This course is designed to teach you how to write a grant proposal, or application. We start you off in the grant writing process with organizing your agency and information. You need to know where your agency is headed long term to know what steps you might need to take along the way.
We really encourage clients to do a free writing activity – you can call it “Vision Casting” or just a “Brain Dump.” Knowing you can write down all your ideas without anyone telling you it will or won’t work can give you a lot of insight into where you hope to take your agency in the future.
Once you have these ideas, put them on a timeline. This gives you a sense of what project needs to come next and what needs to wait.
Now you have a project or two in mind, you can flesh out your ideas with your team. Getting everyone on the same page on even the small details is critical to keeping your project flowing forward smoothly.
…If your team is just you, think again – you have a board of directors you bring things to and a friend or significant other you lean on for brainstorming.
…If your team is two or three, then you are in the sweet zone. Just make sure everyone is clear on who is lead and who has what tasks as the application moves forward.
…If your team has four or more, collectively there is a ton of experience and wisdom there! But there is often some clashing that happens too. Here you have to be extra clear on responsibilities.
Next up is organizing your data and documents. There are many pieces of data, statements, numbers, and documents you have to come back to again and again. Post your mission statement on the wall, make a google doc of all your frequently used data, keep an electronic folder with your IRS Letter of Determination, Board Approved Budget, Organizational Chart, and other documents frequently asked to be attached to your grant applications.
Finally, organizing your funding calendar. Which foundation has a cycle opening soon? How much did they give us last year? What have they denied us for? What types of programs do they give to regularly? Who wrote that last? How will we keep track of tasks? With a combination of the funding calendar I have for you to download along with your Google calendar (or your other favorite type of calendar), you can keep good track of what’s on the horizon to fit your non-profit’s needs.
We’ll learn how to find a grant, how to map out your project for the grant, how to write the grant application, and how to wrap it up, including the year end report you’ll have to write.
Now go do it yourself!