Grant Writing Basics for Beginners: What You Must Know Before You Start Writing Grants | Teresa Huff | Skillshare

Grant Writing Basics for Beginners: What You Must Know Before You Start Writing Grants

Teresa Huff, Equipping you to change the world

Grant Writing Basics for Beginners: What You Must Know Before You Start Writing Grants

Teresa Huff, Equipping you to change the world

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10 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction - Common Questions

      3:22
    • 2. What Is a Grant?

      2:46
    • 3. Grant Readiness

      5:30
    • 4. Top 10 Myths About Grants

      8:16
    • 5. Where to Find Grants

      9:01
    • 6. Sections of a Grant

      4:44
    • 7. Developing Your Grant Project

      2:21
    • 8. Application Submission and Awards

      3:52
    • 9. Think Like a Reviewer

      4:44
    • 10. Conclusion and Course Project

      5:18
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About This Class

Join expert grant writer Teresa Huff to learn the secrets you must know BEFORE you start grant writing - and walk away with tips you can customize to your school, nonprofit, or grant writing business immediately.

NOTE: This class is an overview of what you need to know about grant writing BEFORE you start. If you're looking for specific examples and common sections of grant applications, head over to my course Grant Applications Step by Step: The Main Sections of a Grant.

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You’re fighting for a great cause.

You know this cause can change lives - change your community - change the WORLD - IF you just had the funding.

You’ve heard there is grant funding out there, but how do you go about getting it? 

How do you convince funders that THIS is the cause they need to support? How do you get their attention and show them the potential your organization has to change the world 

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If you’ve ever struggled with any of these questions, then stick around.

With this course series, I’ll equip you with the tools you need to influence your world through grant writing.

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A lot of resources teach you how to write a grant, but most people don't realize there’s so much more to it than that. I’ll teach you how to step back and evaluate the bigger picture to be sure you’re using your resources and efforts most effectively.

As a professional grant writer since 2005, I’ve written a whooooole lot of grants and brought in several million dollars of funding for schools and nonprofits. I’ve also made a lot of mistakes and learned many things the hard way. Thanks to a great mentor in the beginning, though, I had an excellent framework to get started. Now I’m here to provide that support for you.

If you flounder through and base your attempts on the many myths out there, you could actually do more harm than good for your cause. You’ll end up with a frustrating waste of time, energy, and resources. Nobody wants that.

That’s why I’m here today - to show you what to do and what NOT to do. To help you develop YOUR skills so you can avoid the typical mistakes and fast forward your grant writing career.

Grant writing is tough, I’m not gonna lie - but it’s also very rewarding. There are so many variables and it requires such a wide variety of skills. But if you know what those skills are and how to use them, you CAN influence that change you’re after, and much more effectively.

I use a combination of my Master’s Degree in Education, grant writing skills, and years of experience to develop top-quality training that will give you a competitive advantage.

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There is a lot you need to know and prepare before you even start writing grants. We’ll cover the first essential building blocks you must know before you start writing.

In this course you’ll learn:

  • The basics of how to get started grant writing
  • Background work you must do before you even apply for grants
  • Top 10 myths and misconceptions about grants that may be holding you back
  • Where to look for grants
  • What a typical grant application includes
  • How to develop your grant project
  • What to do next when awards are announced, whether you win or lose

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Then we'll wrap it up with the Course Project to help you with your next steps of grant writing. As a former teacher, I can't help but sprinkle in some extras along the way - you'll get a course workbook, challenge questions, and practice scenarios to see how well you're learning to apply what we cover. It's all geared toward practical skills and concepts to help you build your grant writing toolbox.

So if you feel strongly about helping your cause, start here. By the end of this course you’ll have a framework to get your school or nonprofit started with the grant writing process.

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This course is for you if you fit any combination of these:

  • Staff, volunteer, or board member of a school or non-profit
  • Someone who wants to learn grant writing as a career or side gig
  • Complete beginners to the grant world
  • Those who have tried writing a grant or two unsuccessfully and are ready to learn the foundational basics for success

If you’ve already written several successful grants, I'd love for you to sit in on the course too, but be aware that you might find some of the lessons a bit of review. In that case, follow my channel so you’ll be notified when I publish more courses. I've got some advanced grant writing topics in the works!

If you’re wanting to start writing grants but don’t have an organization yet, no problem. This course will give you a good start to your toolbox.  I’ve given a couple of options in the Course Project so you can adapt it to your situation.

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Ready to propel your grant writing skills? I know you can do it. I can’t wait to hear about your cause and see how you’re influencing your community through grant funding.

NEXT STEPS:

  • Watch the intro video
  • Download the Course Workbook and go through the class
  • Complete the Course Project
  • Follow my channel to learn more about grant writing
  • Change your world!

Let’s get started – together we can do great things to change the world!

Ready for a mentor who gets it? Learn more at teresahuff.com.

Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! Email me today: [email protected].

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Meet Your Teacher

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Teresa Huff

Equipping you to change the world

Teacher

Grant writing is a great way to have a big influence on a cause you care about – IF you know how. That’s where I come in.

