Starting Your

Non-Profit Funding Resources

If You Want to know the WHOLE truth AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH about government grant money, send $10 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

RWS Grant Info
P.O. Box 44
Darling, MS 38623

(Nothing but the truth)

Tips on Deciding Whether to Seek a Grant

Do you qualify? Are you ready?

The first steps in deciding whether or not to apply for a grant are to find out: Do you qualify? Grants usually go to public or private non-profit organizations or to individuals associated with such organizations. To apply for a grant, you may need to prove your non-profit status. Usually the Internal Revenue Service, the franchise board, or your state's attorney general can provide such documentation. Can your organization carry out the grant? Consider the time, expense, and energy you and your organization will have to spend in the grant process and the project itself. Be sure the project complements the goals of your group before you seek the grant.

About Writing Grant Proposals:

  • Never write a proposal if you have not first fully developed the project. Otherwise, you have nothing to write about.
  • There is no such thing as a fill-in-the-blank proposal that can be just mailed to a list of potential funders. Don't write one proposal and then mail it out to a bunch of potential funders.
  • Have multiple, fully-developed projects on the shelf, ready for proposal writing and you will always be able to meet proposal deadlines.
  • Each grant maker should receive a different, highly personalized proposal, fitting "to the letter" whatever guidelines s/he requires.
  • Write persuasively — you're selling a concept. You're not writing a term paper.
  • Remember the reader. Write so the reader, any reader from any profession, can read your proposal.
  • No jargon. Simple, clear, concise sentences.
  • Never, ever cheat on margins, pages, words — on anything. After all, if you will cheat on the proposal then what in the world will you do with the money!
  • When developing a budget, think project budget first. List every penny it will take to run the entire project. Don't forget support staff, copying charges, postage, memberships, telephone charges, meeting costs, and all the "hidden" expenses. Then think, what part of this budget is appropriate to request from the funder. No grant maker will fund every cent of a project. They want to see your investment. Then put together an itemized list for the part of the overall budget you're requesting from the funder — the request budget. Use this request budget to fill out the grant maker's summary forms. Remember the forms you see are just summaries of line items, not the budget itself — the budget itself are those line items you used to complete the summary.
  • Grant makers want good proposals. They will help you. Call them and ask questions — but be sure you've done your homework first and that you're not asking a question already answered in their literature.
  • There's no trick to grant seeking. It's not a game. It requires good planning and hard work. Planning the project out thoroughly is the single best thing you can do to insure a good proposal.
  • Be careful not to write sentences that sound pretty but don't say anything. "We will put the project to the test by studying factors that have some opportunity of enhancement of its various facets to lead to successful working partnership." Huh? There are some nice words in there - they flow off the tongue trippingly, but do they say anything? No. How about this? "Project evaluation will include a pre- and post-questionnaire of participants with questions specifically designed to measure their perceptions of the effectiveness of the community partnership."