The Basics:  

  1. Remember that the information you gather for one grant might easily be cut and pasted for another, so keep copies of everything, both on paper and digital. Keep it organized well, so you can find things easily when deadlines approach.
  2. Just like making something from a recipe, it always works best if you read through the whole set of instructions before you begin. Every grant application has different requirements. Ignoring the process will automatically insure you do not get the grant.
  3. Follow the instructions to the letter. Make a checklist of what needs to be gathered or created, and check each item off as it is accomplished. Keep working on that list!
  4. If you have questions or are confused, ask for help. The organizations that give away money need to give away money to keep their non-profit status. They want your grant to succeed. Call, email or write and ask your questions for clarification.
  5. Be on time with all paperwork.
  6. Be honest.
  7. More is just more. Write at no higher than the 9th grade level. State your mission, purpose, plan and need clearly. Simple but clear is best. Remember they do not live in your area or have your background, so you will need to write as if they know nothing.
  8. When they ask for a budget, a simple budget will suffice. If they need more, they will ask.
  9. Show that you are not alone. Demonstrate that you have a base of support. Give them an understanding of how your organization and program are connected to other financial, physical and volunteer resources in your community.
  10. Show the value of the resources you already have. If you have volunteers, record their hours and give them a monetary value. What would you have to pay to get those services? If you have been given space for a program, monetize that resource. If you have in-kind gifts, place a value on those; these items are part of your support, your budget and your resources.
  11. Get someone to double check your list, to read through the requirements and to check for errors in all paper work before you send it in. A person who has no connection to your program is a great person to have read through for clarity.
  12. Need a 5013c certificate? No problem! As part of the Presbyterian Church USA, you have one. Just call Rocky Poole, the Presbytery Treasurer, and he will hook you up.
  13. Do not get discouraged. Having a file of rejection letters is par for the course. Keep applying.