Greetings to GrantLessons!
We are continuing with our lessons. Be sure to get you colleagues to join the blog to learn how to write applications for foundation grants and corporate contributions.
Lesson #12: History and Program Descriptions
The committee will need a description of the chapter’s history and its programs.
Each chapter has its own history. It is important to collect the facts. The facts need to demonstrate a solid and energetic nonprofit ready to serve its community. The history should include the date the chapter was established and its affiliation with National Assistance League. Next one can indicate the number of philanthropic programs that are supported by the chapter, the number of members and the number of service hours contributed by members in the last fiscal year. One can then start with the date and name of the first program and then in one sentence explain whom the program serves. The writer then proceeds to follow the same format for the rest of the programs. At the end, the writer refers the reader back to their website. After the draft is completed, be sure to have several people read it for accuracy, clarity, spelling errors and correct use of grammar. The writer then needs to send the document for review by saving the document to Dropbox in a separate folder. The reviewer can then open, edit, and save the document back to Dropbox.
The number of philanthropic programs is different for each chapter. Funders will either desire to learn only about the specific program that the application is written for or they may want a short synopsis of all the chapter’s programs. Additionally, this is one variable where the number of words or characters may be limited (150 to 1,500). The writer must capture the heart and soul of the program in a few succinct words. The description should start with the date the program started. The description should include outcome specific data. The number of service hours spent in administering the program during the last fiscal year should be included.
It helps if the program has been established for a period of time so one has some outputs to use, such as, the number of children clothed in the Operation School Bell program during the last year. In writing a good narrative here are some tips:
- Put your good writing hat on (know your grammar and spelling issues);
- Simple is better, be sure to write in the active voice;
- Remember the funder knows nothing about your programs, paint a picture;
- Support your writing with current data; and
- Know what you are asking for and why you are asking, tell a compelling story;
- Tell your story with passion;
- Proofread what you write; and
- Ask someone else to critique what you have written.
Save the document file to Dropbox. One can upload all programs on one document and then cut and paste as appropriate for each online application depending on whether they want only the program for which the application is written or they want to understand all the programs that the chapter conducts.
Lesson #13 Jing
Once the committee gets functioning, much of the work focuses around looking at documents and websites. In communicating with other colleagues, one may want to share specific information from a document or a website. One can do this with Jing, that is, take a screen print of specific information. While this is the shortest Lesson, it is one of the most important.
As we get deeper into evaluating potential funder opportunities you will want to share specific information from Form 990s and websites with your colleagues. The program is simple to use since it allows you to draw lines around whatever you want to capture on your computer screen. Don’t delay; this tool will be very valuable in the very near future. You can find Jing at https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html .
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon! Sandie