Applying for grants involves much more than just completing an application. It is formulating a project, researching possible sources of funding for the project, checking on application deadlines and application format, gathering data to support the need for the project, writing the proposal or completing the application, and submitting the final product. Then there's a lot of waiting. . . Maine Grant Connection can help you with one or two of those steps, or we can go through the whole process with you. Are you brand new to the grant writing scene? We'll help you craft your first grant proposal!
People often enter the grant application arena thinking, "I know Foundation X gives a lot of funding, and their deadline is coming up in a month, so we should apply to them for a grant to support our project," but that approach is a bit like throwing a dart in the direction of the dartboard - with a blindfold on. Maine Grant Connection will do the research necessary to find foundations that are most likely to award grants to an organization in your geographic area, for the type of project you have in mind, and for the amount of funding you are seeking.
We know the foundations, what their particular interests are, how much they tend to give, and in which geographical areas they focus. We study their trends to determine whether their interests are shifting. Sometimes a foundation that has focused primarily on education causes for a decade will decide to support environmental organizations or food pantries instead. That can be a vital piece of information to know before you apply!
If you prefer to write the grant proposal yourself, but would like to have Maine Grant Connection proofread it and suggest edits, we will be happy to be your "second set of eyes." We will also double-check that your proposal follows all application guidelines.
Grant Proposal Plan
Writing a grant proposal or application is basically like a well-researched, carefully planned "sales pitch." Grant applications vary greatly. One foundation may ask applicants to "pitch" their idea in 200 words or less, while another requires a "term paper" with detailed explanation of the project. That means that you have to plan your strategy carefully, gather some compelling support for why the project is needed, and lay out your well-supported proposal as clearly (and sometimes concisely) as you can. We will sit down with you (by Zoom, phone, email, or masked meeting!) to help you plan your approach for the grant application, and help you tailor it to the requirements of that particular foundation.
Writing the Application
If you choose to have Maine Grant Connection write your grant proposal/application, we will work with you to produce a professional, compelling proposal that makes the best case for funding, tailored to the specific foundation's interests and giving priorities. You will be able to view the work in progress, give us input, and suggest revisions along the way. We are happy to share examples of our work on previous grant applications at your request.