Finding and applying for grants for your non-profit requires a significant amount of time invested into research and gathering materials, but don’t fret. Here are the core steps to getting a grant for your organization.
1. Search And Research
There are different categories of grants, so make sure that you are applying to one that pertains directly to your nonprofit’s mission. You also want to look into the different types of grants in terms of how they disperse them, given that there are variations that could impact to what degree the grant is able to help your specific needs.
For example, unrestricted support and operating funding will help with day-to-day costs, whereas a grant with restricted funding would be allocated to a specific portion of your nonprofit’s operation, like a specific project. Overall, you want to look into grant varieties and disbursement policies thoroughly to find the best fit for your organization.
2. Determine if Applying is Worth It
It’s crucial to discuss grant applications with your team, to determine if the investment in time to apply is worth it. This involves discussion of managing the conditions of the grant if it is awarded, determination of whether or not your organization and staff are qualified to apply, creation of a funding plan, and more.
It is also important to take time to step away from discussions and take time to think about applying for committing to doing so. This allows for consideration of anything that may have been glossed over in meetings.
3. Preparing Materials
Before applying for anything, you need to make sure that your organization is ready with the proper supporting materials to do so.
This means having a crystal-clear mission statement, a well-managed and organized staff, legal standing and tax status, a budget, and various planning materials including use of a grants management system, financial information, sustainability information, and anything else that the grant application requires that you include. Make sure to read closely and double-check to make sure that required application materials aren’t left out.
One tip for your application, if you happen to be applying to multiple grants at once, is to make sure each application is tailored to the specific grant, rather than writing one piece and sending it out to every grant unedited. Applying for grants takes time, most of which will be invested in the aspects listed above. Once all of your materials are in order, the key is to submit them in a timely and organized manner with particular attention to copy-editing and refining what you can before finalizing the application.
The intensity and length of grant applications can vary, depending on the grant category and financial disbursement type, but the overall principles of applying remain the same. When you approach the application after concise review and preparation of materials with your team, prioritizing organization and professionalism, your chances of being awarded a grant for your nonprofit will soar beyond those who don’t take the time, effort and care to put their best foot forward.
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