team
A grant writing team supports and assists the writer. Who will conduct the research and who will write? Assess the skills of each member to determine who will be responsible for each task. Who will compile the budget information, typing, make copies etc?
4) Research/Identify the funding sources
Many organizations have websites on the Internet providing guidelines for funding programs and application information. As you identify potential funding organizations, ask yourself the following questions, does the organization’s mission match our needs? Do we meet the funding organizations eligibility requirements and criteria for funding? Is there a good possibility of getting funding?
5) Contact potential granting organizations
Contact granting organizations by phone, email, fax or mail. Grant programs usually have a website that lists the contact person. Mail a letter of intent, to see if your organization qualifies.
6) Contact previous grant recipients
Ask awarded grant recipients questions regarding the funding organizations process. Why do you think your organization was successful? What process did you use in the proposal process?
7) Develop a plan
This plan should include a list of your program/project goals and objectives. An outline of the elements of the proposal and who is responsible (ie: finance – follow-up). An activity schedule detailing who will do what and when. Proposal readiness, be aware of deadline dates and plan accordingly.
* Adapted from “Organizing the Grant Writing Process: 7 Things to do Before Writing” by Michelle K. Carter