The Seven Deadly Sins of Grant Seeking

by | May 3, 2013

how to win grantsAlan Silver’s book, How to Win Grants: 101 Winning Strategies, lists seven deadly sins of grant seeking. Has your organization committed any of these sins?

1. Don’t ask for money from people who will never give it to you;

  •  Do ask potential investors who believe in your mission and are passionate about your cause.

 2.  Don’t shotgun cookie-cutter proposals to long lists of funders;

  • Do customize your proposal or case statement to show that your services support the funders’ mission and priority areas.

3.  Don’t contact funders until you have learned about their funding priorities, types of projects and grantees, geographic preferences, and all other things you can find out about them;

  • Do your research before you contact a potential funder. Look for their priority areas, geographic preferences and previous grantees to see if there is alignment between you and them.

4.  Don’t ask for funding before you know exactly what you need;

  • Do have a plan that supports the expansion or enhancement that your organization is seeking through this funding request.

5.  Don’t submit a grant proposal without having another person read it for meaning, content, and style;

  • Do edit and review your proposal internally and perhaps with an external grant consultant.

6.  Don’t talk too much about your project and write too little about it; and,

  • Do provide documented information to support the value of your organization.

7.  Don’t give up too soon. If you have a good idea and you refine its presentation, it’s increasingly likely someone will fund it – maybe even the funder who originally rejected your proposal.

  • Do listen to the feedback, make modifications and submit again (to the same funder or a new one).

Transform Consulting Group knows the ins-and-outs of successful fund development and grant application. Contact us today for a consultation!

Adapted from an article in The NonProfit Times.


Related Articles

6 Strategies to Maximize #GivingTuesday

6 Strategies to Maximize #GivingTuesday

Year-end giving can always be a challenge as everyone is trying new strategies to make the most dollars in a small window of time (check out our 10 tips to implement here). One strategy to include...

read more



Data Informed Tool

Data-Informed Tools

Toolkits address the “why” of data.

Data Informed Tool

Data Dashboard Tools

It is still possible to meet your fundraising goals

Data Informed Tool

Strategic Planning Tools

We’ll work to identify the key stakeholders to inform your planning process.

Data Informed Tool

Evaluation Tools

How effective is your program? Is it working as intended?

Data Informed Tool

Fundraising Tools

With simple, practical tools, your team can diversify funding streams.

Data Informed Tool

Coalition Tools

Is your issue bigger than one organization can handle? A coalition may be the answer!