You can pursue grants from foundations, corporations, or government agencies. You will need to write a grant proposal, following the guidelines of the potential funder.
- You can receive generous amounts of money.
- Once you have obtained one grant, you are more likely to receive others.
- Receiving grants is a good way to build your organization's visibility and credibility.
- You need to do time-consuming research on the granting agency before writing the grant.
- You need a person talented and experienced in writing grants who is also very familiar with your organization.
- Competition is fierce, and the success rate is low. On the average day, roughly 2,700 grant proposals are submitted; fewer than 200 will receive funding.
- There are strings attached to the money you receive. You can't do whatever you want with the funds.
- Most grants are short term. When they run out, you have to start over.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- When writing your proposal, focus not on your needs but those of the potential funder.
- It's crucial for you to have a well-defined mission statement and to find a funder whose mission statement dovetails with yours.
- Pay special attention to the exercises you completed in step 3, in which you determined how your constituents defined your organization's strengths and market niche.
- Assessing the funding environment through the eyes of a targeted donor is critical to proposal success. The Checklist For Grants will help you perform such an assessment.
- If the funder turns down your grant proposal, don't be discouraged. Politely ask why you were turned down -- and what you can do to improve your chances next time.
For monthly updates on current grant opportunities, subscribe to the Society's e-newsletter - Funding Alert.