Penciling out a Grant Request
This week I’ve been working on getting some grant requests up and running. I had a few thoughts that I would like to share. These thoughts aren’t just about this week, but in a theme of issues that I see year round. 🙂
Have clear goal for the grant request. Is this something that you heard was a money source, or do you have a project that speaks for itself? It isn’t enough to get money for vague ideas, like save the environment, it needs to be specific. Like, I’d like to create, distribute materials at the next eco-fair. Or we would like to create an online information source on a website that already gets thousands of daily site visits. There are grants that fund operational goals, but your grant request needs to tell a compelling story.
Communication. This is a challenge in any organization, more challenging in a non-profit. Put the action item at the top of the email. When people are volunteering, they are less likely to read a long email with the call to action at the end.
Realistic Goals. It’s unlikely that your organization will receive a multi million dollar grant unless it has proven that it has successfully completed large projects before. Creating a doable action plan will reap dividends into the future.
Too harsh? New for profit businesses rarely scale to millions of sales the first year, either. Kickstarter millionaires are the exception, not the rule. Overnight success can happen, however, in most instances, it takes a few years to build to that level. Part of the pressure to scale a startup should be transferred to making a profit at all startup stages.
Timelines. Have you communicated a clear timeline for the organization? I’ve found that people are willing to help if they know that there is a deadline or a process that needs to be completed.
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