How to Write a Grant for a Family Life Center

by Julie Bane

Knowing how to write a grant can be an invaluable skill. Many nonprofit organizations seek experienced grant writers. Successful grant writers know how to present their organization in the best possible light so that grant makers want to give them money. Being a successful grant writer can take a lot of practice. Don't give up. Just know there are a lot of great organizations fighting for the same money. Eventually you'll land that grant.

Read through the grant requirements to make sure that your organization meets them and is eligible.

Be specific to the grant you are applying for. Don't try to write one grant that you can submit to multiple funding sources. While you might think you're saving yourself time, generic grant proposals rarely get approved.

Thoroughly explain your organization and its impact on the community. Provide your organization's mission and vision. Provide specific data about the number of people that your organization impacts. Grant makers like to see things numerically.

Be succinct. Choose your words carefully and get to the point. Don't add information for the sake of adding information. Make sure it's relevant to the cause.

Explain how the money will be used and its benefit to your community. Grant makers want to know that their money will be beneficial to a range of people.

Follow the protocol set forth by the funding source. They have set these guidelines for a reason. If they prefer that you mail your request, follow their wishes even if it means extra work for you.

Follow up with the grant maker to ensure they have received your proposal. This is a good way to give a voice to your organization, making the grant request more personal.

Request feedback on your proposal so you know what you are doing right and what areas could use some improvement for future grant requests.

Tips

  • If the deadline has passed to submit a grant request, add a note to your calendar so you remember to apply next year.
  • Make copies of your grant request. Save all documents so you can follow up with the grant maker. If for some reason they didn't receive your request, having copies will allow you to resubmit your request.
  • When in doubt about whether your organization falls under the grant maker's spectrum of causes they will help, just ask. You don't want to miss out on a funding source because you think your organization isn't eligible.
  • Your local library has reference materials to help you find grant makers giving away money.

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