Nominating a Nonprofit for a Grant

So, you want to nominate your favorite nonprofit organization for a grant – wonderful! All organizations can use champions, so it is terrific that you wish to be one for your cause and charity. But how can you boost the chances that your nonprofit will actually receive the grant, particularly when there are competitors seeking the same funding? My advice:

1. Be Succinct. We appreciate that there are just so many wonderful things that you can say about your organization, but people have short attention spans and just won’t read or listen to long, overly indulgent sharing. Try to focus on key points keeping your written or oral case as short (succinct) as you can.

2. Mission, Means, and Impact. Be sure to begin with the organization’s mission (the problem being addressed), its means for doing so (how it addresses the problem), and its impact (the result of its efforts, how it has improved lives). If you want your audience to focus on the rest of your presentation, you must make clear these key elements.

3. Importance or Value. Next, make clear why this organization is so important or valuable. How will a grant make an impact and change lives for the better? Share why you believe this is so significant and compelling.

4. Use a testimonial. It’s one thing to describe an organization and its work. It’s another thing to hear from someone who benefited from the organization with a compelling story of how his or her life was impacted in the process. The story must shed light on how the charity helped the teller, how his or her life changed, where the individual is now and how he or she is contributing to society as a result of the help received. If provided orally, the speaker should present and speak well.

5. Detail Grant Impact. Finally, share how the requested grant will impact people’s lives. How many will be helped? How will their lives be different as a result of the grant? Demonstrate why the grant is a most productive investment.

It is quite easy to brag about our favorite organization, and to run on about all the good it does for people. Everything you offer is true and important, but too often, those seeking support lose their audience with their enthusiasm absent these key elements. If, however, you can focus on these key elements and present them with confidence and enthusiasm, you will make a compelling case for support that will be difficult to ignore or dismiss.

Best of luck with your next grant request!

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