November 27, 2017

Why Nonprofit Grant-Writing is Like Getting Someone to Ask You Out

Sample draft grant request with lots of correctionsHow to Write a Bang-up, Catch Their Eye, Crush- Making Introduction Letter

I found a grant draft recently that I revised for a client. You can see, it was blued all over with ink and suggestions to strengthen it.
Why so many corrections? Introduction letters must be compelling enough to blow through the clutter. To save time and to further your mission, your goal is a definitive yes or no to your invitation, based on your case. Since you want to attract this new relationship, write a bang-up, catch their eye, crush-making introduction letter. To help you write quicker grant applications, think about the introduction letter as akin to getting someone to ask you for a date.

Writing Grant Introduction Letters

You’re the One

Write to an individual. When you decide you want someone to ask you out, you focus on getting one person interested in you. Therefore, write your grant letter to an individual, following the dating concept your “flirt” with the person with the authority and means to fund your requests.
What You Seek
My father asked my mother to marry him on their first date. So, dating and grant writing can be swift. In some circumstances, the introduction letter equals the request. In most cases, especially if you seek a long-term relationship, start with snippet requests. “Therefore, love moderately. Long love doth so, “advises Friar Tuck in Romeo and Juliet. When in doubt, ask for a brief meeting in their office and at their convenience. Afterward, you’ll write a better request and open the door for long love.

We’d Be Great Together.

Since you seek a date, explain why they should be interested in you. Why would you be a great team? In other words, what might they miss if they didn’t have a 20-minute personal conversation with you? You write, “because of your interest in children’s feet, I wanted to let you know about our children’s program that covers thousands of tiny feet each year.” Convey how your time together will be an added value experience for them. This is not a time to ask for a grant; they already understand your goal.
You can improve your grant results by carefully crafting introduction letters using the mindset of getting someone to ask you for a date. To discover more about grant writing and other nonprofit fundraising opportunities, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. To review your drafts, I’m just an email or telephone call (941-924-4860) away.


Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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