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Grant Writing Synopsis

July 20, 2020

Prepared by Dr. Fiona Vernal

Contact: fionavernal@gmail.com

MAJOR POINTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS

  1. GET YOUR PAPERWORK IN ORDER: Tax documentation, budget
  2. RESEARCH: Conduct your research on grant opportunities before you apply to one or more of the following sources:
    1. Private Foundations and Endowments
    2. Municipalities (town, city)/ State & Federal 
    3. Corporate Entities
  3. OUTREACH AND INITIATIVE:
    1. Contact program officers for the grant
    2. Attend information sessions
    3. Determine the deadline for the grant and plan backwards to ensure you have left enough time to write the grant and secure supporting documentation such as letters of support
    4. Determine if your funder uses a specific database/system to receive the grant; most systems have moved online and you may have to register at that site.  You will have to meet the formatting requirements associated with each grant applications
    5. Determine reporting guidelines and deadlines
    6. Determine specific forms that may be required such as organizational budget forms
  1. COLLABORATIONS & PARTNERSHIPS &GRANT WRITERS
    1. Consider partnering/collaborating with another organization to apply for a grant
    2. You can use another organization as a fiscal sponsor if you do not have a 510c3 designation
    3. Grant writers may work on commission and you may use students; but it is also very important to try to develop this expertise within your organization if you cannot pay upfront for it or if you cannot build those expenses into the grant
  1. WHAT FUNDERS LOOK FOR
    1. 501c3 Registration, State Registration, and Tax ID Number
    2. Mission, Scope of Work 
    3. Realistic Budget
    4. Alignment: Ensure that your program is a great fit and is aligned to the requirements of the grant you are targeting; success will depend on whether you have a well-thought out solution or program for the grant you are targeting.
    5. What is the timeline, who are the key personnel, and what are the milestones?
  1. COMMON CHALLENGES: What are the most common hurdles that community organizations face?
    1. Staffing/Manpower: Lack of expertise to execute successful grants
    2. Failure to adequately meet eligibility requirements
    3. Misjudgment of the time it takes to assemble required documents such as letters of support
    4. Missing documentation
    5. Poor or inadequate and timely reporting