Print

Training >> Browse Articles >> Grantwriting

-1

The Journey of Grantwriting - Part II

Here are some additional suggestions when your problem or needs statement is complete and you are ready to move onto the next grant section:

  • - Did you use recent research by others on the issue?
  • - Did you present recent findings of our own surveys and report the feedback?
  • - Did you include relevant statistical indicators?
  • - Did you give the grant reader enough information to understand the problems?
  • - Did you use descriptive words to give the grant reader a visual introduction to your organization’s operating environment?
  • - Did you remain focused and write only about the organization’s need–staying clear of the solution until the next narrative section?
  • - Did you use words that have the ability to bring compassion and urgency to the grant reader’s mind and to their heart?

II. Drafting a Strategic Plan

If you do not have an existing strategic plan, a starting point for this process would be to have your organization complete a SWOT Analysis:

Starting point for this process would be to have your organization complete a SWOT Analysis:

  • S – Strengths

  • W -Weaknesses

  • O – Opportunities

  • T – Threats

Strengths:

Begin with your organization’s strengths, as this is a place to bolster your spirits and begin the brainstorming session on a positive note.

  • ➢ What are our strengths as an organization, and what are some of the stronger programs or services that have high visibility in our target area?
  • ➢ List each program by it’s name, including the numbers of your clients served and if the program is funded. How is it funded? At this time, do not discuss insufficient funding in this section

Weaknesses:

This area of assessment helps you objectively identify gaps in services or general grant seeking problems. Questions that identify your organizations weaknesses as they relate to receiving funding may include:

  • ➢ What are our weaknesses as an Organization? If we have programs that are faltering, is it because of funding or staffing shortfalls? (may require reviewing your current staff’s qualifications)
  • ➢ Has our constituency asked for services and programs that we’ve been unable to provide? What complaints are the most common on end-of- service surveys? (take these complaints and learn from them)
  • ➢ Have we conducted strict evaluations of grant funding programs in the past? What difficulties do we have in collecting evaluation data?
  • ➢ Did we meet the objectives stated in each and every grant application? This area of assessment helps you objectively identify gaps in services or general grant seeking problems. Questions that identify your organizations weaknesses as they relate to receiving funding may include:
  • ➢ What are our weaknesses as an Organization? If we have programs that are faltering, is it because of funding or staffing shortfalls? (may require reviewing your current staff’s qualifications)
  • ➢ Has our constituency asked for services and programs that we’ve been unable to provide? What complaints are the most common on end-of- service surveys? (take these complaints and learn from them)
  • ➢ Have we conducted strict evaluations of grant funding programs in the past? What difficulties do we have in collecting evaluation data?
  • ➢ Did we meet the objectives stated in each and every grant application? Has our constituency asked for services and programs that we’ve been unable to provide? What complaints are the most common on end-of- service surveys? (take these complaints and learn from them)
  • ➢ Have we conducted strict evaluations of grant funding programs in the past? What difficulties do we have in collecting evaluation data?
  • ➢ Did we meet the objectives stated in each and every grant application? Where does the money come from now?
  • ➢ What percentage is from federated or local campaign organizations? What percentage is from the local, state, or federal governments? Of this percentage, how much do we receive in formula grants and how much in competitive grants? Of the competitive grant monies, are any multi-year?
  • ➢ Do any of our current grants cultivate one-on-one communications with second- or third-year funding?
  • ➢ Is your success rate for getting grant monies lower than 50 percent?
  • ➢ What do we think are the causes of the low rate outcomes?
  • ➢ If we failed to cultivate one-on-one open communications with previous funders and are unable to reapply for grant funding for any reason, why has this happened and how can communications be reopened?
  • ➢ If board members aren’t using their connections in the community to help identify individuals, business, and government funding, why not?

Opportunities:

  • ➢ This area of the assessment helps you identify possible opportunities that you may have missed thus far. Where are similar organizations getting their funding?
  • ➢ Are there possible funders at the local, regional, state, or federal level who don’t even know of your program/programs?
  • ➢ Are we networking at grantmaker meetings (technical assistance meetings held by corporate and foundation grantmaking agencies)?
  • ➢ Are we attending meetings with other human and social services organizations to discuss possible collaborative grant seeking ventures?
  • ➢ Are we subscribing to newsletters (both hard copy and electronic) that keep us abreast of changes that could affect our grant seeking?

Threats:

  • ➢ This area of the assessment helps you identify any threats that could drastically alter your current funding structure.
  • ➢ What funding will be exhausted in the near future, and how will your programs be impacted?
  • ➢ Who in the community has taken negative public position against our Agency?
  • ➢ Are there ongoing negative feelings or actions between any board members or administrators on staff?
  • ➢ Would the sudden departure of a key administrator cripple our agency in the local funding arena? Are other organizations doing what we do but dong it better? Why? If other organizations are doing what we do, then how are we different?

Recent Activity

Photo_user_blank_big
help0001 commented on: "help 0001", 38 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
annaeric commented on: "annaeric annaeric", about 9 hours ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
JSRichardson received the quiz result of "Future Smokejumper", 1 day ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
JSRichardson received the quiz result of "Smokejumper", 1 day ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
patrylow received the quiz result of "51-75% correct", 2 days ago.