Chances are the funder is evaluating hundreds of proposals.
So how can your grant application tell an unforgettable story?
Researching a funder's guidelines is the beginning. But equally important are the previous giving patterns. When do funders give? Where? To whom? And how much? The answers help me target your proposal to the most likely match.
Funders want evidence that your program addresses an important need. I research the statistics and I dig for anecdotes that drive home the point.
Identifying board members who have business or social relationships with a donor can also make a difference. But when you don't have a connection, I can initiate one by contacting the donor or program officer to jump start a conversation.
Your grant application has to be a good read. Distinctive, informative, and user-friendly.
Clear, tight writing demands attention. Jargon and organization-speak are your enemies.
I do not assume funders are looking for a reason to say "Yes." Instead, I make the case by spelling out why they should care.
My writing partner (and husband), Andy Segal, is an award winning journalist and former CNN documentary producer. His specialty is transforming complex information into engaging stories. He brings abstract ideas down to earth.
Andy's skills complement mine. We sum it up without dumbing it down.
I use periodic reports to funders as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship.
I keep track of human interest stories from your program so there's fresh material when it's time to renew a grant.
And if a grant proposal is rejected, I solicit feedback from the funder to improve the odds in the next funding cycle.
Your work has never been more important.
The challenges have never been greater.