Confessions of a Successful Grants Writer

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Confessions of a Successful Grants Writer: A Complete Guide to Discovering and Obtaining Funding

Grantwriting is about establishing a partnership. Funders have money you need and you have programs and services to meet the need they have defined. You are a conduit for them – a way for them to achieve their desired impact on the world. They need someone to implement their goals and you need their funds to do it. The relationship is set up to be a win-win situation. Looked at from that perspective, your job is to convince them you can deliver a win. You need to show them you are competent and can do what you say you can do.

The greatest lesson to learn about grantwriting is: it is NOT primarily about the money. Not once will you be funded because you need money. “How can that be?” you ask. “Isn’t the whole purpose of writing a grant to get money?”

Yes—but that shouldn’t be the focus of your proposal. In fundraising, money is just a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. The real end is the impact you are achieving on those you serve. If you go after the money with the purpose of getting money, you will fail. Going after funding for funding sake, your organization may well come across as one that’s in a desperate financial position.

It’s the fulfilling of the mission that defines your organization and motivates others to act. Grantwriting is about implementing a compelling mission. It’s about meeting clearly defined community needs. It’s about being the best conduit of funds among a variety of choices. It’s about making the perfect match and establishing a productive relationship with a funder. It is NOT primarily about the money.

It is the mission that motivates. Mission defines what your organization is trying to do to make the world a better place. People in general want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to make a positive impact in the world.  Your organization’s mission statement should tell them how to do that in broad terms. Your request for funding should tell them how they can do that in a specific way.

Grantwriting is about establishing a partnership. Funders have money you need and you have programs and services to meet the need they have defined. You are a conduit for them – a way for them to achieve their desired impact on the world. They need someone to implement their goals and you need their funds to do it. The relationship is set up to be a win-win situation. Looked at from that perspective, your job is to convince them you can deliver a win. You need to show them you are competent and can do what you say you can do.

Confessions of a Successful Grants Writer will help you:

  • Better position your proposals among the many that funders receive
  • Find out where to find what they tell you they want to know and then what they don’t tell you about what you should know
  • Understand the concept of organizational branding and its importance in getting your proposal funded.
  • Learn the questions they ask, the answers they’re looking for and how to speak language they’ll understand
  • Develop success, both at the organizational and interpersonal levels

I am a successful grant writer. Confessions of a Successful Grants Writer lays out the lessons I have learned over the years that have worked for me. I have raised about $1 million a year through foundation, corporate and governmental funding. I’m going to stick with what works for me. I hope it works for you too.