How do you get started? Where do you find grants? How do you write a grant? Or if you’re like me when I first started out, what does a grant even look like? I’ll let you in on the secrets one at a time as we unpack the mysteries of grant writing for schools and non-profits.

Take advantage of my 20+ years of combined experience as a grant writer, special ed teacher, and development consultant to propel your own grant writing skills. I harness this with my Master's in Education to make practical courses that will equip you to change the world.

You'll walk away from each of my courses with a set of bonus tools and action step... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction - Common Questions: hello and welcome to grant writing basics for beginners. Are you interested in writing grants for schools or non profits? But feeling a little in the dark? You may be wondering things like, Where do I start? Where do I find grants? What do I even write about? How do I get a donor's attention? How can I convince funders to support my cause? You're not alone. I've asked those same questions and many more. Now I'm here to help you with the answers. My name is Teresa Huff, and I'm a professional grant writer and development consultant. Since starting this journey in 2005 I brought in several $1,000,000 for schools and nonprofits. Now I'm excited to teach you how to do the same. This course is for you. If you fit any combination of thes, you're a staff volunteer or board member of a school or nonprofit. You want to learn grant writing as a career or a side gig. You're a complete beginner to the grant world. Or maybe you've tried writing a grant or two with no luck, and you're ready to learn the foundational basics for success. If you've already written several successful grants. You're welcome to sit in on the course, but you might find some of this a bit basic. In that case, follow my channel so you'll be in the loop As I published higher level grant writing courses. There is a lot you need to know and prepare before you even start writing. Grants will cover a brief overview of the process. To help you understand the first essential building blocks. You'll learn the basics of how to get started. Graham writing the background work you must do before you even apply for grants. The top 10 myths and misconceptions about grants that may be holding you back. Where to look for grants, what a typical grant application includes and what to do next. When the Grant awards are announced, whether you win or lose, then we'll wrap it up with the course project to help you with your next steps of grant writing. The project will have two options. One for those who are already working with an organization and another option for those who are just getting started with grant writing. Either way, you'll walk away with action steps that you can implement immediately. I have a master's degree in education and before Grant writing. I was a special ed teacher, so you'll find some extras in my courses, like challenge questions, practice scenarios and printable Z toe help you apply what we're learning in class. Ah, highly recommend that you print out the workbook and fill it out by hand as we go through the class. Research shows that we remember high level concepts better. If we hand write the notes. Your next steps are simple. First, download the coursework Bookham printed out. Then watch the videos. Complete the challenges in each lesson, post any discussion or questions you have in the community section of the course and then complete the course project and share it with us. By the end of this class, you'll have a foundational knowledge of how to get started. As a grant writer, you'll be able to evaluate an organization's grant readiness and better position yourself for the grant writing process. So why not invest a few minutes in yourself today and give yourself the chance to change your world? I'm excited to help you on your grant writing journey, so it's time to grab your workbook and let's roll 2. What Is a Grant?: one of the first things we need to cover is just the very basic question. What is a grant? That may seem simple, but when you really get into it, there's a lot more to it than most people realize. People often think all you have to do is send off the grant request, get the money in, and then you can spend it however you want. However, that's not the case at all. So let's go over some of the expectations and just the basics that are true of any grant that you'll come across. Grants are only one small piece of your entire fundraising plan, and they come later in the story than most people think. A grant is a very specific type of financial assistance. It must be used for a specific purpose that is outlined in the application, and it's only for certain types of organizations. Typically, this would be a nonprofit, usually with a five a one C three designation or schools, government agencies, sometimes churches. It really just depends on each funder and who they've decided they will allow to apply. Make sure you read those requirements before you start writing your grant. You don't want to waste your time if they don't fund your type of organization. Grants also always include three important ours first of all restrictions. For example, if they say you can't use thes grant funds for fundraising, then you shouldn't use the money to finance your next fundraiser, banquet or any type of fundraising expenses. That's a pretty common restriction. Make sure to read through the list in their guidelines before you start writing. Another. Are is responsibility. If you were awarded the grant, you're responsible to implement it as you outlined in your application. You can't just write it and change your mind on the budget or use it for something else. You have to follow through. You have to work hard and show a strong effort toward reaching those goals that you outlined in the application. The third are is reporting the reporting piece kicks in. When you receive a grant award, they won't just send you a check and say, Good luck thunders. Want to know that you followed through and use the funds as you said you would. They want to see an accounting for the budget, how you spend these funds, reports on how your program numbers changed because of the grand. They want feedback on how this grant affected your community or your organization, so follow through on each piece of the process. Let's take a minute to reflect and apply what we've talked about so far. Here's a quick challenge question for you. Why do you think funders expect accountability from organizations when grant money is awarded? Take a minute to Johnson notes down in your coursework book. Didn't feel free to post a response or any question. Do you have in the class community so we can discuss and share ideas? We'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Grant Readiness: when you're getting ready to go on a trip, you wouldn't dare drive your car without first making sure it has gasoline. In the same way, it's important to do your homework to make sure you have things in place before you start writing grants. Believe me, it'll save lots of time, money and frustration. Is your organization ready for grants? Whether or not you're working with an organization right