DIY grant winning

Grant winning is much more than locating sources of funds. The winning comes after very thorough program planning, research, and strategic efforts to identify strong funding partners. We’ve gathered our favorite resources to help you achieve your program or organization’s funding goals.

The key to winning grants is recognizing that you are seeking partnerships with funders. You are not begging or trying to smooth-talk your way into receiving money. Foundations have their own goals and objectives. You want to help foundations meet their missions. You want to find foundations whose missions can be met by the work you are doing in your organization.

Start with Andy Robinson’s Grassroots Grants: An Activist’s Guide to Grantseeking. Honesty, clarity, and a solid investment of time are essential for a strong grants program. Be clear about what you want to do, so you can find someone (a grant maker) to do it with you.

Other helpful documents for your grant seeking:

  • How to establish a grants plan (download pdf)
  • Organization readiness checklist (download pdf)
  • Organization and program readiness: Pre-grant questions (download pdf)
  • Types of grants (download pdf)
  • Researching potential funding partners: Foundation Center trainings on site and online. Information about Maine-specific training programs are here and here.
  • Digging deeper: Questions for a previously funded nonprofit organization (download pdf)
  • Proposal preparation: Proposal preparation timeline worksheet (download pdf)
  • Needs statement toolkit (external link)