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SEPA Grant Writing Workshop
Transcript of SEPA Grant Writing Workshop
The Proposal Writing Process
Statement of Need
Describe the issue or situation the project will address
Describe how it affects the target population
– Use the data that best supports the case
– Give the reader hope
Call Foundations First: Win More Grants!
Planning and Research
Writing the Proposal
After you submit a proposal
The hardest part of the process is waiting
Planning & Research
What do you need the money for?
Who will you approach?
How to find funders
Are you "grant ready"?
How to put it all together?
What to do once a decision has been made?
Planning - the first important step
Finding the Right Fit
Proposal should be viewed
as a win/win proposition
Are you "grant ready"?
Base Proposal Elements
-Statement of Need (exercise later)
What Funders Really Want to Know
Tell the Story
Now, it's your turn
Break into groups and write a statement of need.
We will share shortly.
Myth 1: Foundations are intimidating. They have money and therefore the power.
Myth 2: Foundations don’t want to hear from us except in the form of the proposal.
Planning and Researching
After the proposal
No matter what the decision, be polite and professional.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Before we start, some important things to know about grants
You cannot survive on grants alone
Not all foundations are alike, but the MUST give money away
Grant writing is never about the NEED of your organization
Do your homework first
One size fits all approach doesn't work
To get the grant, you have to find the right match and ask for the right amount
You don't need to know someone to get a grant, but it can help you get your foot in the door
The proposal is typically not the first thing a foundation wants to see
How will your proposal help the funder achieve their goals as well as your own?
Business/Organizational Charter or State official Incorporation Documentation
Governance Structure (Organizational Chart or other description)
Nonprofit documentation (501 C 3 letter)
List of funders
Mission & Vision Statements
Key Staff Roster (paid or volunteer)
Strategic Plan (Organizational and Programmatic goals and objectives)
Audited financial statements
Fiscal Policies and Procedures
Letters of support
Organizational and Programmatic Descriptions (for every program and service offered or proposed)
S - specific
M - measurable
A - achievable
R - realistic
T - time frame
Our response: project and outcomes
requests from the
a grant of
to support the addition of a
Mobile Medical Outreach Clinic - or MedVan
, as it is known on the
streets of New York
Launched in 1986, MedVan was the
mobile medical clinics to
serve homeless people
primary care and referrals
of indigent New Yorkers on the
street, and in the shelters, soup kitchens, and drop-in centers
where they congregate.
Two critical factors
make it urgently necessary to serve more people by adding a social worker to MedVan's professional team:
first, MedVan's patients are displaying
more complex suites of medical problems
requiring multiple visits
and long-term care to arrive at a complete diagnosis and treatment - a situation that has severely stretched the capacity of MedVan's medical professionals, and
second, though MedVan's patients often
qualify for medical entitlements and other public services
, they frequently
need help in
obtaining them - a need that MedVan's medical team has valiantly tried to satisfy, while also trying to meet an increasingly demanding patient load.
Our response to the need:
Adding a Social Worker to MedVan will solve these problems by:
helping significantly more patients obtain entitlements and other services
tracking patients through referrals, which will encourage them to take full advantage of available services
freeing the MedVan team to treat more patients
Resulting in more repeat patients, which will enable the MedVan team to perform more complete diagnoses and treatments
The ultimate benefit of this initiative will be improved health among the MedVan's homeless patients. This is an absolutely essential step in the process of helping homeless people to rehabilitate themselves - which is Project Renewal's mission.
What are your expected outcomes, goals and objectives?
How will you achieve your outcomes?
– Bullet points
Who will carry out the project?
How do you know how you are doing?
– What information will you collect?
– How are you going to use it?
How will you sustain the project?
Audience served by the agency and specific project for which funding is sought
What part of our history represents us best?
Date of founding and mission
Oganization’s structure, programs, and special expertise
Information about staff and Board
Restate the need(s) of your organization or project and why it is important
OK to use a bit of emotion
Opportunity to mention recognition of funders
List of funders
Always be sure to check proposal guidelines
Cover letter is like a mini proposal
◊ Reference to conversation/past contact/past funding, if any
◊ The Ask
◊ Statement of Need
◊ Response – project description including outcomes
◊ Invitation for meeting or additional details
◊ Appreciation for review – looking forward to response
What about letters of inquiry?
Letter of inquiry is also like a mini proposal!
Only write an LOI if requested by the funder
Request “consideration of a proposal for $XX to do ….”
A baby proposal summarizing the need, project, outcomes, our capacity
Up to 2 – 2.25 page letter without a budget or appendices
Funding decisions are often made off of these
Sometimes may be completed online
Tell the story of your work using the page most often read first – the budget!
Budget should include:
Indirect costs (or overhead costs)
Response to funder requirements
Clarification of expense lines as needed
Ask for what they give,
not what you need.
Sometimes, you may be asked to show revenue. Here's an example:
Indirect (overhead) costs are items that are incurred, whether or not you have the particular project for which you are budgeting, and you can't run an organization without these costs.
Always check the guidelines!
Funders will often include their policies on providing overhead funding in their guidelines.
A budget narrative is useful in defining the costs included on a project budget.
"Notes to the Budget" with footnote-style numbers or letters on the line items in the budget keyed to numbered or lettered explanations.
Alternatively, if there are a number of unusual line items, and an extensive explanation is required for the figures, you may want to structure the budget narrative as straight text.
Remember to check your guidelines!
Estimate your expenses as accurately as possible.
Consider inflation or increases in costs.
You will be required to report back to the funder on a
line item basis
Always tell the same story in the budget and proposal narrative.
If a salary or a portion of a salary is being paid through a grant, it is important to include that proportion of the fringe benefits.
Fringe benefits include such costs as social security taxes, health insurance, dental insurance and long-term disability insurance.
Base your ask on a funders giving history over the past 3 years.
Be sure to look at organizations similar to yours.
In reality, foundations exist to help non profits.
In reality, many foundations do want relationships with their grantees and the
non-profit community in general.
Myth 3: No one at a foundation will answer my call or my questions.
Most foundation program officers consider it their job to get to know non-profit staff and support them.
Organization and its expertise
Our Response - Project and Outcomes
The executive summary is one of the most important parts of the proposal.
Reviewers tend to read it first to determine if they want to read the rest.
Writing the executive summary last can help you paint a clear, concise picture.
Interest and Mutual Gain
Let's break into groups and create some SMART objectives
Tips for creating a good assessment plan
SMART objectives make the assessment plan easier to design.
Ask yourself these questions as you develop the assessment plan:
1. What is the evaluation's or assessment plan's purpose?
2. How will you use the findings?
3. What will you know after the evaluation that you didn't know before?
4. What will you do as a result of the evaluation that you couldn't do before
because you lacked the relevant information?
5. How will the clients and community served be better as a result of the
Find the right fit
Always focus on the funder's motivations and interest - show what is in it for them.
Know who you are approaching and why.
with an outline
Focus on the funder's interests
Follow the funder's guidelines