View Full Version : Grant Writing

1-28-11, 10:30am
Does anyone due grant writing? I volunteer with animal rescue groups and would like to get involved in grant writing.

Anne Lee
1-29-11, 8:01am
I do.

Probably the best advice I can give is to develop a logic model and evaluation plan for your program. There is nothing magic about them but they do help nail down some of the more abstract/conceptual aspects of your program so that you can clearly and effectively communicate them. They also keep you from "mission drift" where you find yourself adding on new programs just because of the money.

The number one mistake that people new to grant writing make is that they talk most about "This is what we will do" (which is an output) rather than "This is what we are going to achieve." (outcome). In your field, you should be saying things like " we will reduce the number of homeless cats (outcome) by trapping, spaying/neutering, releasing 100 cats (output)". People struggle with this because they immediately jump to all the things out of their control that could increase the number of homeless cats like the bad economy so people are dumping more or a new tom moves in so more females are impregnated. You have to be able to screen that out when grantwriting.

Look at the Foundation Center's website. They have Cooperating Collections (http://foundationcenter.org/collections/) in each state which offer their publications and workshops (http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/learnabout/proposalwriting.html) which provide training in proposal writing. Also, the book Grantwriting for Dummies is a good overview of the knowledge, skills and abilities you will need. I heard the author speak at a conference once and won a Dummies umbrella. :cool:

Also, when grantwriting you need to have your governance act together. Is your organization a 501(c)3? Are your by laws updated and current? Are you an organization in good standing with the secretary of state? Some funders look at these things and it's a real headache to have to scramble for them.

Good luck! Like anything, writing a grant is a skill that improves with time. And keep in mind that nobody gets every grant. In it's own way, non-profit work and grantwriting require just as much hustle as the corporate sector.

1-29-11, 3:03pm
I do too. Here is a great book I recommend: Getting Funded, by Susan Howlett. Here is her website:http://www.susanhowlett.com/html/getting_funded.html

Another great research option is to look at the websites of organizations with similar missions, see who is funding them, and review that foundation's application process to see if your mission is a fit.

Just FYI, the majority of dollars that support non-profits are from individual donors, so if you don't have an individual giving program, I suggest you consider talking with the leadership of the rescue group about this. It takes several years to develop a robust program, but it really pays off in the long run.

Good on ya for volunteering in the non-profit sector!!