Greetings from GrantLessons!
Today is the last Grants Committee meeting for our Chapter for this fiscal year. Looking at the agenda, the Chairman has a summary of the grants written for the year and the amounts received. It was a good year for our Chapter! She also has the list of grants that need our attention over the first three months of the new fiscal year. The timing is so close, we have not completely compiled all our facts and figures from this fiscal year and yet in just a few weeks we need to be writing grants to meet funder deadlines for the next fiscal year.
Like us, you may find that you want to update your case statements or as we call it our narratives. Case statements/narratives are the “heart” of a grant application since this is where the funder sees what the Chapter will do with monies they receive from the grant application. This is where you “sell” the funder on giving their resources to your Chapter!
Many applications are online and may have limited space and/or restrictions as to the number of characters/words that can be entered. This is your first clue as to how many words you can use, I have seen anything from 150 words to 1,500 words. Here are some thoughts on what I consider important to include:
• The name of the program and the year it began;
• The population being served, unless that has been identified in another question on the application and you need to save words;
• Identify the specific need or issue that the program accomplishes for your community and write a workable solution (spend your words here);
• If you are the only nonprofit with this solution in your community, be sure to tell the funder;
• Quantify what you did last year and what you expect to do this year (be realistic and don’t go overboard with statistics); and
• End with a compelling reason why your Chapter needs the funding.
You must realize that the case statement or narrative may be the only portion of the application that the funder reads. After you have written the case statement/narrative have several other people read it. EDIT! EDIT! EDIT! It is important to be concise, choose your words with care, and lead your reader to fund your Chapter’s program. Have someone who knows nothing about your Chapter’s program read it and see what questions they have.
And about that Spring cleaning, it is still going on. I just hope I get it done before summer is here 😉
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie