Writing a grant proposal has never been easy. Unfortunately, numerous small nonprofits give up after the first unsuccessful attempt deciding that the situation is hopeless. This is one of the multiple grant writing myths that will be analyzed in detail in the following article.
We asked Jerry Lewis, a fundraising expert, to shed light on common grant writing myths so that our readers could cope with this task successfully. Mr. Lewis will also provide effective suggestions on how to facilitate the process of getting the grant for those, who do not believe in a successful outcome.
Jerry Lewis opines that these myths do not allow nonprofit organizations to get their grants.
Grant Writing Myths
Myth 1. Treating Grant as a Solution to All Financial Problems
Perhaps, this myth is the most popular of all freelance grant writing myths. First and foremost, people should realize that the grant is not a solution to their financial problems but rather an instrument for their solving. As a new nonprofit, you will not be interesting to a fundraising organization. These foundations rarely help startups, so why do you believe they are willing to help an organization that experiences financial difficulties?
Undoubtedly, having financial troubles, you do not have high chances of getting a grant. However, working hard, you can lead your organization to the point that will be interesting to various fundraising foundations. Mr. Lewis emphasizes that rejections are very frequent and almost all nonprofits receive negative feedback from the first time. However, after careful work on mistakes, they make their projects stronger and claims more reasonable, which seems very interesting for the fundraising committee. Therefore, if you want to receive a grant on some important project, you should never give up but consider every failure as a step towards your personal and professional growth. Only imagine what would be if such great people as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs gave up after the first unsuccessful attempt? Probably, the world would not see amazing inventions.
Myth 2. The Fundraising Foundations May Cut Back on Funding in Difficult Times. So Why Should I Expect for It?
It is not a secret that funding usually goes up and down depending on the economic position of the country, politics, and many other factors. For example, in 2017 the grant finances increased by six percent right after the government has cut social service funding. In order to succeed, you should not pay attention to all vicissitudes. Be patient. Sometimes, it takes several years before grants start coming through. Some fundraising agencies make funding decision only once a year. In any way, you have to start somewhere and we assure you that sooner or later, the hard work will be paid off.
Myth 3. Grants Are not Like Any Other Kind of Fundraising
Those, who believe that grants are not like any other kind of fundraising are not right because grant writing is just like any other type of fundraising. It is all based on human relationships. You start to build your relationship with a funder when you start conducting your research. Asking a potential funder to participate in it, you make it very personalized. If your grant is rejected, try to find out the reason so that you could fix all the mistakes as soon as possible. In addition, you can always ask the members of the funding committee if there is another funding source they can recommend.
Myth 4. We Do not Know People Working at Any Foundations
We assure you that you may know some names. When doing your research for the fundraising committee, feel free to note the names of foundation trustees and forward these names to your board. We assure you that even when you start with no contacts, your practice, experience, and hard work will help you eventually enlarge your field of contacts.
In addition, try to not overlook important conferences or other meetings where you can meet the foundation staff. Following the foundation staff in social media is also a good idea. We assure you that making a connection before sending your application significantly increases your chances for success.
For this purpose, we suggest you look for the foundations in your area. Indeed, many fundraising organizations prefer to support local residents. You can ask some people, who may know something about these agencies or just search the information on Google. Many resources will inform you about the closest foundations offering the grants.
Myth 5. It Is Very Difficult to Search for Funders and Online Databases Are Too Expensive
As it was told previously, with the fast development of information technologies, people have access to any information 24/7. As for the most popular resources, you need to contact the Foundation Center. Your public library probably has the database of the Foundation center so you can use it totally for free.
What is more, there are many available classes you can take in order to improve your skills in grant seeking and writing. Such courses are usually sponsored by the foundation of the public library. The Foundation Center mentioned previously, has many available courses as well. By joining the Association of Fundraising Professionals, you will learn much important information about the fundraising organizations, their preferences, etc. we assure you that it will give you a perfect chance to follow the local educational opportunities.
Myth 6. Writing a Grant Proposal Is Too Challenging for Me
We assure you that writing a grant proposal is not such a scary thing as you may think. The biggest problem of those people, who fail their projects, is their inability to follow the requirements properly. Every fundraising organization has its own instructions for writing a grant proposal. We assure you that by following these instructions point by point, you will be able to impress the committee by your professional attitude to work. Make your proposal appealing and interesting to your reader and you will get the desired outcome. Start with the attention-grabbing introduction followed with the main body in which you will discuss your project in detail. Finally, write a powerful conclusion clearly stating why you should receive this grant. Remember that in writing a grant proposal, every detail matters, so you need to be very attentive.
Myth 7. It is Hard to Find a Good Grant Proposal Writer
Indeed, there are many writing companies offering their grant writing services. Yes, unfortunately, not all of them are trustworthy and reliable, and one should be very careful when choosing the writing partner. A truly reputable service will provide you with the examples of the written papers so that you could be sure that the quality they provide is truly great. Professional writing services always have a wide range of fees. If you want to achieve success with your grant proposal, you should totally forget about cooperation with the companies offering ridiculously cheap prices. The price for high-quality work is always reasonable. Also, do not fall into the trap of the unprofessional writing agencies offering cheap pre-written grant papers. Remember that in order to bring you a positive outcome, your grant should be customized. In addition, a truly professional writing service will explain their policies regarding plagiarism. You should also realize that in order to reach ultimate success your paper should be free from any plagiarism. Finally, in order to make sure that the writing company is reliable, visit its page for testimonials with the feedbacks from customers.
In conclusion, we would like to say that you should not let these myths become obstacles on your way towards getting a grant. Of course, the process of preparation, research, and grant writing requires much time and efforts, but the result is worth it. We do hope that we have managed to succeed in debunking some myths about grant writing. Remember that only a determined and goal-oriented individual will reach the cherished goals!