November 16, 2012

From the Non Profit Times: 6 Steps For Grant Application Planning

The adage “Don’t chase dollars, chase results” is more than high-minded philosophy. It’s practical. The surest way to win grants is with proposals that offer thoughtful, logical plans for achieving measurable change.
  • According to Barbara A. Floersch, director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, to develop winning proposals, planning is non-negotiable. Here are six primary planning tasks.
  • Identify how the grant-will contribute to your organization’s mission and strategic plan. Will it propel you in the right direction or lure you off track?
  • Update your understanding of the issue the proposal will address. Review local data, talk to staff in your organization, and reach out to experts.
  • Make sure you know what’s already happening. Meet with staff in relevant organizations, update your knowledge of their work, solicit their ideas, and explore collaborations that will increase impact.
  • Involve those affected by the issue. Explore their perceptions. Engage them in identifying methods that will work.
  • Explore best practices for addressing the issue. What’s been proven to work?
  • Develop a concept paper providing an overview of how your organization will approach the issue, why you think the approach will work, and the results you expect the project to achieve. Use the concept paper with administrators, experts, and constituents to garner support, refine the plan, and secure letters of commitment.
Writing up a quick response to application guidelines won’t get you where you need to be. Until you’ve done the planning, you’re unprepared to develop a winning grant proposal.

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