A Strategic Guide to Grant Writing

Posted on January 28, 2015. Filed under: Assessment, Evaluation, grant writing, grants, strategic planning | Tags: , , , , , |

It’s grant writing season, and with the economy still in recovery, proposal development remains one of the best ways to initiate new programs and to sustain your organization’s activities. But before you plan that brainstorming session where ideas will flow freely, here are a few strategic guidelines that may add some focus to your efforts: A vision, mission, or strategic plan is a good starting point. Identify funding gaps and overlaps in your strategic plan goals and objectives. A more thorough evaluation and re-assessment of where resources are already being applied, and where they are lacking is useful. Questions include:

  • Are there expressed or implied priorities among the goals?
  • Are there goals that are (or can be) adequately addressed through current policies, procedures, initiatives? By way of budgetary changes? By way of other fundraising efforts?
  • Are there goals that can only be met through outside funding?

Research a variety of public and private funding opportunities, especially regional or local foundations. The latter will likely require that monies be spent in close proximity, where the results of your efforts can be witnessed first-hand. For federal funding, Grants.gov is an excellent resource. A simple Google search beginning with “grants for…” is also a good idea. Remember to consider your organization’s history of proposal-writing efforts or prior awards as well as the grantor’s history. An evaluation and re-assessment of what is available is warranted. Questions include:

  • Is this a new or previously existing source of funding?
  • Is there a precedent for granting awards to similar agencies?
  • Has your agency received prior funding? Have you submitted an unfunded proposal, and if so, is a re-submittal warranted?

Gain a thorough understanding of all proposal and award guidelines. Consider not only the amount and length of the award, but other factors as well. Questions include:

  • Are there conditions for receiving funding?
  • Is the grant renewable or continuing?
  • Will funding be available over the duration of the proposed project or is there a “contingent upon” clause?
  • Is any matching required?
  • Is collaboration or partnership encouraged?
  • Is there an expectation for sustainability after the grant period? If so, how will your organization absorb this cost over time?

Lastly, align organizational priorities with the mission and priorities of the funding agency. Ask not what the grantor can do for you, but what you can do for the grantor. It may be a harsh reality, but your great idea is not about you or even your cause – it’s about their purpose. Questions include:

  • Is there a noticeable trend in the types of recent awards granted by the agency or foundation?
  • Does the RFP or solicitation contain clearly-stated priorities? Are there points awarded in scoring for addressing these priorities?
  • Is there a preferred target group or population to be served?

With these tips in mind, you’ll be better prepared to write a successfully funded proposal. Happy hunting and Good Luck!

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Internship: Behind The Scenes!

Posted on June 25, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today, HR4Non-Profits volunteered with Global Explorers Kids. Global Explorers Kids is a non-profit organization that establishes after school art education programs to children and youth typically from low-income communities. The organization seeks to integrate art and culture through educating children about cultural traditions and practices around the globe. From this, Global Explorers Kids fosters tolerance, peace, and acceptance of other countries and cultural traditions. This organization has also assisted other non-profits, like All About Kids Learning Academy, in which Global Explorers Kids brought their own funding to aid the organization.

Working alongside the HR4Non-Profits team, we assisted Global Explorers Kids by establishing a curriculum base for incoming teachers to familiarize themselves with and utilize within the classroom. The curriculum centered on art activities that are representative of other cultures. Some of the activities, like mask crafting, reminded me of high school Spanish class when we’d celebrate the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos, and create Halloween-type masks.

Working alongside the HR4Non-Profits team, we assisted Global Explorers Kids by establishing a curriculum base for incoming teachers to familiarize themselves with and utilize within the classroom. The curriculum centered on art activities that are representative of other cultures. Some of the activities, like mask crafting, reminded me of high school Spanish class when we’d celebrate the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos, and create Halloween-type masks.

In addition to coordinating a curriculum, the team and I also researched grant funding opportunities for Global Explorers Kids so the organization can keep their afterschool arts education program up and running. It is important for non-profits to receive outside help from various foundations so they can expand their non-profit organization and further progress.

Thus far, I’m enjoying my time interning at HR4Non-Profits. I feel as though I’m helping humanity by uncovering the harsh realities that face poverty-stricken Chicago communities while simultaneously trying to solve them. I enjoy working alongside the HR4Non-Profits staff. Everyone is extremely resourceful and team-driven, two very essential aspects to having a successful organization.

For information on grant writing/funding and much more, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at  630.830.4443 or visit our website at www.hr4nonprofits.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Also for more information on Global Explorers Kids, visit their website  http://globalexplorerskids.org/

 

Alyssa Zavislak

Cornell College

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