Step 2: Make a Plan
You have to plan for success. Grants are no different. Having more than just a vague idea of what your need is and how much money will be needed to address the need is essential. Here is a tip: Plan out, in writing, the whole project/program, all elements, all facets. Identify how long the project/program will take, how much each element will cost and what will be the benchmarks to let you know you have achieved your goals. Questions to answer in your plan include: What do you want to fund? What do you want to accomplish? How much money do you need to do this work? What partners and other support do you have in place? Remember that grant makers fund people not programs so try to make sure that the need of your client/student/patron is at the forefront. While this planning is not likely to be seen by the funder it will be evident in a well-worded application. After you have taken the time to make a plan, you will have internalized the project and will be better able to articulate project elements through the grant application.
Charting Your Course: 10 Steps in Navigating The Way to Successful Grant Development
Step #1. Research, Research, Research!
Have you ever had this experience: Your boss hands you a notice of a funding opportunity and says “I'd like you to write this grant. It looks pretty easy. Just answer the questions, and by the way, it’s due in a week”?
One of the most common misconceptions about grant development is that it’s all about the writing. All you have to do is answer the questions, submit it, and voila, the money comes pouring in!
Read and listen carefully and you’ll notice that the MAPs Team always refers to it as grant development, not grant writing. The writing portion of a proposal is only a small portion of the development process, and should not be attempted until all other steps are taken!
In order to develop a good, solid, and fundable proposal, you must take the time to research funding opportunities, find foundations that align with your program and mission, and work with your team to create a program that works for all the people who will be involved in implanting the program.
Research to determine if a foundation’s priorities align to your needs. Research what they will fund, why they give money, how much they give, and what they want from you BEFORE you begin writing!