Grant Writing – How To
Applying for grants may be a daunting task. Many organizations simply don’t feel they have the man hours, know how or patience to tackle the world of endowment. The prospect, however of being awarded the total sum of your park equipment is pretty tempting. Adventure Playground Systems is here to help. Whether it’s your first time throwing your hat into the proverbial ring or you’re a seasoned pro- these tips and tricks are sure get you headed in the right direction.
Many organizations get so caught up in the act of looking for and writing that they lose sight of why they are applying for grants in the first place. Identify your needs, your costs and have a clear schedule of work before you even begin to look at grants. Organizations prefer to give donations to those with a clear path forward, a clear understanding of their needs and a dedication to those they serve. The grantors job is to give money to those with clear intent to make proper use of the donation. Identifying your organizations needs will also give you a great starting point when identifying grant options.
2. Designate A Leader.
Grant writing can be an all hands on deck experience; but, often having one person in charge of keeping it all together, on track and on time is crucial. A detail oriented, goal driven volunteer can be perfect for this job. Grant writing can be a perfect way to give working volunteers an important role while respecting there time constraints. It will be ideal if this lead plans on being apart of the organization for an extended time, many grants can take time to be accepted and then require quick implementation and future PR responsibilities.
3. Start Your Search.
For your convenience, Adventure Playground Systems has included a list of many grants aimed at creating wonderful recreation areas for communities, schools and daycares nationwide. But this list only scratches the surface. More great opportunities are found in your own backyard. Check with community foundations, local philanthropists, state and local governments- many of which offer grants to registered 501c3 organizations, starting businesses and public works departments.
4. Research More Than The Grants Themselves.
Few of us have written a winning proposal ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get advice from those that have! A quick internet search will give hundreds of sources on grant templates and “How To” articles. Several grant websites even release successful grantees proposals so you can see exactly what the organizations have looked for in the past.
5. Get Writing.
Create a template with a clear goal an executive summary. Add details, testimonials and statistics in clearly outlined paragraphs. And be positive! Persuasive conclusions work when you can make the grantors believe your project will change your world.
6. Tailor Your Template.
As much as your project has needs and goals that are important to your community, an endowment has causes and motivations that are important to them. Be sure to keep those motivations at the forefront of your grant proposals. Show that you’re goals are in line with their vision.
7. Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst.
Realistically, not all applications are approved and not all grants cover the entire cost of your project. Some grants even require a matched amount from your organization. Look in to other forms of fundraising, financing and crowdfunding so your playground with get the green light no matter what.