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how to apply for nonprofit grantsHow to Find and Apply for a Nonprofit Grant Successfully

You and your board know that the two new programs that you want to provide require more money in the budget than can be produced from donors. You have heard about Nonprofit Grants, but your nonprofit organization has never gone after grant money before. It’s an untapped resource that you want to begin to tap. Why leave a potential donation stream to your charity untouched? Your board and you agree. It’s time. You are facing hiring a grant writer as an employee or hiring a professional grant writing service. How does that work?

To raise money you will have to spend money. Sounds crummy? You have already been doing this as a normal course of business. To raise donations from your donor base you send them newsletters complete with donor envelopes, or you mail them annual appeal letters, invite them to special events, and solicit them. The solicitation cost time and money to create, design, print, mail, and manage. These costs are part of the cost of raising money for non-profits.nonprofit grant


Hiring a nonprofit grant writer is no different; hiring a professional is the most cost effective way to gain the funding you need. Now remember this, it is unethical to pay a nonprofit grant writer a percentage of any grants your charity may receive. Why? No grant donor is giving the grant to a nonprofit so that you can pay your fundraising staff. They give grants to connect with successful programs that fulfill a given non profit’s mission. They give nonprofit grants to the program or project that the grant was requesting funds for. That money is expected to be spent on only what the nonprofit grant proposal asked money for.


grants 11Your nonprofit could get a reputation for spending grant money less than ethically and that would be the kiss of death for more than just fundraising grant donations. Further, a nonprofit grant is not received based on whether a grant writer writes a good proposal or not, the proposal must be well written and within guidelines, that is expected. Funds are received because that foundation wants to be a part of completing your mission. A good nonprofit grant proposal is just part of the equation. Your charity’s track record and reputation are equally as important as to whether a nonprofit grant is received or not.

So, budget for your nonprofit grant writer. Don’t have room in the budget to hire one? Add a one time, only, fundraiser to the year and raise the money to do so. Expect the grant writer to be paid fees that match their reputation.  If you hire a college student for 10.00 an hour expect results to be limited.  Expect a professional nonprofit grant writing organization to want to first, get familiar with what information is already pulled together by you, to write a proposal.  They will need time to prospect for nonprofit grant donors to apply to, to get familiar with your agency and history, and to write, submit proposals, and end of grant reports, etc.

Keep in mind, too, that foundations typically meet once a quarter or less. It is usually best to mail a proposal for a project at least four months before the project is going to start so that you have time to hear back from thegrants 11 potential funders for that project. When you meet potential grant writers, ask for the time they estimate that is required to do the grant work that your organization needs done. Ask them to include a price quote with that.

It is advisable to hire a firm who already has the skills and expertise to write nonprofit grant proposals sooner than later it’s good to hire a consulting grant writer or consulting firm. Firms that specialize in fundraising and nonprofit organizational management can either provide nonprofit grant writing services or direct you to colleagues who do.  Pay attention to whom you click with and communicate well with and who you don’t. Much of nonprofit grant writing is back and forth; learning about the agency, understanding the mission and agency’s work, going over proposal drafts, etc. It is a close working relationship and you want to hire a nonprofit grant writer who you can work with. Ask them for references and check them.

nonprofit grantYou want to be able to return to a nonprofit grant donor and receive grants again and again in the future.
(This requires time, relationship building, and ethical accounting and procedures).
You want to receive nonprofit grants based on your charity’s ability to meet its mission and meet it well.).

After you’ve hired your nonprofit grant writing firm, work with them and remember that your responses to their questions, or your proof reading, or getting the documents that they need back to them is as necessary to the nonprofit grant writing process as the grant writer sitting down to write. The grant writer is a part of nonprofit grant rising process, but they is not responsible for it, alone. Working together is how it’s donenonprofit grant

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    5 thoughts on “Seven Reasons To Apply for Nonprofit Grants

    • August 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Thank you for the insight. I am now directing a 20 year small mission in Haiti. Our board is looking into grant funding for a proposed Health Clinic on our compound near Jacmel, Haiti. Grant funding is one possibility. I appreciate your advice and will continue to learn more about writing for a not for profit. Linda

    • August 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Thanks for the introduction to grant seeking. Our 20yr mission in Haiti is looking at grant funding for a health clinic on our compound near Jacmel, Haiti. I have just retired from a 30 year healthcare career and am now full time with the mission. Grant writing for a not for profit is new to me as I just have written grants that are university based. Your advice is well taken and any additional advice would be appreicated. I have the time to write grants but do not feel ready to write for the mission projects. Seeking foundations who provide grants is another weak area for me. I appreciate your article and look forward to learning more. Linda Lahr

    • February 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

      Dear sir,
      I request for financial aid for the construction of a Primary School and Hostel building and other Project.
      Please help to NGO activities
      FCRA No-42040100
      If you need any details please send me an Email.

      • July 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm

        reseda villa soberliving in 7436 capps ave; is a nonprofit helping men to bounce back to normal life the addiction of any substance is a slow killer and a family soul sickness I my self enbjhoying 8 yrs. of soberiyty and with the help of AA WE SAVE LIFE IN A SMALL WAY PL HELP WE NEED SOME MONEY TO RENAVATE THE HOUSE AND NEED OF A PICK UP TRUCK i STARTED IS SMALL BUSINESS ON MY OWN NEED SOME WORKING CAPITAL PL. HELP


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