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You have found an opportunity to write a grant for your chapter. You should be careful to read every detail on the foundation’s website over at least three times. Go to Guidestar and obtain the funder’s Form 990 and read it. Remember your request for funding needs to meet the criteria for which the funder desires to provide funding. Be very careful never to assume that a funder will continue to want to fund the same programs year after year. They can change their minds. It is good practice to monitor the website of your regular funders (what I call continuing grantors) throughout the year. You want as much notice as possible if there is going to be a change in what they want to fund, that they are going from a paper process to an online process or that their deadline timing is changing as to when they will accept an application. This task can be assigned to one of your Grant Committee members.
Depending on the funder, you may be able to ask questions about the process or the application. If something is not clear, be sure to pick up the phone or send an email to get clarification. Remember it is all about the relationship that you are able to build between the funder and your chapter. It is important to remember when funders put on their website that phone calls or emails are not accepted that you respect their wishes not to contact them. As you evaluate whether you are going to complete an application you want to be sure that the valuable time you spend in writing the application results in funding for your chapter’s program. The beauty of having several members who work on the grant writing process in your chapter is when you do have questions about the process or a question on an application, you have another member who you can ask for assistance. One has to remember no two grant applications are ever the same not even when you are writing to the same funder that you wrote to last year.
Prior planning prevents poor performance! Planning to give yourself time to do the evaluation of a funder’s requirements, time to write the grant way before the deadline and getting someone to read the application prior to final submission will help you gain success in your grant writing activities. There are many more tips on the blog at http://www.grantlessons.wordpress.com.
It looks pretty cold in some parts of the country. Remember Spring is just around the corner. 😉
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie