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Non-profit organizations survive on grant funding.  But what grants are available and where do you find them?    The key to success is to thoroughly research all funding opportunities.   The number one reason why grant proposals are rejected is because the proposed project did not fall within the funding priorities of the funder or the organization requesting funds did not meet the eligibility requirements.
 
If your organization has a specific project or program for which you are seeking funding and you would like some assistance in researching potential funding sources, contact Advantage Consulting Services.  We'll be happy to assist you with your research and help you determine appropriate options.  We also contract to write grant proposals. 
 
But if you or others on your staff want to learn how to research grant opportunities and write successful grant proposals, Advantage Consulting offers trainings and workshops in grant research and proposal writing.
 
If you have any questions about locating grants or writing proposals, or if you would like more information about additional resources or the services we provide, please contact us by sending an email stating your questions or your specific request for information.
Five Steps of Grantsmanship

Step One: Vision.  The passionate mission of a nonprofit organization leads to a concrete program to enrich the human condition or trigger social change.  Every proposal, no matter how isolated the goals or modest the grant amount requested, should reflect an ambitious vision. 

Step Two:  Philanthropy.  The organization must identify a grantmaking institution that shares this vision and has the resources to become a funding partner. 

Step Three:  Language.  The vision must be translated into concrete terms with clear goals, measurable objectives, and specific outcomes. 

Step Four: Submission.  In the spirit of partnership, the proposal should be submitted for evaluation by the grantmaking institution. 

Step Five: Continuation.  If the proposal is funded, future charitable activities should grow out of this initial success and the philanthropic institution should be cultivated for future partnership.  If the proposal is denied, the language becomes the building block for future submissions.
 
 
The Foundation of Your Proposal
Every successful grant proposal starts with a clearly defined vision statement and a justifiable statement of need.  Remember, you are competing for a limited pool of dollars, and your vision and needs statement needs to do two things:  set your organization apart from others requesting funding, and persuade the funder that your project is meeting a vital need in your community.
 
Develop a Needs Statement-Vision Statement
The Needs Statement and the Vision Statement are very important components of the grant proposal. The Needs Statement is very important because it discusses the need or needs that the project or program will address with the funds received through the grant. A Vision Statement is basically one or two sentences that highlight an organization's vision for meeting the needs addressed in the Needs Statement.
 
Answering several key questions creates the Needs Statement:
1. What is the problem that requires a solution?
2. What will happen if this need is not addressed?
3. What evidence is available to document this need?
4. What is the desired state of things?
5. Why must this problem be addressed now?
6. What unique qualities does your organization possess that will enable you to address this need?
 

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Doug Seubert
Non-Profit Development Specialist
 
PO Box 56
Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449
 
(715) 383-0897
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

How can we better the odds of getting a grant?

Follow guidelines precisely. Work key phrases from the foundation's statement of purpose into your statement of objectives. Have any of your board members or good friends who know any foundation board members write them personal letters in support of the proposal. Include as addenda letters of support from important people, helpful excerpts from official sources, news clippings, etc.. Note: many grantwriters swear that success requires establishing a personal (by phone) relationship with someone at the foundation.

 

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How can we learn more about what funders want in a proposal?

Send a brief letter describing your organization and requesting guidelines. If the directory shows that a foundation publishes an annual report, ask for it, too. Some foundations will respond (in polite language) that you haven't a chance with them; some will ignore your request; and some will send very helpful information. Study it carefully. Many foundations welcome phone calls and will give you a frank estimate of your chances. Be prepared to answer pointed questions about your organization, your project, and your plans.

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Need some help locating sources of grant funding?  Need help writing and submitting a successful proposal?  Contact Advantage Consulting Services.  We can help!