The Nonprofit Times published these helpful grant writing tips. Print them off and read them before you start your next grant application.
· Do your homework. Pay close attention to the guidelines, policies, and procedures. Don't try to "fit" your organization or program into the guidelines simply to obtain funding.
· Keep it simple. Be concise in all correspondence, particularly the cover letter. Make it a maximum of three pages, and summarize the organization, the purpose of the request, and other pertinent information.
· Be Relevant. Demonstrate how organization or project benefits the company -- do not approach simply on the basis of being a customer of the company.
· Be accountable. Think scope and impact -- and be honest. Quantify, and tie the project to specific targets and dates. Provide a cost-benefit analysis.
· Writing matters. Funders receive a significant number of requests. Make it an easy read for them. Proposals should be organized, well-written, and grammatically correct.
· Proof read. Are all required items addressed and space limits met? Other common errors: sent to right person/address but wrong company name, or a recipient no longer with the company.
· Be patient. Do not call the day after the proposal is submitted. Due to the significant volume of requests, particularly for corporate foundations, it will require time to manage.
· Trust the application process. Going outside the application process to get a proposal considered will eventually come back to haunt you.
· Take each year as if it is the first. Past funding is no guarantee of future support.
· Be a friend to the environment. Send one copy unless told otherwise. No three-ring binders. Send videotapes only if necessary.