On April 26, members of the Greater Good Greenville community met to learn about writing grants. This introductory session was taught by Shannon Cole, current Grants Manager for Homes of Hope, who has 16 years of grant writing experience.
Don’t be intimidated! Grant writing is not rocket science, but you can get better with experience. Here are our Top Five Takeaways:
- Read the entire grant, request for proposal and all materials first – with a highlighter. There’s a lot to learn here. Are your ‘asks’ in line with the funder’s priorities? If so, then move on to the next steps. If not, look for another funding source.
- Make a personal connection with funders. Send an email, pick up the phone – start the relationship.
- Get organized, collect your information, and then meet with your team. Draft an application that clearly demonstrates measurable results in the community. (Be sure to draft in a Word document and then cut and paste into the application portal. Never draft online!)
- Use various methods to describe your project. Include research from local or national sources explaining the problem and demonstrate how your organization is a part or can be a part of the solution. Include stories and testimonies from your current or previous clients. Data comes to life when explained through lived experiences.
- Always ask for feedback, especially when your project did not get funded. This is a great chance to continue the personal relationship as well!
Shannon suggested creating a method to keep up with funders, their application deadlines and all information related to grants. A simple spreadsheet is a good place to start. Looking for local funders? Take a look at Greater Good Greenville’s Funder Directory.