Every grant application requires a story of your program or project. This helps the funders to connect with your nonprofit’s mission, idea, and overall goals. Also, it helps you to set yourself apart and you have a better chance your grant proposal resonates with the reviewer. However, telling the story of your nonprofit can be a challenge, even though you know the organization like the back of your hand. To do it right takes creativity and organization on your side. If you do not know where to start adding the story to your grant proposal. Think of it as a novel and capture all the quintessential areas of writing one and bring them to life in your grant proposal as below.
- The purpose
Why do you have to share your story in your proposal? And why you have to tell it in the proposal is part of the purpose? Every good story begins with a well-thought-out purpose. This will help to set the baseline and guides you through the rest of the storyline. The purpose helps the funder understand why it is worth funding your nonprofit and the impact it has on the people you are working with. Remember, if the purpose is not well stated by you, the funder will also not understand it.
- The storyline
This is the plot of the story or the “meat” of the story. As you apply for US financial aid, this means incorporating any budget details, organizational information, and supporting documents, among others. What can you provide to show the funder this is how to address this problem, the approach you wish to take, and the expected outcome. Ensure your project is well outlined and planned out, for the outcomes to make sense to the reviewer. Thus, continuously stress the steps you will put in place from start to end, to make it clear how their input makes a difference.
- The team involved
The team is like the characters in a novel. These characters in your nonprofit are those participating in the funders’ side and your project leaders and staff on your side. The application is not about you the writer. Most importantly, however, the main team players are the causes and people your nonprofit aims to serve. After all, your target and the end goal are all about helping solve a problem. Therefore, all these characters need to come out clearly in your storytelling and how they all work together to achieve the goal.
- The audience
Any story you tell, you need to know your audience. The same applies to your grant writing application. Only submit your application when you are sure that you have captured the funders’ mission statement and objectives in line with your own. Remember as you sell your story, you need to share a story that the funder wants to hear. Thus, ensure you do not change the story to try and sit them. If you feel this is what you are doing with your proposal, the funder is not probably a good option for you anyway.
- The delivery of the story
Keep in mind that anyone can write a great story, but how you deliver it matters. To ensure that you deliver your story properly, ensure you have enough time to prepare before writing and submitting it. Also, make sure you follow through with the guideline and you have covered all questions and requirements by the granter. To ensure this happens, have several people proofread your proposal before you submit it. If possible, request your proofreader to explain the project back to you to see if you captured everything as you hoped.
To sum up, the above are simple tips to help as you share your nonprofit story in your grant proposal. Remember, it should not be too long or too short as sharing your story is a gem. It renders your message, catchy, personalized, and relevant. Use the tips above to make your grant application move to the next level and increase your chances of attracting funders. It is all about merging the problem and solution in your storytelling to get an amazing transformation.