Grant Writing FAQ
Q. What kind of information is necessary to write a grant proposal?
A. A full proposal requires information on the history of the organization, its previous funding, the community problem its efforts address, the specific area in which it provides services, its methods for implementing services, and its main goals for the funding period.
Q. Will you do the research for statistics on the problem we are addressing?
A. Grant packages include an hour of research for statistics on the problem being addressed.
Q. Will you help me to develop my programs?
A. We can provide some recommendations on what is or is not allowable, however we cannot fully develop the program methods.
Q. Will you create my budget for me?
A. No. Budgeting is the responsibility of the Board of Directors, and all budgets are subject to board approval. We can make suggestions if portions of the budget seem unreasonably high or low.
Q. Can grant funds be used to pay my salary?
A. It depends. If the funding is unrestricted then it can be used to fund any part of the budget. Unrestricted funding will only be applied to the specific expenses outlined by the funder.
Q. What is included in a grant package?
A. In the grant package, the client will receive a full proposal, short proposal, program development assistance, problem statement research, letter of intent template, supplementary application, and a fundraising kit. We do not include postage or appendix documents.
Q. What is included in a grant combo?
A. A full-length proposal and a short proposal. No foundation research is included.
Q. What type of funders are included in a grant package?
A. Foundation funding sources are included in the packages. These do not include government sources.
Q. How long is a full-length proposal? A short proposal?
A. A full proposal runs 15 pages in length. A short proposal is 5 to 8 pages.
Q. What is the outline of the proposal?
A. Summary, Introduction (Organizational Background), Problem Statement (Need Statement), Objectives, Methodology, Evaluation, Sustainability, Budget. and Appendix.
Q. What is a LOI?
A. A Letter of Intent (or Letter of Inquiry-same thing) is a brief outline of the proposed project that requires funding. It explains to the funder in 2-3 pages the main aspects of the proposal. Some foundations require this letter as the initial point of contact. The foundation will then reply and let the organization know when, and if, it would like to receive the full proposal.
Q. Will you be contacting the foundations in advance?
A. No. We do not have any direct contact with the foundations.
Q. Do you send the grants to the foundations for us?
A. No. Each letter must be printed on organizational letterhead and signed by an officer or director. Thus, we do not do any mailing of proposals. In addition, it is important for the foundation to recognize and develop a relationship with the organization’s representative.
Q. What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted (program and general operating) funding?
A. Program, or restricted funding, is only allowed to be spent on expenses approved by the funder. Unrestricted, or general operating funding, may be used for any organization expense.
Q. What will you be sending me?
A. In the grant package, you will receive a full proposal, short proposal, letter of intent template, chart indicating initial approaches and amounts requested for each foundation, and foundation research information. In addition, we will include a CD-R that includes electronic copies of the above, as well as electronic versions of each letter and proposal that are customized for each funder. We do not include postage or appendix documents.
Q. What supplemental documentation will I need to include with each proposal?
A. Documents generally required in an appendix include:
- IRS 501(c)(3) letter of tax exemption determination.
- Your organization’s most recent annual report.
- A list of your Board of Directors and Trustees, their board titles, their contact information, qualifications, and affiliations.
- Your organization’s most recent financial audit (if unavailable, please submit the last two years of financial statements or your most recent Form 990).
- A list of foundation, corporate, and major individual support (including givers name, address, amount donated, and date donated) with the amount that was given for the last fiscal year.
- A list of foundation, corporate, and major individual donations (including givers name, address, amount donated, and date donated) for the current fiscal year.
- A personnel chart that shows the employees, their staff positions, their work duties, their qualifications, their hours per week, and their yearly salaries.
- Program or organization brochure.
- Letters of support and/or recommendation from influential members of the community.
- Project timeline.
Q. I am interested in applying for a government grant. What is the process?
A. The organization must begin by purchasing a grant review. This is charged at $75 and will allow for an hour of review of the specific RFP (request for proposal) for which the organization wishes to apply. The grant writer will review the RFP and determine the number of hours necessary to complete the grant proposal. A quote will be provided based on the number of hours necessary ($50/ hour). The $75 paid for the review will be applied to the total purchase price of the grant. It will also be outlined to the client what will be their responsibility. Typically government grants take anywhere from 20-60 hours per proposal.
Q. Can I get grant funding for my for-profit business?
A. For-profit grant funding is rare. Thus, we do not provide research of for-profit funders. We do, however, draft for-profit proposals to be used at the client’s discretion.
Q. I received a notice from a funder that we are not in their funding area. Will you replace that foundation with another?
A. If the organization is denied funding due to the foundation not funding their particular mission or geographical location, we will replace that funder with another. Typically we offer an extra foundation or two in the packages to accommodate for this in advance. If the funding is denied simply because the foundation has chosen another program, we do not replace the foundation research.
Q. Do you guarantee funding?
A. No. It would be unethical to make such a promise. We do, however, guarantee our research and quality of proposal. We understand what foundations are looking for and we customize the proposal to the format requested. Getting funded depends in a large part on the organization, program methodology, sustainability, and follow-up, and we help our clients with tools and recommendations.
Q. Do you make grants on consignment?
A. Many funding organizations are against this practice, and additionally the AAGP has ruled this against their code of ethics. CharityNet does not want to facilitate any practice that may hurt your chances of getting funded.