10 Nuggets on Grant Writing

Sally Clifford, Executive Vice-President at the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits gave 10 tips on grant writing that she picked up from multiple grant forums hosted by the Alliance and from her own experience. These are real gems.  Sometimes, this is all you need to know when seeking funding. Sally was speaking at a Nonprofit Business Summit organized by the Phoenix Business Journal on May 2, 2012. Here they are:

  1. Before you set out, complete a profile of the project that you are seeking funding.
  2. Talk to the funder. Call them to get any details that you need to know.This is becoming rare among corporate funders as they use online forms.
  3. Funders talk to one another. So, if one declines they may refer you to another who might be keen on funding your project.
  4. Do your research. Do not waste time asking questions like: “What are your funding priorities?” to overworked community relations/foundation managers.
  5. Explore creative ways of partnering with the corporation or foundation. Think of new ideas to encourage employee engagement, volunteerism, matching funds etc.
  6. Give a realistic budget. Do not fudge numbers and never sell a program short.
  7. Funders ask how you will sustain programs. Give them clear strategic direction on where your program is heading.
  8. Funders want to see measurable impact. Use the logic model to highlight your outcomes.
  9. Collaboration is key. Funders want to know your ability to partner with others.
  10. If your project does not match the funder’s mission or even your mission, just shelve it. It will not work.

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