Grant Coach MaryEllen Bergh knows a few things about achieving grant writing success through planning and preparation. In this post, she shares some of her valuable knowledge and experience with you:
A successful grant proposal is one that is thoughtfully planned, well prepared, and concisely packaged. When you have found a funding source that is a good fit for your proposed project, the temptation is strong to immediately begin writing; however, your proposal will be much more effective if you take some time up front to plan. Thorough planning helps you determine where to start, where you want to go, how to get there, and how to know you have arrived. Grant writing success requires that you communicate your proposed project effectively and in enough detail so the funder has a clear understanding of all the components of your project, how it fits their funding priorities, and how you will carry out your program or service over the project period. Writing successful grant proposals requires preparation, attention to detail and a great team with passion and perseverance. Here are 3 tips to prepare for a successful grant proposal:
- Gather your proposal team. Most successful proposals are written by teams. The team members each contribute specific expertise, so that the organization can prepare its proposal more efficiently.
- Read the funding guidelines. The most important step in writing a successful grant is thoroughly reading the funder’s Request for Applications (RFA) or Request for Proposal (RFP) before you start. Since you will be responding to the guidelines established by the funder, you want to make sure that each member of the team understands the funder’s priorities and instructions for submittal. If the RFA includes a reference to a website or publication, it is often helpful to read that as well.
- Complete a proposal outline. The outline gives you and your team a roadmap to follow. Establish a timeline for gathering information and input needed to complete each section of the proposal.
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