10 grant seeking tips from a program officer

Daniel Kertzner, Vice President for Grant Programs at the Rhode Island Foundation, provided grant seeking tips to a crowd of development directors at the annual meeting of the RI Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals on February 6, 2015. Here are a few highlights:

  1. Grantwriting = Relationships. Daniel stressed that grant seekers need to treat their work with any foundation as they would with any other donor. Building relationships is critically important.
  2. Tell your story from the perspective of the funder. Put yourself into the head of the grants program officer. You need to understand how they talk and think and speak in a language that resonates with them.
  3. Be precise. Answer all the questions asked. Provide the information requested.
  4. Be clear. Program officers have lots of grants to read. Tell your story clearly and concisely.
  5. Carefully craft your budget. Your budget and your narrative should tell the same story. Your budget should make sense for what you are asking to accomplish.
  6. Evaluate. Measuring your impact is critically important.
  7. Cross your Ts and dot your Is. Get someone else to proofread your grant. Make sure your budget adds up. Don’t forget any part of the application or requested materials.
  8. Learn from rejection. Ask for feedback if you get turned down. Listen to that feedback.
  9. Say thank you.
  10. See #1.

For more advice, take a look at:
How we got the grant, Part I and How we got the grant, Part II


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