TOOL KIT
March 02, 2015

Tips and Advice for Better Grant Seeking

Grant seekers face a competitive market. America’s foundations still aren’t as well-off as they were before the recession, and that’s putting a damper on their giving, according to a Chronicle survey of the nation’s biggest foundations.

Yet grants remain one of the major ways nonprofits can raise funds, with giving by foundations representing about 15 percent of charitable giving in 2014, according to Giving USA.

So what does that mean for you?

Standing out from the competition requires more than just writing strong grant proposals. Making the best case for foundation investment in your programs begins with finding grant opportunities that match your mission and strengths as an organization, as well as staying organized to track results to demonstrate effectiveness.

But at its core, grant seeking—whether from local, regional, family, or corporate foundations—is all about research and relationships.

“Foundation fundraising is really that marriage between the grant maker and grantee and forging this long-term partnership,” says Lloyd Martinez, a senior development director at the National Audubon Society.

Here we provide the information you need to start seeking grants.

Webinar

Write Smarter: Grant-Seeking Strategies and Time Savers

Join us for a tactical session to learn strategies for streamlining the proposal writing process. We’ll share techniques to make your writing stronger and help you craft proposals that stand out from the competition. We’ll also show you how to strengthen your case for support and offer strategies for demonstrating impact.

Article
December 17, 2015

A Road Map of the Foundation Landscape for Grant Seekers

A professional grant writer outlines the most common types of foundations and forms of grant proposals.

Article
September 24, 2015

A Grant Seeker's Guide to Understanding Foundations

A primer with definitions of different types of foundations from Daniel N. Belin, author of Charitable Foundations: the Essential Guide to Giving and Compliance.

Article
February 27, 2015

How to Get Started with Foundation Grant Seeking

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when applying for grants from foundations.

Article
February 27, 2015

Seeking Grants: Key Terms and Concepts

The lingo you need to know to apply for -- and win -- grants from foundations.

Article
February 26, 2015

5 Suggestions for Writing Better Grant Proposals

Experts offer tips for grant seekers preparing proposals for foundations.

Template
March 03, 2015

How One Nonprofit First Contacts Grant Makers

An introductory email and phone call helps fundraisers at the YWCA of the National Capital Area connect with foundation staff before submitting a proposal.

Checklist
March 04, 2015

20 Steps for Grant Proposal Writing

Deborah S. Koch, author of a book on grant writing, offers advice on how to craft a great proposal, from start to finish.

Article
March 03, 2015

Sample: A Successful Grant Application From a Local Arts Nonprofit

A strong relationship with a foundation helped Elders Share the Arts secure $10,000 for their program for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender seniors.

Article
February 27, 2015

Advice: Building Trust With a Grant Maker

Officials at the Gifford Foundation, in Syracuse, share tips for developing a relationship built on transparency, openness, and accountability on both sides.

Video
June 22, 2016

How to Make the Most of a Grant Maker’s Visit

In the latest video in a series on foundation giving, staff members share insights into successful visits to grantees.

Template
February 26, 2015

Letter of Inquiry for Grant Seeking

A Grand Rapids, Mich., childhood hunger organization uses this template as a starting point with foundations.

Article
February 25, 2015

How One Nonprofit Creates Streamlined One-Page Budgets for Grant Proposals

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine explains what it takes to produce their operating and program budgets.

Template
February 27, 2015

Sample Annual Operating Budget for a Grant Proposal

An example of an annual budget that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine includes with grant proposals that ask for general operating support.

Template
March 02, 2015

Sample Project Budget for a Grant Proposal

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine recommends breaking down program income into three categories.