now, it's very important to learn these steps to make sure that you either help the one that you're working with or in the future if you're working with a client. First of all, there are several things that you must have in place. And if you can go through these in advance, it's much easier to fill out the application a board of directors. So whether you're a nonprofit or school, you need some type of leadership. Do you have staff and or volunteers already involved? And you can show that and document that. Do you have a clear vision and mission? And if so, it's always good to go back and revisit those every so often to make sure they're still reflecting the work that you're doing and that you want to be doing long term. Do you have an official tax status? And do you have the paperwork to back that up? Do you have it where you know exactly where it is? And you could pull it out when a funder asks for it, So make sure you have the correct paperwork showing your official tax status. Do you have a formal budget? This doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it does need to have the basic categories how much you spent last year, how much you anticipate spending next year on each category, your total income expenses. Just your basic working budget. Do you have other sources of income besides this grant? You need to have things like donations. Maybe you've had fundraisers. Maybe you charge for some of your services. You need to have something showing multiple sources. Ideally, you're bringing in and funding And are you serving clients? That may seem obvious, but it's important to make sure that you already are serving clients and can show the numbers. We have this many people coming in. We anticipate this many more next year. The program has grown by this much show those numbers. Grant readiness is an important part of your strategy as you begin to prepare to apply for grants. You can seriously hurt your organization's reputation with funders if you rush this part, so please make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you start applying. Involvement is a key piece of this. It's important to make sure others, like key staff, board members or other stakeholders, are involved and on board with your project that you're wanting to apply for, get their input and keep them informed of your progress. You'll find it's much easier to recruit their help later if you can generate their support and interest. Now, you'll need their help when it's time together, research or design a project and implement the grants. So by involving them early in the process, they'll have some skin in the game, too, and they'll be more willing and likely to participate when you need them to. Don't be discouraged if you aren't ready yet. If you don't have some of these pieces, maybe you don't have a very large board. Maybe you don't have much of a budget yet. Maybe you don't have very much income yet. Don't be discouraged. That just means it's your opportunity to help your team in your organization. Get ready and position yourselves to be in a good place to apply for grants in the future. You'll have a much better luck if you take care of these steps first, so keep out it. Don't let it get you down. If you don't have everything in place, it's a growth process, So just hang in there and stick with the journey. This is a really important tip that I see. Nonprofits make this mistake a lot. Don't just chase the dollars. Thunders will see right through it. If you're just applying for grants, left and right just for the sake of money, you see that Oh, they're offering money. Let's apply. Don't do it unless it's truly a good fit between your mission and the funders. If it's something that you could work well together and it fits well with what you're doing , great, by all means apply. If not, don't force it. You'll just hurt your reputation and ruin your chances later. Now let's take a minute to reflect and apply what we've talked about so far. Here's a quick checkup for you that will help you start thinking about your course project as well. First of all, if you are already working with the specific organization here, some reflection questions for you. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is just top notch, you are rocking it. How would you rate the overall involvement of people in your organization? So this could be board members, volunteers, staff? If you're a school, maybe it's your parents, your students, community members. How is Thean? Vaal? Vehement Overall, in what areas need improvement? So think about that for a few minutes and jot some notes down. Now. If you don't have unorganised ation, you're wanting to learn Grant writing in hopes of getting clients later on, I got a couple questions for you to think about as well. On a scale of 1 to 10 again, 10 is awesome. How would you rate your readiness to help an organization prepare to apply for funding? So how comfortable do you feel with this checklist that we've just reviewed at what areas do you need to better understand? Take a minute to Johnson notes down in your coursework book, then feel free to post a response or any question Do you have in the class community so we can discuss and share ideas and I'll see you in the next lesson? 4. Top 10 Myths About Grants: time to have a little fun with this lesson. We have to stop and talk about what a grant is not. If you flounder through in base your attempts on all the misconceptions out there you could actually do a lot more harm than good for your cause. You'll end up with a frustrating waste of time, energy and resource is, and nobody wants that. So let's talk about some of these misconceptions and banish those away. First of all, a big myth I often here is that people think you can open up shop or keep the doors open with grants. The truth is, you can't fund your entire program with grants. What happens when they go away? Your organization would fall apart. Funders don't want to see that. Here's a real life example. Someone called me, wanting me to write grants for them. I asked him to tell me a little more about their organization. How many clients do you serve? How many board members do you have? He said. Sure, we have aboard right now. It's me and my son and my son's best friend. And once we get some grant funding will hit the ground running and will be able to serve lots of clients. Right now, we don't have any adds. Not exactly a recipe for getting funder approval. Their hearts were certainly in it and they were giving it their best shot. Here's what they did right. They had a solid plan in place for the organization. They had a great website structure. One of the board members was a techie, so that came in handy. They had been networking with a lot of people in their space, and they had applied for their nonprofit paperwork, although they didn't have approval yet. Here's where they fell short. Aside from not officially being a nonprofit, they only had three very related board members. They had no money and no supporters yet no financial backing. They weren't serving any clients, so the bottom line was they just weren't ready for grants yet. They had a lot of work to do before they would be ready. However, that doesn't mean they shouldn't apply is just They shouldn't apply yet. You can't use a