If you are among the more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, you understand the challenges of competing for funds. And while local or national grants may be available to you, they are highly competitive as well.
Every grant has unique requirements, but they all have common best practices to increase your chance of winning them. We’ve put together a list of three simple grant-writing tips, plus some nonprofit swag ideas, to help you put your best proposal forward—no matter what kind of grant request you’re writing.
Do your research
Before applying for any grant, take the time to make sure the work the grant supports lines up with your organizational needs. Spending a few extra minutes researching each grant opportunity you encounter can help you maximize the time you spend seeking funds by focusing on the grants that most fully align with your projects.
If a member of your organization or a board member points you toward a grant that matches up well with the work you perform, be sure to thank them with a phone call, letter or a nonprofit giveaway, like a Handy Smartphone Adhesive Pocket.
Tug at their heartstrings with your story
Because most organizations use grants to fund specific projects, it’s crucial that you focus on only that portion of your work. For example, if your organization helps the homeless in a variety of ways, but this grant is designed to help them afford clothing for job interviews, focus your proposal on that single topic.
As you’re writing your proposal, be sure to:
- Explain the problem while helping the reader connect with the issue emotionally.
- Show how the grant will aid you in fixing the problem.
- Talk about how you’ll measure results of the work you’re performing.
Follow the grant submission rules to the letter
Nearly every grant proposal requires a different format and requests specific information, ranging from a simple one-page letter to a document with multiple subsections.
Before you submit your grant, make sure to review your proposal with an eagle eye. Better yet, have a few sets of fresh eyes look over your grant proposal to help you clarify points and eliminate errors. Thank the people who offer their valuable time with nonprofit swag, like a Mini MultiFunction Keychain or a key-shaped magnet, and a note that says “Your assistance is the key to our success.”
Be sure to thank your donors
When you win a grant, be sure to take a moment to thank the donor for supporting your work. Handwritten notes paired with nonprofit giveaways are an ideal way to show gratitude. Consider sending something that can easily be mailed, like a Paper Glider and a note that says “Thank you for helping our organization soar!”
For larger grants, send them an insulated mug with a note that asks them to meet for coffee so you can thank them in person.
Good stories can help you do great work
While the grant-writing process can be challenging, taking the time to perfect every detail comes with a great reward: funding an organization you believe in. With compelling storytelling and nonprofit swag, you’re sure to make your next grant proposal the best one yet.