One Degree of Separation—The Grant Writer

Writing grants is not about the grant writer. Yes, they do the writing, which is important. But a grant writer also connects the people in the foundation with the nonprofit and vice versa. With the application, many times this is the first contact between the two organizations. It should be like a handshake and not a slap in the face.

A good introduction of the nonprofit to the foundation increases the opportunity for approval. For a nonprofit, being introduced to a new foundation reduces issues if the request is approved.

When I answer the questions on the application, I keep in mind that this may be the first time the foundation has heard about the nonprofit. So, I provide enough information throughout the application, but not too much, to welcome the foundation into the nonprofit.

On the other side, when I propose that a nonprofit submit a first-time grant request, I highlight the foundation’s information that is specific to the nonprofit’s mission. I want the nonprofit managers to focus on what is relevant about the people who may give them funding. Second, I provide background information like the foundation’s history. This is the foundation’s introduction to the nonprofit.

Introducing the nonprofit and foundation to each other is important since it is hard to come back from a bad or so-so introduction. To write a good introduction, the grant writer should: stay friendly and not demanding; provide confidence and not arrogance; give encouragement and not being derogatory.

The connection the grant writer makes between the foundation and nonprofit could positively impact the people both organizations are helping. Most importantly, a good introduction by the grant writer may help create a long-lasting relationship beneficial to everyone.

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