Triangle North Healthcare Foundation Presents Grant Writing
Grants can provide a good source of funding for nonprofits, but writing grants can be time-consuming and intimidating, especially if it’s a new experience. However, writing the grant is not the first step in the grant seeking process. It’s important to begin the process by identifying and researching grant funders to learn about their program preferences and funding priorities. There are numerous resources available to help identify potential funding sources and grant providers available online and at libraries and book sellers. One important online resource is the Foundation Center at https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/welcome/resources, which provides a searchable directory of grant funders. This directory makes it possible to search for funders by name, location, or organization type and provides the funder’s contact information and website. You can also access tax returns (Form 990) for each funder, in which you can find information about assets of the organization and grantmaking history. As you investigate potential grant funders to determine if they would be a good match for your organization, it’s important to answer “yes” to the following questions: 1. Does your organization meet the requirements for applying for a grant? 2. Does the funder have a history of funding organizations like yours? 3. Does your project fall into one or more of their funding priorities? 4. Can you meet the deadline for the grant application? 5. Do you have the organizational capacity to administer the grant funds and grant program? For organizations that qualify for government grants, Grants.gov is another online resource, which enables searching by topic and agency, and provides instruction information and grant writing techniques. There are numerous books and publications that can be helpful in your search for grant opportunities. A second important step in your preparation for writing a grant is to gather all of your organizational documents and data into a resource file. Most grant applications require most or all of the following information, so it makes sense to have these items ready and accessible: o Mission Statement o IRS Letter of Determination (if applicable) o Tax ID Number o Charitable Solicitation License (if applicable) o List of Board members o Recent Audit and/or Financial Statement o Contact information for key leaders Finally, meeting with your grant funder can make the difference in whether or not your grant application will be selected for further review. Contact the funder well ahead of the application deadline and ask for a meeting. Most funders will appreciate this opportunity to get to know you and hear more about your project.