Dreaming and grant writing go hand-in-hand.
The dreaming part is fun; the proposal writing, for many, is not.
Grant writing can seem like a tangled web of red tape. And sometimes the process is convoluted. Grant writing can be tedious, particularly, if numerous supporting documentation are requested. Everything written and all of the attached documentation must be 100% accurate, as they are open for questioning and discussion by the grantor.
There is always the hope of an award and the despair when passed over. Luckily, most grant writers are optimist and persistent by nature and do accomplish their goal(s).
Your dreams are the program energy. Thinking big and dreaming big is the inspiration behind securing the funds. Without the dreams there are no new programs or projects.
As a grant writer, it is tempting to fantasize about the “perfect plan” for raising funds. My perfect plan is for a generous funder to fall in love with the grantee”s mission and proposed project and decide to fund.
The reality is that as grant writers we create the ideal
situation by being resourceful and creative.
Shangri-La to reality.
Sometimes one funder will solely support a project. When noticing this type of situation, be sure to understand that the journey from proposal to funding has been a long process of documentation and negotiation.
There is no magic in the process and be sure that a strong relationship has evolved between the nonprofit and the foundation. Relationships take time and require trust, rapport, and a track record of success. Trust, rapport and history are the keys to successful philanthropy. All of these things take time.
Finding program funding can feel like an odyssey.
In fact, raising seed money can be difficult. Awareness outside of your immediate community may be part of the problem. You may be unknown in the philanthropic community and may consider introducing yourself and your programs and services.
Sometimes the challenges are internal and can be conquered by setting up standard business procedures for daily operations. The creativity and innovation you used to create the new program needs to come into play when seeking funds. There are many variables to fundraising and combining several funding sources may be just the solution.
Grants for $1,000 to $5,000 – should I submit proposals for small sums of money?
Each organization is different and all options should be considered.
Generally grants are an excellent source of funds.
Grants are not a quick fix or easy income.
Be assured, there are no funders anxiously waiting on the sidelines to write a check. Be confident that there is a lot of competition for grant dollars and all submissions are thoughtfully evaluated. The awards are made based on the proposals that best meet the criteria of their mission.
Smaller awards typically require less documentation. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Maryland Small Grants Program, specifically addresses the needs of smaller Maryland nonprofits who are seeking funding for general operating support, program support and capital requests.
5/50/50 represents Weinberg’s formula for the Maryland Small Grants Program:
• A streamlined 5 – page proposal.
• 50 days response time.
• For funds up to $50,000.
Approach the Maryland Small Grants Program with due diligence. By accessing an award you have the opportunity to demonstrate your stewardship. Manage your funding well and build confidence in your ability. An award from Weinberg may lead to greater visibility and hopefully, larger awards.
Finally, grants are a viable means of funding. I wish you the best. Most importantly, continue the good work you are doing. You are a blessing to your constituents and the community as a whole.
Thank you for making our world a better place!
Best wishes and good luck,
Believe in possibility and in yourself.
For further information regarding the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, access