Everyone I know does step 1, kind of, and then step 5 and step 7. But there’s a lot more to successful grant writing. Do all the steps, and don’t skip any!

  1. Research
  2. Review the guidelines
  3. Call the prospect to confirm that your agency fits their focus
  4. RE-Review the guidelines (which can often be used as a rough outline/writing guide)
  5. Write the proposal
  6. Put the package together
  7. Have someone other than the writer review the package for accuracy, grammar, completeness and sense (this can be anyone, on the principle that you cannot proof your own work)
  8. Submit well ahead of the deadline if possible.
  9. Call the prospect 7 days after sending the package
  10. Wait
  11. Upon receipt of response, whether accepted or declined, make a personal phone call and send thank you letters from the board president and the executive director
  12. Donor impact statements: Send photos, emails, or do Facebook shout outs to the donor periodically (i.e. every time there’s something worth reporting on—“here’s a shot from our Opening Night reception” “here’s a cute kid that you helped to fund”)
  13. Send a final report. This can include a generic Annual Report, but must also include information specific to that funder’s needs. Include up-to-date finanicials, and a statement of specifically how the grant funds were spent. Explain deficits. Some foundations have specific final report forms, guidelines or requirements. Follow them.
  14. Send them your audit when it’s completed.
  15. Reapply, starting at step 2.

And as the joke goes, final step = Profit!