match

5 Things to Know About the Language and Culture of a Grant Donor

I am often asked: “Can I submit the same grant proposal to multiple funding agencies?” Obviously, the answer is a definite no, but it is also important to understand the implications behind such a question. It assumes that all donors are the same; that they would fund whatever we wish funded; that there is a… read more

language

Do You Speak the Private Donor’s Language?

Every time I travel abroad to a place where the language and culture are different, there are always situations where it is difficult to be understood. These experiences often remind me of the flawed way I approached my first grant. I thought the fact that I had an innovative idea would alone merit funding. I… read more

elevator-pitch

Why should I have an Elevator Pitch?

Being ready with a short elevator pitch about your project can sell your idea and ultimately get you funded. I conducted a workshop in Chicago a few years ago, and one attendee was determined to convince a large Illinois foundation to fund her disabled students’ participation in sports. She tried in vain to get an… read more

not your money

Whose Money Is It, Anyway?

“You’re taking my money away from me!” the Project Director cried. He glared at me with contempt while I explained our institution’s position. A grant for which he was the PI had met all of its programmatic goals a few months early, and a progress report had been sent to the sponsor. Although satisfied with… read more

optimism

Optimism Will Get You Funded

The power of optimism is a huge advantage when seeking funding. A positive outlook sets the stage for your entire grant application, and donors will notice! You must believe that you will obtain the necessary funds for the important idea you wish funded. Addressing the details about what you will do in positive and optimistic… read more

wedding rings

The Ideal Marriage: Foundations and You

An ideal marriage between a foundation and a grantee requires commitment to a shared vision. Projects and beneficiaries are the common ground between a donor awarding grants and an applicant seeking funds. The primary focus for a foundation is requesting excellent outcomes from grantees. The key emphasis for the requester is proving that their project… read more

No One Has Your Back

No One Has Your Back: The Truth About Institutional Support

What would you do if faced with the choice of writing successful technical grants outside your area of expertise or losing your job? A participant in a recent workshop I taught told me she had worked as a secretary for many years, but her position recently shifted to accommodate proposal writing. She had never written… read more

Letter of Inquiry

The Letter of Inquiry: Quality Makes the Difference

Writing a good letter of inquiry is critical to getting your donor’s attention. The quality of this letter is what makes or breaks your chances of being invited to submit a proposal. Although approaching a funder can be intimidating, writing an excellent letter of inquiry is the best way to get your foot in the door…. read more