1. Gather Information – Carefully read funding guidelines and proposal instructions, and even request annual reports and details on past grantees before you decide to apply. Ensure that you’re a good fit for the grant and follow all the instructions!
2. Assemble a Dream Team – Identify the strong writer(s), the idea person, the number cruncher, and a good copyeditor in your NGO. These are the individuals you want on your grant writing team; use them to submit a knock-out proposal (make sure it includes the most current program and organizational information.)
3. Start Early & Submit Early – Don’t wait until the last minute to send your proposal! Aim to be memorable as one of the first proposals in the door.
4. Connect with Funders – If the funder is local, run the names of the funder’s staff by your Board Members and other organizational contacts to see if anyone has a connection to the funder. One phone call from the right person can help your organisation’s proposal make it to the top of the pile.
5. Say Thank You & Solicit Feedback – Follow up with a thank-you letter even if you don’t secure funding. Ask the funder how your proposal can be improved and help increase your chances of securing future funding.
These tips were originally featured at the 2014 T&T NGO Professionals Conference on postcards for our conference attendees!