4 steps to increase grant funding

The not-for-profit sector is growing increasingly competitive. More charitable organizations are competing for a similar but limited share of funding dollars from governments and corporate sponsors. 

The ability of most nonprofits to fundraise and accept online donations, albeit important, cannot always fully support an organization's efforts. With the right amount of time and energy, a strong grant can be written to a prospective donor and help your charity's funds grow significantly. Here are four tips to increase grant funding:

1. Communicate and take initiative: Before you even put pen to paper, it's important to make sure all parties involved in the nonprofit are on the same page. Communicate clearly with finance and accounting to make sure the budget is created without surprises, npENGAGE recommends. Seek out other individuals within the organization and ask to discuss your ideas. With all internal groups on the same wavelength, there is less room for error going forward. 

2. Identify features and benefits: In a way, you are selling yourselves as a charitable organization by writing a grant. That said, be clear in how you plan on giving your sponsor a return on their investment. Outline how each dollar is planned on being allocated, and back it up with previous success stories, npENGAGE says. This is your time to demonstrate how the strength of your group can benefit the donor involved - so give them assurance in their investments.

3. Write well, but write to entertain: If you are the writer yourself, or you've employed someone to complete the proposal for you, writing a strong grant shouldn't be much of an issue. Clear and concise is usually best practice, since your potential donor is likely reading multiple proposals. Yet, it's for that very reason you must get his or her attention and distance your group from the crowd. Don't be afraid to mix in an anecdote about your charity or a vignette about a past success and how the money could help in similar fashion, Business 2 Community says. Remember, stories are just data with a soul - so breathe a little life into your proposal with a personal stroke of penmanship.

4. Be able to compromise: In asking for large (or small) sums of money, some benefactors will request reporting on where their money is being spent, even if you outline that in the proposal. On the other hand, some will have spending restrictions, according to npENGAGE. It's important to find a middle ground and communicate with the potential donors beforehand so you can iron out any issues that may arise.

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