We all can't afford to hire a grant writer. Some of us will have to write the grant ourselves until we can afford to do better.
If this is the route you are taking, let us help. Here are four mistakes to avoid when writing a grant yourself:
Trying to write a grant in a silo
Writing a grant takes coordination between your Board of Directors, Executive Director, program leads, and those responsible for finance and accounting. Assemble a team of folks to have input or write sections, even if one person is responsible for leading the grant writing effort and establishing one voice.
You can look at a grant over and over and still overlook content and grammar mistakes. Don't beat yourself up over it. After looking at the same material over and over, your brain will fill in your original intent of the message instead of what's there. Have a person outside of the project read it. If they understand it, so will a reviewer. You can also have a grant writer complete a Mock Review and Edit service for you to review content, correct grammar, and provide suggestions to make your application more competitive (We do this for our clients all the time- learn more here).
Going after the wrong grant
Every grant is not suitable for every nonprofit. This ranks up there with applying for a grant when you're not ready. Save your time by weeding out the grants that aren't 100% well aligned and at a time when you are ready. You will be grateful for it and have more time to dedicate to grants you have a better chance of winning. Here are tips on how to avoid this when it comes to federal grants.
Not doing your research
Writing and submitting a competitive proposal takes time and a lot of research. Consider completing or having access to a current community needs assessment to support your community need. Assessments aren't just external but internal as well (learn more here). Know your outcomes and know how to communicate your impact story.
Shavonn Richardson, MBA, GPC is Founder and CEO of Think and Ink Grant Consulting™. She is a grant professional, an active speaker, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Grant Professionals Association.
Shavonn earned a BBA from Howard University and an MBA from Emory University. She earned the GPC (Grant Professional Certified) credential from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute in 2020.
Learn more at www.thinkandinkgrants.com