Maximizing Your Grant Potential

By: Laura A. Friedeberg, MS

The Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health has been fortunate to receive external funding from federal, state, and private sources. As many nonprofits know, it can be extremely valuable to solicit and receive support from others in the form of grants.  The process of obtaining the funding and reporting back on progress achieved builds a partnership that can bring financial sustenance as well as critical feedback, support and improvement to a program.  However, applying for grants can be challenging as there are always different rules and requirements associated with each opportunity.

Here’s a look at key things to keep in mind in order to maximize your grant potential:

  • Read each funding announcement carefully and pay close attention to the deadline.
  • Make sure the grant will further your organization’s work and mission. It’s important to avoid straying from your mission just to obtain funding.
  • Consider contacting the funder directly with questions to make sure your proposal is a good fit for what they’re looking to sponsor. Some funders also host conference calls or webinars to explain their funding opportunity.
  • Make note of specific criteria outlined in the funding opportunity and make sure your proposal addresses each category. In general, proposals contain the following information:
    • Cover Page
    • Table of Contents
    • Abstract or Project Summary
    • Project Description
    • Budget and Budget Justification
    • Resume or Biographical Sketch for Personnel
    • Description of Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources
    • References
    • Appendices
    • Certifications or Other Forms
  • Proofread your proposal for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors; make sure it is clear and concise, adheres to formatting requirements, and contains all of the requested information.
  • Follow up with the office administrator to make sure your proposal was received and that everything is in order.

Providing high-quality proposals that contain the key elements a funder is looking for should increase your funding success.

Laura Friedeberg, MS, is a grants management specialist for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. She has been with the organization for seven years, working primarily in pre- and post-award administration of projects for the Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health.

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