Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 21

find out if they’re accepting new applications and, if so, when and what their requirements are. own requirements. If their website doesn’t have any, you can contact the foundation to ask for them. If you’ve done your homework before applying, you should already have many of the elements you’ll need to complete the application form. Always be sure to tailor your proposal for each funder and make sure you explain why your organization and project are a good investment for that particular foundation. CONTACT THE PROSPECT Before you submit a proposal, it is a good idea to get in touch with the funder to confirm that they are accepting proposals, make sure you are eligible to apply, and that you have the correct application guidelines. You can also ask any specific questions you have about the proposal process or application form. Usually a first grant proposal will be for a one-year project, but not always. Once you establish a track record with a funder, they may consider giving you a multi-year grant. If you do contact the foundation before applying, keep your email or phone call short. State upfront why you are contacting them. Don’t call to ask outright for a grant – that is what the application process is for. Show them you’ve done your research and you’re following up on specifics. Don’t send draft documents or make a long pitch – respect the foundation staff ’s time and be clear about what you want. WHAT TYPE OF GRANT ARE YOU APPLYING FOR? There are two main types of grants: general operating support (also known as unrestricted grants) and projectspecific grants. General operating support or unrestricted grants are grants given to support your organization and its work as a whole. These grants usually give you a lot of flexibility on how you can spend the fu