grant to open up or keep it up. So here's a fact I want you to remember. Thunders don't want to be your first dollar or you're only dollar. That is a standard rule of Tom in Grant funding. Myth number two is that people think you shouldn't tell thunders about other sources of funding. They think funders might think we don't need the money. If they see that we have other grants, this couldn't be more wrong. They want to see your organization stability and that you are able to survive without their grant funds. It shows that Number one you can manage your money. Number two. You are responsible enough for others to want to invest in you and number three. You aren't on the verge of collapse, so don't hide your money. In fact, show your stability. Number three People think just because you got a grant once you'll continue getting it over and over. Sadly, there's no Daddy Warbucks in the wings ready to write checks. Sometimes the well just runs dry. I successfully wrote a large federal grant twice for different school districts over a couple of years time. Both applications were awarded. Another nearby school wanted to apply. We knew we had a very good shot of winning, so we done aton of work and submitted the application on time, however, the political administration changed mid cycle and they pulled the plug on the entire program. There went our chances of getting the grand. It happens at all levels, even locally. Sometimes the well runs dry. For whatever reason, number four people often think grant funds are a free for all. However, you can't take the money and run. Thunders don't like it if you use the money any way you want. In fact, there are serious consequences to that. Organizations are accountable for how the funds are used and should Onley apply for programs that fit within their mission and goals. Myth number five is the noble need Now. There are so many good causes and noble needs out there, and everyone thinks that their cause is the best and the one that you should fund. Unfortunately, though, you can't pull a grant out of a hat for every worthy cause. One time, someone called me wanting me to find grants for their pumpkin farm. Now that's a great family oriented activity for their rural community. But when funders air faced with applications asking for help to combat things like childhood hunger, abuse, homelessness, the pumpkin farm is going to be pretty low priority. So consider the urgency of your need. When you're asking for money, funders have to prioritize and select the projects that that it's fit within their guidelines. Another common myth is that it's close enough. I've seen grant writers think funders will make an exception or just the guidelines just for them. If it's close enough, not true. Close enough sometimes is just not enough. The guidelines air there for a reason. Your program should be a good fit with the criteria. If it's not, don't bother. Maybe everything about the application is a perfect fit for your nonprofit, except that you're one county over from their geographical area. Sorry, Save your time and there's your time is better used on opportunities that are a good fit. Myth number seven. Many people I've talked to think grants are easy money or there's no risk involved, since all you have to do is apply. The truth is, grants are hard work every step of the way from writing to implementing. So what you have to weigh out is the opportunity cost worth it. I've seen some grant applications for $300 that were a lot more work than another application for $10,000. The amount of time and requirements just were not worth that $300. So always way out, the risk versus the reward, whether it's financial time, whatever it may be, some grants are worth it, and some are not. Another myth is that grants are quick money who were running out of funds. Let's just write a grant. Keep in mind. Grant funding does not happen overnight. It's a very long process. It can even take several months from the time you send in your application until the time they announced the awards. Here's a little pro tip. Make sure your request is appropriate for the awards timeline. For example, say you need supplies for your summer school program, but the awards won't be announced until September. That's not gonna be a good fit for this year's summer program, so be sure it's a good match with your project in your programs. Vision and timing grants are not cookie cutter. While there may be some statements that you can use on multiple applications such as your organizational history, you have to be very careful not to just cut and paste from one application to the next. Some people will say, Oh, just create a boilerplate and you can use that on all your applications. Please be careful. This can turn out to be a disaster and make you look really bad. If you accidentally use the wrong funder name or the wrong location, the wrong organization name. And if you're a freelancer, the wear of riding the same grant for multiple organizations at the same time, make sure you keep all the data straight and keep each project clean from one to the next. So you don't get things mixed up and blow it. Always proof read before you send out the application number 10. Last but not least, some people think that they're in Iron Man and they can be a one man show. As we know that can sometimes end in disaster with grants. You just can't do it alone. The whole idea is building community. You have to build those relationships with the funders and with the people in your community. Your team has to be on board in order for the project to be successful. Now that you understand these myths, please help educate others about the facts of grant writing. So take a minute to challenge yourself and reflect on this question. Which of the myths and misconceptions about grants have you seen the most often? And how can you help dispel those myths? Grab your coursework book, fill out your answers after you've had a few minutes to think about it, and then always feel free to share in the community section of the class so we can discuss and learn from each other. I will see you again in the next one. 5. Where to Find Grants: Another very common question is, where do I find grants for my nonprofit or my school? We're gonna go over some sources for potential funding, and the best source for you will vary depending on the size of your organization, how long you've been writing grants and other factors. I'm gonna give you a quick overview of all the different options. So then you can go from there to determine which one is the best route. First of all, there are several possible sources for grants. Government is very common. There are federal, state and local government grants. The size of the application is usually in proportion to the level of the grant. Corporate foundations. This is thief philanthropic arm of company. Many companies will have a community giving section on their website where you can find more information about it. Private foundations usually include family foundations, causes special platforms. Local grants are usually smaller and maybe offered through different local groups, such as a chamber of commerce, county tax board or small clubs. Partnerships are a different structure where you may find an umbrella organization that manages