Custom Grant Writing for Nonprofits
When providing a grant custom writing service, often times we find that the most difficult part of writing a comprehensive proposal for an organization is obtaining detailed, suitable information to include in the proposal. It seems that leaders of nonprofits should have information ready to roll off their tongues at any moment—a simple request should lead to a passionate delivery about whom they serve, what they do, and how they do it best. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. When asked to describe their missions, programs, and target demographics, most leaders of small nonprofits find themselves stumbling over the answers which makes it difficult to professionally address a request for proposal.
Formatting your request for proposal application
In an effort to develop reliable funder research and facilitate success, here’s some information you’ll need to have available to be ready to jump into the solicitation of grant funding. Most funders will have a request for proposal form or a particular application that you must use and/or adhere to.
Mission– Know your mission in and out. Be prepared to describe your organization’s specific mission and know how you work each day to fulfill that mission.
History– What inspired your organization’s founding? What have been the major milestones since? Has your organization received any recognition for its efforts? Be able to provide success stories to demonstrate your capabilities.
Funding– How have you sustained your organization thus far? Who are your major contributors? How do you fundraise?
Need– Can you show that there is really a significant need for your organization’s programs within the community you serve? Research statistical data on the problem you address as well as the degree of other efforts being made to combat the same problem.
Capabilities– Are you able to promote members of your board or staff as responsible, knowledgeable nonprofit professionals? Be prepared to describe their education and experience. Convince me that they are competent leaders.
Objectives– Know the difference between a goal and an objective. You must be able to provide measurable objectives!
Methods– Do you really know, step-by-step, how you will meet your objectives? Are you aware of everything and everyone that will be involved, down to the smallest detail?
Evaluation– How will you evaluate the success of your proposed project? Take the time to develop a scientific plan for evaluation and know who will be involved and what cost will be incurred.
Sustainability– You must think past the grant award period. Exactly how will you continue to fund this project once the grant funds run out?
Budget– Learn to develop a precise line item budget. Know the difference between an operating budget and a project budget, and learn how to allocate your administrative costs within each program.
Compliance– Be sure that your organization is up to date with all state and federal regulatory compliance requirements. If your organization is behind on required filings, a funder may believe the organization is not well managed enough to appropriately administer any funding received. Prepare evidence of good standing with the state, registration for solicitation of contributions, and 501(c)(3) exemption. Be sure the board is independent and represents a cross-section of the constituency you serve. Make sure all past 990s are readily available and know that 990-Ns will not satisfy a grant funder.
Once you have all your plans laid out, you’ll need to explore the various types of grant available, including foundation grants, federal grants, and other government grants. For most organizations, foundation grants are the best entry point into the grant arena. Federal grants and other government grants require much more work and experience and often require matching funds, so typically those opportunities are best suited for nonprofits that are further into their life cycle. Regardless, a professional service – like CharityNet USA – may be best to assist in determining how to write a proposal application for such large grants as well as if the organization is even applicable.
Identifying the specific grant opportunities under which you may apply can sometimes be a daunting task. Having the right tools for research can significantly reduce the time and effort allocated to funding research, allowing you to dedicate more of your valuable time to fulfilling your mission. Adequate grant research tools will provide you with the request for proposal or RFP examples. Grant professionals have the tools to conduct quality funder research, identifying the opportunities that may be best fits for your organization, based on your unique circumstances. Retaining a professional grant writing service is often an excellent way to invest in your capacity building effort, with great return.