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Grant Writing for Technical Communicators. Steve Merriam STC Presentation May 11, 2011. Nonprofits in America. From relief societies to the New Deal Two surges in nonprofit growth Nonprofits since Vietnam. Nonprofits in 2011. What determines whether an organization is a nonprofit?

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Grant writing for technical communicators

Grant Writing for Technical Communicators

Steve Merriam

STC Presentation

May 11, 2011

Nonprofits in america
Nonprofits in America

  • From relief societies to the New Deal

  • Two surges in nonprofit growth

  • Nonprofits since Vietnam

Nonprofits in 2011
Nonprofits in 2011

  • What determines whether an organization is a nonprofit?

  • Why are nonprofit organizations tax-exempt?

  • The fund development “department” of a typical nonprofit

The nine components of a typical grant proposal

The Nine Components of a Typical Grant Proposal

Executive Summary, Introduction/Description, Need Statement, Goals and Objectives, Methods, Evaluation, Sustainability, Budget, Appendix

Typical proposal components 1 the executive summary
Typical Proposal Components – 1The Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is a one-page overview of a full proposal.

“Here’s what you need to know.”

Typical proposal components 2 introduction description section
Typical Proposal Components – 2Introduction/Description Section

This section describes the organization, state’s the agency’s mission, outlines the organization’s purposes and goals, profiles its clients, etc.

“What we’re about.”

Typical proposal components 3 statement of need section
Typical Proposal Components – 3Statement of Need Section

The Statement of Need section—also called the “Problem Statement” or “Narrative”—presents a compelling description of the need addressed by the proposal.

“Why we’re asking for funding.”

Typical proposal components 4 goals and objectives section
Typical Proposal Components – 4Goals and Objectives Section

The Goals and Objectives section describes the organization’s long-range benefits (goals) of the project, and spells out the specific short-term results (objectives) to be accomplished.

“What we want to achieve with this funding.”

Typical proposal components 5 methods section
Typical Proposal Components – 5Methods Section

The Methods Section—also called the “Methodology,” “Plan,” or “Approach” section—describes the specific way that the problem will be solved.

“How we will solve the problem with the funding.”

Typical proposal components 7 evaluation section
Typical Proposal Components – 7Evaluation Section

An Evaluation Section plans how a program’s achievements will be assessed.

“How we will tell if our solution makes a difference.”

Typical proposal components 6 sustainability section
Typical Proposal Components – 6Sustainability Section

A Sustainability Section describes how the organization plans to carry on with the project after the initial grant period.

“How the program will continue.”

Typical proposal components 8 budget section
Typical Proposal Components – 8Budget Section

The Budget is usually a line-item summary of the program revenues and expenses, and frequently includes a budget rationale.

“How we’ll allocate resources and serve as effective stewards of your money.”

Typical proposal components 9 appendices
Typical Proposal Components – 9Appendices

Appendices contain supportive secondary information that will strengthen your proposal narrative.

“What other information do you need to see?”

Writing for nonprofits
Writing for Nonprofits

  • Passion

  • Volunteering

  • Building relationships

Writing for nonprofits paying bills
Writing for Nonprofits . . . paying bills

  • How much you should charge

  • What you should (and should not) charge for

  • Grant writing on “commission”

Contingency grant writing
Contingency Grant Writing

  • Representing expertise

  • Representing the profession

  • Representing the grant maker

What s ahead for npos in 2011
What’s Ahead for NPOs in 2011

  • Continued fallout from the 2008 recession

  • “Leaning Out”

  • Engaging a new generation of donors


Questions . . .

References for this presentation available upon request.

Research resources
Research Resources

  • The San Diego Foundation

  • Guidestar

  • The Foundation Center

  • Nonprofit Management Solutions

Professional development
Professional Development

  • Association of Fundraising Professionals

  • Certificate Program in Professional Writing, SDSU

  • M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, USD

  • Certification in Fundraising Management