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1 Basic Grant Writing Concepts

Each year, nonprofit organizations receive billions of dollars from grant-making entities. How can your organization ensure that some of this money comes into your coffers? The goal of Get Grants! is just that, and this lesson will you get started. The first step in getting grants is making sure that you have a fundable project. What's that? You'll find out in this lesson. It will also talk about how to take an idea and develop it into a proposal.

2 Overview of a Grant Proposal

In this lesson, you'll learn the eight parts of a typical grant proposal and find out in what order you should develop them. You'll examine how to create a workable timeline so that you never frantically work on a proposal only to discover that you missed the deadline. The lesson will also go into detail about the first part of the proposal—the introduction, or what you might call your section on bragging rights.

3 The Need Statement

This lesson will get to the heart of the proposal: the "why." The need statement is where you convince potential funders that you need their support. But ah, there's a hitch. Funders don't particularly care about things you lack or things that would make you happy. They care about funding projects that address issues or resolve unmet needs that mesh with their priorities. After this lesson, you'll know how to detect a real need and then write a concise, clear, well-documented need statement that makes funding agencies take note.

4 Goals and Objectives

Goals and objectives clarify precisely what you intend to accomplish and help funders see what they are supporting. In this lesson you'll learn how to write goals that flow from the need statement and objectives that will help to measure your success. More specifically, you'll see how to craft the specific, measurable objectives that grant makers require.

5 Evaluation Plan

"Evaluation" is a word that you hear a lot in the grant-writing world. It's how you show the grant makers that the outcomes of your project are what they want to support. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to design evaluations that clearly demonstrate how your outcomes support your goals and the goals of the funding source.

6 Methods and Activities

This lesson will talk about methods and activities, which are the things you'll be doing from the moment you receive your funding in order to reach your goal. Planning these steps can be daunting, but you'll see how to create a detailed road map so that you never get lost. You'll also understand how to match your activities to the objectives covered in Lesson 4. By this point, you'll know how to capture all the great ideas that you generate during the grant-writing process, so your project manager will be able to start implementing them right away!

7 Budget

If you're a numbers person, this lesson about the budget will be right up your alley. If you're not, this lesson will demystify the budget process. It will go through each of the budget categories and define the more confusing terms. Best of all, you'll get good models for your budget form and your budget narrative. These will be very helpful, especially when you work on a major grant.

8 Sustainability and Dissemination

Grant writers frequently overlook these two parts of the proposal, but after this lesson, you'll never make this common mistake. Funders don't always require information about dissemination (publicizing your program) and sustainability (future funding), but both are vital pieces in convincing funders that you will make the most of their investment. This lesson will teach you how you can best present them in your proposal.

9 Summary and Letter of Inquiry

Although you're not yet finished with the class, you're at the point of the proposal process where it's time to sum it all up. In this lesson, you'll look at how to handle the summary. The lesson will also talk about letters of inquiry: what they are, when to use them, and how to make them effective. You'll also examine how to make successful first approaches to funding sources.

10 Researching Funding Sources

You've written a great grant; now you need to send it out and get it funded. This lesson will talk about researching funding sources. By the end of this lesson, you'll know who funds government programs and where to get the best information. You'll also know where to find out about private foundations and corporate funding. Finally, you'll come to understand the sometimes arcane language of guidelines and extract the details you need.

11 Putting It All Together

What image do you want to present to your funding sources? The tips that you'll receive in this lesson (including ways to assemble and package your grant) will help you present your proposal in the best light. The lesson will review what supporting data you'll need and talk about what you have to do after you've submitted your grant.

12 How to Make Your Proposal a Star

This lesson will cover writing style—what works and what doesn't. It will discuss how to ensure that your organization is ready to apply for a grant. It will also talk about grant writing as a career—including what it means to work on retainer and why you should never work on a contingency basis. By the end of this lesson (which is the end of this course), you'll be well-equipped to get out there and get grants!
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