If at all possible, your grant submission should not be your initial move when approaching a new funder. Reach out to the foundation by phone or email to introduce yourself and ask some questions, unless the foundation expressly specifies that they do not accept inquiries. Winning a grant necessitates a great deal of networking – it’s not like winning the jackpot.
When it comes to preparing your proposal, make sure you address the funder’s unique concerns. Make certain you’ve addressed all of their problems, particularly how your program relates to their objectives. Share history on your organization’s capacity to accomplish the work you offer, even if they don’t ask directly.
You’ll also want to include success stories in your proposals in a way that respects the participants’ dignity. Make every effort to personally interview your participants, to utilize their direct quotes in your stories, to obtain their permission and approval of the final write-ups, and to involve your participants and program staff in the writing process in any way that is practicable (and honors their time and yours).
DON’T modify the way you communicate about your program just because it “works for this funder,” and DON’T make promises you can’t keep. If you find yourself doing these things, this grant may not be for you, and that’s just fine. It may not be worth pursuing if the funder’s vision does not coincide with your organization’s vision.
A Grant Has Been Awarded To You! What Do I Do Now?
Congratulations on being awarded the funding. Remember that the grant check is only the beginning of your relationship with the funder.
After getting a grant, the first thing you should do is acknowledge the gift. Fill out any papers that the funder requires, and write them a heartfelt thank you letter (not the same thank you letter you send to everyone else).
Next, work with the members of your team who will be responsible for carrying out the project to ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them: this could include attending meetings, organizing site visits, tracking data, or preparing reports.
Throughout the project, keep in touch with the funder with periodic updates – especially if an organizational change occurs, such as a shift in staff or the receipt of new cash.
Make a note of your report deadline and submit your report on time. You are establishing a relationship with the funder each time you contact them. Hopefully, it will be beneficial to your organization’s mission for many years to come!