So I’ve been doing a lot of research about grant writing and I had this HUGE “ah ha” moment. Which is this:
Writing a grant is like writing a business plan.
Shocking, I know! But it really is THAT MUCH WORK. Especially if you’re going for a huge project grant and have everything under the sun that needs to be covered.
Granted (pun intended), the language is different, but the concepts are almost exactly the same. If you can write a grant, you can write a business plan.
The good news here is this: I’m kind of an expert at writing business plans.
And I specialize in making breaking them down so that it’s SIMPLE.
With that in mind, here are 5 EASY steps you can take to get started writing your business plan grant proposal.
1. Describe the reason you need the money: What is the desired outcome? And don’t just say, “We need more tubas” or “We want to start a community choir”. Those are what you want to do…but this is the WHY you want to do them.
2. Outline the entire program: If you can do this with a timeline, you’re one step ahead. After you get funding…then what? Take it step-by-step from now until you’ve reached your desired outcomes.
3. Talk about the players: Who is already involved? What are their roles? Who will do what to make sure everything gets done? And who will be benefiting from the program?
4. How you’re going to get the word out: Now you know WHO you want to benefit, and WHY, think about HOW you’re going to tell them that you have something for them? Then think about WHY they should be a part of your program. Give them a good reason, that’s based on your desired outcome from #1. [We call this the ‘marketing plan’]
5. Be specific about the financials: How much is it going to cost- both to get started up and to keep it going? What are the other sources of income for the project? Use Excel templates for this- it’s very easy.
Whether you just need a little money from a single sponsor, or you’re looking to replace a whole lot of instruments or choir uniforms, having the savvy to write a successful grant is an invaluable skill for the school music educator today.
Gain EVEN MORE education by joining me for my free online webinar: How To Write a Grant in 30 Minutes or Less.