Applying For Grants
WHAT WE LOOK FOR WHEN REVIEWING PROPOSALS
- Effective and inspired leadership
- Clearly presented organization mission, goals, plans and financials
- Evidence of a strong record of accomplishments related to the request
- A committed board of directors with 100 percent making a financial contribution to the organization. This requirement is not designed to promote wealth as criteria for board membership. We are more interested in full participation, rather than dollar amount.
- Strong volunteer participation.
- Community buy-in evident through donations, volunteer engagement, existing partnerships and collaborative efforts
- Solid effort to engage the community and/or participants in program development
- On-going efforts to evaluate organizational and program effectiveness and commitment to making adjustments as needed
- A growing understanding of the chosen field of interest, an awareness of organizational peers and an eye on the future that reflects recognition of potential impacts on and opportunities for the organization
TIPS FOR PREPARING COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS
- Cut to the chase. Short statements about your targeted objectives for the proposed grant period are much easier to read and absorb than long narratives.
- Focus on results. Whether you call them outcomes, accomplishments or achievements does not really matter as long as you briefly highlight your measures of success for the coming year.
- Identify your key indicators. Ideally, your measures of success are measurable. These indicators may have to do with processes or outputs (e.g., number of clients served) and/or they may track outcomes or results (e.g., number of clients who were hired).
- Break it down. Numbers count! It is often helpful to break down your indicators by program or other subcategories. Analyzing your program by race, gender, age or other demographic variables tells an important story about who benefits from your work.
- Go beyond your client service statistics. Highlighting management measures that track organizational, fundraising, staffing, volunteer and other indicators gives the reader a snapshot of organizational progress.
- Highlight your strategic and tactical priorities. Identify the organizational and programmatic improvements you hope to make in the coming year.