There’s a lot that goes into running a nonprofit. You need to wear many hats, be well-rounded, and have a passion for your mission. But one of the most important pieces of the puzzle is often forgotten: writing grants.
Grants are essentially free money that help your nonprofit stay afloat and continue operating. They can cover things like salaries, rent, programs, and anything else that furthers your cause.
In 2020, according to Giving USA, Foundations accounted for $88 billion in giving, representing 19% of overall nonprofit funding.
The process of writing grants can be daunting, but it’s so important to the success of your nonprofit. Here are four reasons why:
- Grants Help You Diversify Your Funding Streams
Diversifying your income streams is critical to the long-term success of any business – and nonprofits are no different. Grants provide a sense of security by giving you another source of funding that isn’t as vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy or changes in donor behavior.
- Grants Can Be Used as Leverage to Attract Other Funding
Most funders want to see that you’ve already secured other sources of funding before they’re willing to invest in you. This is where grants come in handy. By winning a few key grants, you can show other potential donors that you’re a good investment and attract more funding from them down the road.
- Grants Can Help You Make a Bigger Impact with Your Programs and Services
If your nonprofit is only able to fund its programs and services through donations, you’re probably operating on a shoestring budget which limits your ability to make a real impact in your community. Grants can help close this gap by providing much-needed financial support for things like new programs, expansion efforts, or additional staff members.
- Grants Require Careful Planning and Preparation – two Skills Your Nonprofit Needs Anyway!
Writing grants requires careful planning, strategic thinking, and attention to detail – all skills that will come in handy as
Tips for writing a nonprofit grant
- Know who your audience is
Before you start writing a grant, you need to know who your audience is. Who will be reading your grant? What are their needs and interests? Knowing your audience will help you determine what to include in your grant and how to write it in a way that will capture their attention.
- Get to the point
Your grant should be clear and to the point. The reviewers will likely have dozens, if not hundreds, of grants to read, so you need to make sure yours stands out. Make sure your goals are clear and that your proposal is easy to follow.
- Support your case with evidence
Be sure to back up any claims you make in your grant with evidence. This could include data from research or from previous projects you’ve completed. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your case will be for why you should receive funding.
- Create a budget
A key part of any grant proposal is a detailed budget. Reviewers will want to know how you plan to use the funding you’re requesting and what it will go towards. Be sure to include all anticipated costs in your budget and explain why each expense is necessary.
- Make it personal
Your grant should be more than just a list of facts and figures. Include stories and examples that illustrate why your organization is deserving of funding. Personal stories can be especially powerful in demonstrating the impact your work has on individuals and communities.
Writing a nonprofit grant can be a daunting task, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to writing a strong proposal that has a better chance of getting funded.