Winning Grants Webinar Recap

We had an amazing webinar last week. I had a cold, so if you view/listen to the recording, you will notice a few seconds of silence now and then when I was blowing my nose. Sorry for that…one of the benefits of online training is that I didn’t give anyone my germs!

The following comment in the evaluation really made my day:

I've been dreaming of a bookmobile for our community, but I had no idea where to go for help. As a matter of fact I didn't even know how to get started. Now, my level of confidence just "hit the roof" because I have the knowledge I need to make a plan. I can't thank you enough!

This is exactly why we offer this type of learning event. We had such an incredible group of participants who actively shared their tips and ideas so that we all learned from each other. I posted a list of all the grants suggested in the chat during the webinar to our Community Forum. If you want to get started in grant work, I encourage you to check out our grants series for a complete list of steps to take. Grant work often has so many wonderful benefits…besides funding, it can really be an advocacy tool to connect with other groups in your community and spread the word about the great programs and services being offered in our libraries and nonprofits.

It is important to always focus your grant work on the people that will be helped. Funders are giving grants to help people, not to just provide funding to organizations. In your planning, researching, and writing, make sure you keep in mind and demonstrate WHO will be helped through your grant. It's all about the people, not the technology or other "stuff" included in your grant proposal.

During the webinar, I asked for suggestions on what makes a good grant project. Thanks to everyone who contributed such wonderful tips:

  • Community need
  • Partnering with other organizations
  • Based on research/evidence
  • A beginning and end
  • Measurable goals
  • Something innovative that offers a new service to your community
  • Impacts a large number of people
  • Fits the mission of the granting institution
  • Anything that helps others is a good grant project
  • Pick a couple of goals and focus on them
  • Stats to help build your point
  • Fits within the organization's mission and aligns with the foundations priorities
  • Community partnerships
  • Ability to PROVE your need
  • Concise, clear, well thought through, meets community need
  • Pay attention to detail, use their terminology; know your grant funders’ mission
  • Being Realistic
  • Consistancy, creativity
  • Can be sustainable in the future
  • Something that serves the community and can be done in a specific period of time
  • Focuses on what you CAN achieve
  • If the "project" has a quantifiable outcome
  • Something that can be completed and measured
  • Don't chase money.  Stay true to your mission
  • Something you're PASSIONATE about doing
  • Planning, planning, planning--define the project, make sure your ideas will meet the community's needs
  • If it is ongoing
  • Knowing who they funded previously and if you already work with one of those
  • Team members collaborating to meet community needs
  • Make sure to let the funder know how funding the grant will benefit them
  • Community outreach in involvement
  • Something that impacts and makes a difference for more people