Advice nad Information on Grant Seeking and Proposal Writing
Identify Funders That Fit Your Organization's Ideas and Projects
During your research you will likely identify several potential funding sources based on broad category/keyword searches. The next step is to weed out those funding sources that will require the organization to significantly change your project or to "stretch" its objectives to fit into the narrow guidelines of the funder. It is more efficient, and in the end more beneficial to send appropriate requests to fewer organizations than to send a shower of appeals in the hopes that one may land in the right place.

The first step in the weeding out process is to request any informational materials (annual reports, lists of previous grants awarded) available from each of the funders. If you will be approaching a private foundation, you can also request a copy of their IRS form 990-PF, which provides basic financial data, a complete grants list, the names of the foundation's trustees and officers, and other information on the foundation.

Read the materials very carefully and take note of anything that seems to be important to the funder. Be very honest in your assessment of whether your organization truly meets the eligibility requirements in the grant guidelines. Make sure the foundation's philosophies are a good match with your organization. As the proposal writer you may find it useful to use the suggestions in Figure 1. Be certain that you have considered the nature of the foundation/funder, your strengths as a writer and the strengths and needs of your organization.

Source: Hensen, K. (1995). The art of writing for publication (p. 181). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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