When it comes to nonprofits or charities securing operating revenue, writing a thorough proposal letter to various sponsors is one of the many ways of achieving an organization’s monetary goals.
But writing for grants isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” scenario – a lot of times it can end in frustration, require numerous edits and re-writes, resubmitting the same proposal, and then maybe you’ll draft the perfect version.
Don’t let that discourage you, though. Statistics show that about $50 billion dollars are given to exempt organizations each year with at least 1.5 million certified nonprofits all aiming for a piece of the prize. So you’re not the only one sweating, but you do need to stand out. With these helpful hints, you’ll be well on your way to pulling in some major funds for your cause.
Carry Out Research
If a sponsor or a grant doesn’t share or reflect the value of your organization’s mission, then why ask them for money? Before you even look at the grant application form, make an effort to get the facts down first – check out their website or see if they’re on social media.
You may find that there are specific requirements your organization has to follow to be eligible. Or you may figure out that a particular grant just doesn’t fit your organization too well. There’s no point in asking a sponsor that isn’t on the same page as your nonprofit – no matter how perfect of a proposal you deliver.
Determine your Organization’s Category
Different strokes for different folks, right? And the same goes for grants. Money given by corporate and foundation programs usually fall into these main two types:
- Program Development
- Operational General Purpose Support
These two branches break down even further – you can find more information by checking your state’s nonprofit association website.
Make Use of Resources
You wouldn’t blindly take a test or sign a contract without looking it over would you? Even by reading this information, you’re practicing well due diligence. There are way too many resources available out there that can provide a concrete step to take.
There’s always the Internet or the library – you can look into nonprofit associations or even other local exempt organizations for pointers. If you have proper means, check your local community college or adult education center for any grant writing courses available.
If at first you don’t succeed, try it again. Keep in mind that your first attempt won’t be perfect – “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and failure with frustration comes with the territory. But having a good attitude throughout the process is key to getting over the hurdles you encounter. Practice makes perfect – and the more you do, the better it becomes.
Once you’ve mastered your proposals and have that grant money pouring in, you’re required to report those amounts to the IRS. With ExpressTaxExempt.com, you can quickly and easily enter your received grants and contributions, which then generates on your IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ. You can also e-file IRS Form 8868 to get an extra three months filing time.
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