In this month's grant writing tips, we cover two often overlooked, yet incredibly important topics: Sustainability & Telling your story.
Keep the Train Rolling – The Importance of Sustainability in Grant Writing
Sustainability is a key part of successful grant projects. Many funding opportunity announcements will specifically ask for your sustainability plans, but even if you’re not asked for those plans, it’s a good idea to include your sustainability plan. Funders want their grant dollars to be used to “grow legs” and continue on their own instead of repeatedly coming back for more funds year after year.
Why is sustainability important in grant writing?
- It shows funders that you are a responsible organization. Funders want to support organizations that are committed to making a long-term impact. By including a sustainability plan in your grant proposal, you show funders that you have thought about how your project will continue to be successful after the grant money runs out.
- It increases your chances of getting funded. Funders are more likely to fund projects that have a clear sustainability plan. This is because they know that their money is going to be used to support a project that will have a lasting impact.
- It helps you achieve your goals. A well-crafted sustainability plan can help you achieve your goals by providing a roadmap for how you will continue to support your project after the grant money runs out. Here are a few tips for grant writers who want to include a sustainability plan in their grant proposals:
- Start by identifying your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your project? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a plan for how you will achieve them after the grant money runs out.
- Be realistic. When developing your sustainability plan, it’s essential to be realistic about your resources and capabilities. Don’t promise more than you can deliver.
- Be flexible. Things change, so it’s important to have a sustainability plan that is flexible enough to adapt to change.
- Get feedback. Once you have developed a sustainability plan, it’s a good idea to get input from others. This will help you identify any potential problems or gaps in your plan. By following these tips, you can write a sustainability plan that will help you increase your chances of getting funded and achieving your goals.
Stories and Data: The Perfect Match for Grant Writing
When writing a grant proposal, you're trying to persuade a funder that your project is worthwhile. It would be best to show them that your project is needed, will have a measurable impact, and will likely be successful. Stories and data are two great writing tools to communicate this to your funder. Stories appeal to the heart and, when done correctly, make your project relatable. Data add credence to the stories you tell and provide an instrument of measurement when it comes to evaluation.
Stories are a powerful way to connect with your audience and make them care about your project. When you tell a story, you give your funder a glimpse into the lives of the people who will be affected by your work. You're showing them the human side of your project and why it matters. Stories can be about anything from the challenges your beneficiaries face to the successes they've achieved. They can be personal or professional, funny or sad, heartwarming or heartbreaking. The most important thing is that they're authentic and relatable.
Data is another important tool for grant writing. It provides your funder with concrete evidence that your project is needed and will be effective. Data can come from various sources, including surveys, research studies, and government reports. When using data in your grant proposal, it's important to be clear and concise. Avoid jargon and technical language that your funder may need help understanding. Instead, focus on presenting the data in a way that is easy to understand and interpret.
The Perfect Match
Stories and data are the perfect match for grant writing. When used together, they can create a compelling and persuasive case for your project. Stories connect with your funder on an emotional level, while data provides them with the evidence they need to decide. If you're writing a grant proposal, remember to include stories and data. They're two of the most powerful tools to get your funder on board with your project.