This post is addressed to my higher education clients, nonprofit executives, and association leaders both staff ad board. Do you need a grant writer or fundraising consultant? Do you ever think you need someone to put your great program idea to paper and raise a bunch of money to support it?
I can do that. And I DO do that for many clientsl But you can position yourself so much more successfully if you consider a few basic principles.
What do you want to do? What will you accomplish? How will you do it? Most times when I am engaged as a writer, the client really wants an inventor. They have a vague topic or idea for which they want support, but they haven’t figured out how best to accomplish their objective.
Who will do it? Doors open to specificity and close to abstractions. Before you seek the funding, you need to be specific about your leadership team and their qualifications to accomplish your goal. If that means hiring a leader, make that call up front.
How will you do it? This is the acid test. Donors want to see a detailed plan–we will do this and this and this and this–in what order and with what resources.
When will you do it? I don’t mean “this year”–I mean what milestones will you achieve week by week or month by month. You need a detailed set of steps and measurement criteria by which you will know the step has been ompleted..
What will it cost? This is more important than just the dollar amount you are requesting. Donors appreciate a detailed budget that identifies all of the costs you anticipate for your project. You’re probably seeking help from multiple sources, so prepare a complete analysis of your actual costs for administration, delivery, and assessment. Ask each potential donor for a specific portion of the whole, and identify which components you want that donor to suport.
If you and your staff can answer these questions, my team can write your proposal. But it works best if YOU invent it!!