“Most nonprofits don’t get full value from the research involved in producing a grant proposal,” said Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “That’s especially true when it comes to the proposal’s explanation of the problem the organization plans to address.”
“A tight, well-crafted description of the situation you’re concerned about is like a Swiss Army Knife,” said Floersch. “Think of it as a tool that can be used in several of ways.” To reap full benefit from your work, Floersch suggests excerpting the proposal’s Problem Section and producing targeted editions to serve three distinct purposes.
* An Internal Education Document. Share it with staff and board members. When they have a solid understanding of the problem, they’re better prepared to rally community support, engage other organizations, and convince funders to become partners in making things better.
* A position paper. It can serve as the basis for editorials, blogs, presentations, and public testimony. When you disseminate solid information widely, you’re laying the groundwork for progress. And when the community understands the magnitude and significance of the problem, you’re more likely to receive cash and in-kind donations to help you do the needed work.
* A briefing document. Share it with those who are concerned about the problem or who should be. The list may include politicians, local officials, targeted community members, and colleague organizations. Make sure those who need up-to-date information get it.
If you develop and submit a grant proposal, and then just file the document away while you wait for the funding decision, you’re wasting an incredible resource. “The data and information in a well-prepared grant proposal can help your organization in lots of ways,” said Floersch. “Think beyond the proposal.” ©Copyright 2016 The Grantsmanship Center.
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