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Three Indispensable Tools for Starting a Grant Proposal

Like all other kinds of writing, grant proposals start with a blank screen.

You’ve got your information compiled and your statistics ready. You may even have a few quotes or stories to throw in.

But how do you start?

We’ve been there staring, at that blank screen and here are three great tools that we’ve used to get us going.

Logic Model Worksheet

An oldies, but a goodie! When you are starting a grant proposal, this tool really helps you to create a solid outline.

We’ve put it into a handy worksheet and you can access it here in our Toolbox, along with a graphic that gives an explanation for each piece of the model.

The Logic Model helps you to organize and get something down on paper. It also forces you to concentrate on things beyond a laundry list of activities and towards outcomes and impact.

The Big Picture Matrix

We created this worksheet to help fundraisers see the various options they have for writing project grants. We all know that institutional foundations and other funders generally like to restrict their funding to specific projects, but how do these projects link to the bigger mission?

And is there a way to create “quasi-restricted” projects in between general operating and specific projects that give your organization more flexibility?

Take a stab at this form and you’ll see a variety of options!

The Story Brand Graphic

If the Logic Model and “quasi-restricted” funding buckets were all there was to grant writing, I’m not sure I’d do too much of it. What I really like about grant writing is the story.

The story you tell in your grant proposal is not really about your organization. It’s about a serious challenge that the world is facing. Your organization has a solution that can take on that challenge if only the hero (the funder or donor) can help to make the solution real.

Telling that story so that someone reads it like a novel, so that the reader wants to know what’s going to happen next, that is the real fun – and challenge – of grant writing.

Cause Vox put out a great graphic that I use to remind me of this storytelling perspective and you can find it here.

If you put all three of these tools together, you’re well on your way to a great proposal.

Good luck! And let us know if you need some help. We’ve added grant writing services to our practice and we may have just the support you need to get that winning grant proposal out the door. Click here to learn more.

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