and administers multiple grand opportunities on behalf of other foundations or groups there different sources to find federal grants thes air some of the most well known and highly competitive grand stock. Gove has the federal government opportunities that are available. Ed dot gov has specific to education. Same with other departments. If you're looking for maybe environmental or health related, look for those departments as well. Foundation Center and the Grants Manship Center are good sources of grant funding and also of general information about grants and tools for grant writing. There are other sources to find federal grants, but these are some of the most well known and are highly competitive. State and mid level grants will be a similar process to that of federal grants. There will be a lot of paperwork, tight deadlines and research to do. For these, you can look on the state website but also look specifically under each department to find more information. Sometimes you'll gather more that way and you'll be able to find contact people for each grant, and that can be very helpful. Local foundation and corporate grants are a little bit different and have a lot of variation in the structure and how they set up each application. You can check with your local chamber of commerce. Ask around two companies, businesses, board members, people, you know, see if they have connections. Look around at the businesses in your community, see what's there and start digging into their websites to see what kind of giving they offer. Do some research. Look at the connections you have. See if your board members know anyone that work for some of these companies or that have a network there in some way. And look at communities that are highly involved in your area or in organizations like yours is. There are someone who particularly donates often to school causes or to nonprofits in particular. Do they provide grants or sponsor events or donate supplies that might be a good source to start tapping into. Also your library might have a good database of resource is that you wouldn't have access to on your own, so check there as well. If you're new to grant writing, I recommend starting out here with some of these smaller foundation or local grants. This will allow you to get a feel for the process in the terms without being quite so overwhelming, as the larger federal grants here. Some search terms when you're looking for potential grants online. If you Google things like corporate giving community giving grant funding for fill in the blank of your cause or your specific reason for needing funds, look up businesses in your community and fill in their name, maybe Walmart Foundation, or fill in the blank foundation. Fill in the blank corporate giving Corporate philanthropy vary the terms a little bit. Try out different phrases and categories. Sometimes one specific phrase will trigger a search result. That is exactly what you needed to keep trying and the grant application itself. When you get to their website, it may not be called grant application. It may have other terms associated with it. It may be called on RFP request for proposals and R F A. You know, F A C f A. They may use those different abbreviations, but when you see it, that's your trigger. To know that here's the application or some grants instead of a full fledged application may require a pre application step called the Letter of Intent. In that case, it's a smaller scale, and you'll follow their instructions and their guidelines of how they want that set up. But then, if you submit your letter of intent and they invite you to fully apply, that's when you'll fill out the full application. What to look for when you're searching for a grant. There are quite a few things, but I like to follow a certain order because if there are one or two in particular that aren't a good fit, I can immediately weed it out and move on quickly. I don't have to spend a lot of time getting into it thinking, Oh, this is perfect for us and then get to the very end and re lights. Oh, it's only for Minnesota. First of all, look at what tax status do they allow? Is it on Lee for five a one c three nonprofits? Do they allow schools, government entities, religious organizations? What are the specific requirements there? What are the geographic restrictions? Is it only certain counties, cities, areas? Is it nationwide? Is it international? What are those? And if you don't fit within that, don't bother applying. What's the deadline? Is it realistic? If it's not realistic for this round, make a note of it and make a calendar reminder to come back to it earlier next year or if they have maybe two or three cycles throughout the year to watch for it next time when it's announced. What's the purpose? Does your mission in your activities fit well with that purpose? If not, don't force it. If it does, keep going. Are there things you're not allowed to do? What's the amount? Is it reasonable? And is it a reasonable amount for the amount of work that's required for the project for the application itself and also for the implementation? Is it a reasonable amount for your organization's budget? If your brand new and your budget is $5000 you're probably not going to get awarded the $1,000,000 Grant. You need a little more sustainability behind you before you're ready to apply for big ones . What is the grant term? Typically, grants are for a year, but that may vary a little bit some, maybe six months, some maybe two or three years. But make sure it's reasonable and that you understand what it is. That means just the length of the project. After the grants awarded are any matching funds required or other kind of match that means say, it's a 1 to 1 match. So for every dollar they give you, you have to come up with the dollar. If they award you $5000 you have to come up with 5000. Make sure you can afford it. If you are awarded the matching grant or if it's in kind matching, do you have? The resource is to pull from What's the number of expected awards? This won't always be posted, especially if you're looking at corporate or foundation grants. But is it a reasonable number if there are 500 applicants and they expect to award to Probably not gonna be you. However, if there are 500 applicants and they expect to award 75 then your odds go up quite a bit and look over the application. Make sure it's reasonable in doable in the amount of time you have. What kind of submission format. Make sure you understand it and allow yourself plenty of buffer time to get everything submitted correctly. And what are the follow up requirements? Thes air Pretty standard as faras reporting and following up on a regular basis with the funders accounting for your money but just make sure they're reasonable and again that you understand the expectations up front when you're searching. I know it's hard when you really want that grant funding, and you have board members or others pressuring you to find the funds quickly. But don't force it. It just wastes more time and energy, and it's very frustrating. Grant applications may be in different formats, depending on the funder. Sometimes it'll be an online form that you have to fill out and submit directly. You may have to print it out and then mail it or hand deliver it. There