The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Grantsmanship as “the art of obtaining grants.” There is a definite process to grantsmanship, which can be broken up into five basic steps:
- Communicate your passion: Your nonprofit’s mission and passion result in programs or services that transform lives and/or make the world a better place. As a starting point this mission and passion must be well defined and skillfully communicated in your proposal.
- Find an appropriate funder: It is not enough just to find a grant that looks promising. You must identify a grant from a funding organization that shares your vision and goals and ideally has given grants for projects in a similar area in the past.
- Write your proposal in a clear and concise way that reflects your mission and goals, identifies clear results to be achieved and provides objectives that can be measured.
- Apply for the grant by submitting your proposal to the funder, being sure to comply with all instructions and meet deadlines.
- Follow Up: If you win the grant, congratulations! Be sure to follow all guidelines and meet all reporting requirements. Maintain an excellent relationship and it is likely that you will be able to receive more funding from this grant maker. If you are turned down, pay careful attention to the reason and use what you have learned when you seek future grants.