In Season 2, Episode 10, I spoke with grant reviewers from two different types of grant making organizations--a Giving Circle, and a Community Foundation. I asked Mollie from Impact Nashville and Michael from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to shed some light on how each of these grant making organizations function, and how grant seekers can make their grants stand out among the crowd.
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Here is this week's checklist:
☑️ Include a good balance of data and storytelling.
Grant reviewers want to be able to hear your unique voice and want you to tug on their heartstrings. At the same time, they need to know you've done your research and have metrics showing past success, or at least that there are studies showing evidence that your program will work.
☑️ Get feedback from grant reviewers.
Although many organizations don't have time to give feedback to grant writers, Giving Circles and Community Foundations do have the time. Many other foundations are willing to give feedback as well, but you have to ask for it.
☑️ Recognize grants offer more opportunities than just the grant money.
Giving Circles allow you to get in front of dozens or hundreds of community leaders who are looking for ways to get involved in their community. Community Foundations serve as a connection point for major donors and worthy organizations.
☑️ Assume your audience doesn't have a long attention span.
Be able to describe your mission in one sentence, and give concise answers to all the grant questions. You can expand on your story after delivering a strong summary at the beginning.
☑️ Read and understand the grant guidelines.
The most common reason grant writers are knocked out of the review process is a lack of understanding the grant guidelines. If you don't understand a question or need clarification, ask!
☑️ Don't be discouraged by small grant awards.
Many grant making organizations want to start your organization with smaller grant awards to see how responsibly you use those funds before they give you a larger grant in the future.
And if you need more help...
☑️ Email me and tell me what's going on at your nonprofit.
What are your current goals? What issues are you facing? Give me some background information, and we'll go from there! I never charge for an initial consultation, and I'll be honest if I can't help you. I'll also be happy to connect you with the other resources in my network who may be able to provide better advice or services for your situation.