may be a document that you have to upload or email as a PdF or even other formats. One time I had to upload one on a CD. Rahm put it in a three ring binder and ship it. It was a very specific, very unique process to that funder. But make sure you follow the directions exactly the way they want them. If they say it needs to be all in one. Pdf don't send them all your files in separate Pdf's. Put them all together exactly the way they ask. All right, time for another challenge. Question review the list of guidelines When you are searching for a grand opportunity, which two or three items are a high priority for your organization when you're searching for a grant, think about that for a few minutes. Fill out your workbook posts, um, discussion in the community, and we'll talk more in the next one. 6. Sections of a Grant: the format of each grant application will vary. It's kind of like job applications. Most of them have a lot of the same basics. But then there will be other questions unique to that application, and the format will vary from one company to another. The main thing is to follow the guidelines of each application exactly grand start the same way. Most applications have at least five basic sections in common. First of all is the statement of Need. This is where you will show why you need the grant funding. Don't just give them a sad story. Back it up with numbers, fax and research. Make sure it's valid. Incredible research from current sources. If you're showing how telephone use effects, teens and you pull in a study from the pre cellphone 19 eighties, that data won't carry so much weight. Also, compare national, local and statewide data whatever is the most effective and relevant to make your point. Next, we have the project design. This section is critical to showing your plan of what you want to dio and when, where and how you're going to do it. This must be well thought through and have solid reasoning for the program. This is where you outline your goals and objectives in the milestones that you plan to reach. If this project is awarded, the evaluation section outlines your plan for how you'll measure the results of the proposed project. How will you know if you've achieved success if things start going off course mid project? What's your plan to redirect and get back on track? This is your section to explain those things and plan for that in advance. Your capacity and your sustainability explains who will lead the project. Why they're qualified. Why your organization has the capacity to handle the proposed project and how you'll keep it going. Long term. Past the grand award, the sections important to show your stability. If you've had a turnover in staff recently, look for other ways to show that you are a strong organization. Finally, last but not least, we have the budget. Some organizations want a budget narrative as well. Follow the guidelines from the funder and be sure to use the format. They request someone a detailed line by line budget with photos and explanations of everything on the list. Others Onley want the broad categories How do you plan to use the money? They want to know. It looks good. The names of these sections may vary a little bit from one grant toe another or they may be in question form instead of just one word labels. But they all want to know why you need these funds, how you're going to use them and that you will be responsible with them. All sections need to relate to each other. This is critical. It needs to make sense, and everything needs to align. If you say that you have this great need for something than your project that you outline needs to address that need, your budget needs to support the items that you want for your project, your capacity, the evaluation. Everything needs to line up together. Along with the typical sections. There may be other items that they ask for a swell and again, this will vary from one funder to another, but just so that you're aware of some different possible requirements. The abstract is basically an introduction just a brief summary of your project. They may want a logic model or a graphic description of your project, where you just outlined very briefly in graphic form forms, signatures and dates. Please don't miss any of these. Read the application carefully. Don't miss a signature. I've known of that happening. Make sure that everything is filled out correctly. Some thunders will want to see a letter of support. This could be from community partners from local leadership, even from a congressman. So make sure that you allow plenty of time in advance for gathering those. They will likely want to see the documentation of your tax status to make sure you have that ready and available. It's good to have a brief overview written up of your organizations. Information. Give a history your mission When you started just a few quick facts about who you serve and why. This is something that you can use often from one grant toe. Another. You will need to customize and tailor it for each one. But it's good to already have the information in one document so that you're not digging it up and rewriting it every single time. Ready for another challenge? Question. Think about this for a minute. Why do you think it's so important for all the parts of the grant application to align with each other. Think about the graphic we have showing the alignment. There's also one in your coursework book. Why is this so important? Think about that. Post any questions or comments in the community, and we will talk soon. 7. Developing Your Grant Project: When you find a grand opportunity that you want to apply for, it's time to develop the project. It's important to gather input from your colleagues and stakeholders that might be board members, volunteers, staff your clients, students and parents. Consider who has an interest in the project you're trying to implement. Make sure it's an actual need and not just chasing dollars. You don't want to get a grant and then saddle your team with a project that is completely off track from your mission. That's frustrating when they have to spend time implementing an unnecessary grant that pulls them away from their actual work. The project should be innovative, yet realistic. That's kind of a tricky balance. He wanted to be creative and something that will catch their attention. Yet something that is doable and realistic given your team's resource is and timeframe. Also, winners work to keep from losing points, not building up points. Reviewers assumed to the risk, and they take off points, so work hard to make it the best you can and keep as many points as you can. I've worked on applications and gotten awards where it literally came down to 100th of a point. It came so close, and they just had to cut the line somewhere because they ran out of funding. Every little point matters every little detail. Matters work hard to keep all those points. Okay, challenge yourself here for a minute. Who would be some good team members to include in grant planning discussions? If you work with an organization, think about who would be good, depending on the type of grant you're applying for. If you're a freelancer or just starting out as a grant writer, think about a hypothetical organization and who would be ideal for