Most nonprofit organizations rely on the generosity of a community of donors to support their mission. To provide even more services, nonprofits often need to write applications for grants for additional funding.
Grant writing can seem intimidating and confusing at first, but it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s discuss what a grant is and how to write one in three easy steps.
What Is a Grant?
A grant is a written proposal asking for the funds a not-for-profit organization needs for a project or service. Grants most often are funded by corporations, foundations, or government agencies.
“Think of a grant application as a resume and cover letter, but instead of a job, you are applying for financial support for your organization,” said Mike Ragozino, Program Director of WOWO in Fort Wayne. WOWO provides grant funding for a nonprofit every year through its annual Penny Pitch program. In 2021, the Penny Pitch program raised over $182,000.
You want to include who you and the organization are, what you are trying to achieve, why this project is important, and why your organization should be considered.
The 3 Easy Steps
To start your grant, explain who your organization is. Detailed information about what you do and how it affects the people or animals you help will help the grant committee in the decision process. Tell them when your organization started and how it has grown.
Make sure to include important contact information so the grant committee has multiple ways to contact you, such as a phone number, email address, the web address of the organization and social media accounts.
This is where you explain what the organization will fund with the grant money. If the grant is for a specific purpose — such as funding exercise initiatives — make sure you clearly explain how this project fulfills that purpose.
Be as detailed as possible. Explain the budget for the entire project and how each dollar will be used. If there are other funding sources that will be used for this project or service, include that as well.
For example, if you need $2,000 to replace old carpet in your building, you should explain the total cost. Include documentation of the quote(s) your organization received from the carpet company that will be contracted to do the work, as well as the contact information for the company.
The more information to put into your grant, the better the grantors can understand the scope of your organization's need.
Your purpose is important. This is where you tell the grantors exactly why your project deserves to be funded.
Just like with the “what” of your grant application, you should be as specific as possible about the benefits of your project to your clients. While you can’t always predict an exact outcome, you can explain how your organization plans to measure the success of the project.
For larger projects, you can also talk about how the community will benefit from the project as well, if applicable.
Grantors want to know their funds are having a positive, useful impact.
Apply For WOWO Penny Pitch
Your grant application is asking for financial support for an important purpose, but the process doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful. Remember that the more details you can give to help the grantor understand the importance of your project and how it will make a positive impact, the more likely your organization will be awarded the grant.
WOWO's Penny Pitch is now accepting applications for the 75th Anniversary of the 2022 Penny Pitch. For over 75 years, Penny Pitch has been helping qualified 501c3 not-for-profit organizations in the Fort Wayne, Allen County, and Northeast Indiana region. Visit WOWO’s website for more details about the Penny Pitch application process.