Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting Miyesha Perry, Manager of Grants and Administration at the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, for a special program on the Washington Regional Association of Grantmaker’s common grant application. Miyesha not only provided tips for improving common grant submissions, but shared a lot of great insights for proposal writing in general – insights too great not to share here!
- Know the landscape in which you work and what organizations might be doing similar work in your community. Keep abreast of things that might affect your work (i.e. politics and policy changes).
- If you have a deficit, don’t ignore it. It is better to acknowledge and explain, rather than simply avoid.
- Give the funder as much information as you can, including letters of support if you have them.
- Keep your results and outcomes reasonable.
- If you don’t have an attachment the funder has asked for (such as an audit) let them know. Otherwise the grantmaker may assume your application is incomplete, and many of them do not have time to follow up with you.
- A funder needs to see how you are going to fund your project, that includes sharing income you have received (or plan to receive) from other sources.
- Notify your funders about significant changes at your organization (mergers, major staff changes, etc.). Your funders shouldn’t be the last ones to know. Tell them yourself before they read it in the newspaper.
For more information on how to write a competitive grant proposal, register for our three-day Proposal Writing Bootcamp, March 11-13, 2015. The first two days are devoted to proposal writing exercises, peer review exchanges, and creating sample budgets. On the third day, you’ll do actual foundation research and participate in a mock proposal review process that will help you understand the proposal from a grantmaker’s perspective. Click here to register.
Click here for additional information on the Washington Regional Association of Grantmaker’s Common Grant Application.