me as a freelancer, I often talk with the director or the board president, depending on who I work the most closely with. Sometimes, though, I go and visit with the actual volunteers or some of the staff members. It depends on what I'm trying to achieve and what we need to do with the grant funding. It may help to go around and collect firsthand accounts of how past grands or past programs have helped clients. So think about that. Think about some people that you could include, and why post your comments in the community and we'll talk more in the next video 8. Application Submission and Awards: It's finally the moment you've been waiting for. It's time to send in your application and hear how you did time for the award announcements . Let's go over some of the things you can expect. You'll hear me say this 100 times in all my courses, and I won't stop saying it. Follow the guidelines that is the most basic number one rule to writing grants. Be sure you meet the deadlines. They won't make exceptions. And don't ask them to. If you miss your flight, the plane is not going to turn around and come back to get you. You either wait for the next one or go home. Grants don't wait for you, so allow plenty of buffer time, Whether it's for printing and mailing a hard copy or sending an application Elektronik Lee or waiting in line at the post office. It'll always take longer than you think. There will be one more signature you need. The printer will jam, their server will be overloaded, someone will break Amazon and consequently the entire Internet. As you're uploading the last pages. True story, by the way, So allow yourself plenty of time. But do hurry, don't waste your time and wait till the last minute, either. Then, once you've submitted the grant on time, wait patiently. Don't hound the funders thinking they'll give you a little hint or a sneak preview of the results. Leave them alone. Their work is just beginning. Will probably take longer than you think it should, and it's hard waiting after you poured so much work into the project. The best thing you can do is keep moving forward. Move on to other projects while you wait. Then when the awards are announced, what next? If it's good news, make sure you send a thank you. This could be email or letter or a handwritten note, depending on your relationship with the funder and how much you previously communicated with them. Then you prepare to implement, alert your team and get ready to put the program into place. Make sure everyone has a copy of the timeline and add calendar reminders so you don't miss reporting deadlines and project milestones. It never hurts to drop the funder. A quick note and a photo or two of your project mid cycle, either That helps nurture a positive, ongoing relationship as well. Also plan out how you're going to publicize the project. Thunders generally like to be recognized for the good work there promoting, and they appreciate the publicity's. This doesn't need to be expensive. Look for free or low cost ways that you can naturally slipped their name in as a sponsor of the project. If, on the other hand, your application was rejected, know that it happens a lot. Yeah, it's a bummer, but don't use it as an excuse to give up on Grant writing altogether. Rather, use it to make yourself better next time. I like to check in with the funder and ask for constructive feedback on the application. What could we have done better? Do you have any pointers or advice for us that we should try next time? Are there any reviewers, comments or scoring sheets that we could get a copy of? Make sure you do this respectfully and nicely. Do not start arguing your case for why you should have been awarded. The decision is made, so accept it. Take the feedback gracefully and move on without drama. While you're at it. Make notes for future reference that you can use whether you re apply for this grant or on other applications, they may point out some organizational weaknesses or project flaws that you can correct next time and continue making your applications better and better. Their feedback is usually very helpful. All right, time to think for a minute. Think of some no cost or inexpensive ways that you can publicize the Grant Award and show appreciation to the funders after you've thought about it, filled out your workbook post in the community so we can share ideas. I've got a scenario for you in the next lesson that I think you'll enjoy and give you a chance to have practice everything that we talked about, See you soon. 9. Think Like a Reviewer: one of the most important lessons you will learn is a grant writer, and one of the best tools you will have in your arsenal is learning how to think. Like a reviewer, the reviewer is the person or people who review and score each application. They rank them and decide which one should be awarded. Needless to say, they're a very important piece of this puzzle for every application. You right, think about it from the reviewers perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine if you were the reviewer. What would you want to see? How would you want it presented? What would you be looking for? They will get many applications, sometimes hundreds, and they have to weed through all of those and narrow it down toe only a few awards. There's only so much money to go around. They really have their work cut out for them. And you need to find ways to make your project. Stand out there looking for reasons to eliminate and weed out some of those applications that just makes their job easier and quicker. If you didn't use the correct font, type the correct spacing. If you didn't follow the format exactly like you were supposed to. That's a reason right off the bat to throw your application out, and it helps reduce their stack. So keep that in mind and follow the directions every step of the way. Another important point is to be proactive. That means, as you're writing the application look, a red flags. The reviewers might be looking for an address. Those up front pretend you're the reviewer. What would you want to see if you notice there's a problem with your program, such as? Maybe you don't have good attendance right now. Don't try to skim over that and think maybe then it won't notice. If I don't mention it, you can bet that's the very thing they'll notice and knock your score down unless you are proactive and address that you can say something like right now, our attendance isn't very good for the after school program because we don't have enough supplies and equipment to offer a variety of activities. However, with this grant, funding will be able to purchase more equipment and the X Y Z curriculum. We need to implement ah, high quality of activities for this after school program, we know from surveys and input that we would gather a lot more interest and be able to build up the programs attendants and provide better opportunities for students. Now you've addressed the issue, you've addressed how you're going to solve the problem and how they can be a part of the solution that makes it big difference, as opposed to trying to hide it and hoping they don't notice. So with everything you dio think like the reviewer, what do you say we take a minute to test what you're learning with a real life scenario and see how