10 Steps to Getting That Grant
Whether you're new to grant writing or a veteran, this article shares some of the first steps for all levels of grant writers. Many grant writers hold other job-related titles, yet they find themselves charged with what feels like the laborious task of searching high and low for grant-funding opportunities. Once they find that illusive needle in the haystack, they frantically try to carve out the time to read the grant application's instructions and write a competitive application narrative.
In this article, I want to introduce less experienced grant writers and grant managers to the basics of each writing and management process. Let's get started!
How to achieve proposal-writing success
Step 1: Stay focused.
Have a funding plan (know what you need and all potential sources of funding).
Step 2: Create boilerplate.
Develop an annual organizational background/capability narrative section boilerplate (reuse this in all grant applications until the information needs updating).
Step 3: Validate the funding need.
Create your statement of need based on recent and citable demographics. Avoid using these terms: any, all, most, some, nearly, everyone. (They are fatal!) Facts and stats, that's all!
Step 4: Present an evidence-based solution for meeting needs.
Whether the funding agency is government or private sector (foundations and corporations), the program design (aka solution section) must be based on evidence-based solutions (successful model programs or services created by organizations similar to yours) that your organization adopts wholly or with modifications to meet your specific geographic location(s) and targeted population(s).
Step 5: Incorporate relevant graphics.
Rule of thumb and space permitting, I like to create one table, chart or map for every two pages of narrative text. Grant reviewers need visual stimulation, and the right graphics certainly stimulate. Go easy on colors, and don't take up the whole page. Graphics in moderation can create visual magic!