well your learned to apply the information we talked about? Imagine you're a grant reviewer. This time you're sitting on the other side of the desk. You've been asked to decide which applications are the most deserving of the Grant awards. You pick up the first application on the stack and start to read. They're telling you things like we're almost out of money for this program. We're gonna have to shut the whole program down. If we don't get more funding, you're our last hope for these services will have to end. We don't know what will do. Please save us. That's a sad story. All right, let's move on to the next one. They explain their program, and then they tell you things like we have about $5000 in donations from different community partners. We already have $10,000 committed from other Graham funding for this program. We're expecting to bring in about $4000 from our next fundraiser, and we've got a good cushion built up in savings. Will you partner with us to make this program even better for our community? Yeah. Which application will you choose as the reviewer? If you answered Number two, you agree with me and with most grant reviewers, here's why. First of all, you comptel, they definitely put a lot of effort into this program already. They've done their homework. They're committed to raising money and making the programs sustainable. With or without your funding, they've diversified their income through multiple sources. They have different partnerships in the community, which shows support for the program, and they must be getting results for others to want to partner with them and donate to this cause that, my friend, is what will get you noticed by funders and help you win the Grant award 10. Conclusion and Course Project: well, here we are is time to wrap up the course and go over the details for our course project. Grant writing takes lots of practice. It's sort of like building up your muscles and stamina to run a marathon. It doesn't happen overnight. You have to keep running, exercising your grant, writing muscles to get better with grants, your training for a marathon, not a stroller on the block. Don't let that discourage you. First, you start with one mile than three and so on until you can run the whole race. And when you're done, you'll have something you could be really product. Don't get discouraged if you took one grant writing course and you're not an expert grant writer yet it's an ongoing process of improving and learning. Keep working towards your goals. Let's do a quick run down of everything from each lesson. First of all, remember that grants or to be used as they were submitted and approved in the application and according to the funder, Scott Signs. Next, make sure your organization is ready to apply for grants before you start writing and applying. Beware of the common myths and misconceptions about grants that are out there. Look for grants from different sources that could be government at different levels. Local corporate and foundations review the RFP. Remember, that's the request for proposal to determine if you should apply for each grant. All sections of the application should align and correspond with each other. Always gather team input. Make sure your application is realistic and follow the guidelines. Have I said that one Enough yet. And finally, when the awards are announced, follow up. Whether it's a yes or a no, those are the main steps to remember from this course. Now, how about you start your own course project and share the results with us in the community ? There are two options. One is for those who currently work with an organization, whether you're on staff or volunteer or you have a client already. The second is for those who are just getting started as a grant writer, and you don't have an organization that you work with yet option one. If you do currently work with an organization first, review the grant Readiness checklist from less and three and the other elements we discussed throughout the course. Second, collect the items that your organization already has that are on that checklist. What items do you still need to develop and who can help you, whether it's gathering something or creating something like a mission statement? Do any items need to be updated or revised? Maybe you need to review your mission and your vision to make sure they're still in line with the work you're doing and that you want to do. And finally, what are your long term project goals? You can put this together in just a simple Google doc and share it. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just half the questions so that we know which ones go with each response. Next. If you are an aspiring grant writer, so you don't have clients yet. But it's something that you'd like to try First review the grant Readiness checklist from less and three and the other items from the course. Next, familiarize yourself with each item to be sure you understand what it iss. If you don't send me a message or google it, find a way to figure out what each one needs. Now I want you to develop your own readiness checklist to use with future clients. This might just be a quick form. It might be a spreadsheet. Keep it simple, but make sure that it helps you cover everything. When you start working with a new client. Here's a quick word of advice. Don't ask prospective clients for information you combined yourself or things that you already have access to, such as their address or phone number. Ask for other things that you wouldn't have like a list of current board members or who is their preferred contact person for grants or their organizational budget. Those are things you might not be able to find out yourself. It'll make you look better if you can already find those other things that are publicly available. And finally, what are your long term project calls? Just throw these items into a Google doc doesn't have to be anything fancy, just something to help you start the thought process and that we can kind of see where you're headed on what your goals are. So whichever option you choose for your project, I can't wait to see your grant readiness evaluation and hear about your long term goals. So here your next steps, just to recap review your coursework Book notes. Complete the course project. Share your project in the community with us, and let's give feedback to each other. Review the other people's projects as well. Please follow me on skill share to be the first to hear about new classes. Have a lot of things in the works, and I also plan to take your feedback to use that to form future courses as well. And then I would love it if you would take just a minute to review the course and let others know how it's help you. I'll read every one of them and use your feedback as I create future courses. I would love to hear your long term goals, your questions or just where you're stuck right now. Shoot me an email and let's talk about it to book a strategy session with me or former intensive customize support. Go to my website to learn more. Please follow my channel to stay in the loop for future course releases. I've got a lot of cool things planned. Let me know how you're making a difference in your community. Thanks so much for watching. Now it's time to go and change your world