What do foundations look for in a good grant proposal?
As a nonprofit applying for a grant, how do you know that your program or project is the right fit for a specific grant opportunity?
At MeHAF, we know the application process can be cumbersome. That is why we have spent a tremendous amount of time working on streamlining our proposal processes and why grantseekers are our first consideration as we put together our funding guidelines.
It's impossible to track the exact amount of effort that goes into releasing a MeHAF Request for Proposals (RFP), but nonprofits are often surprised to learn what a lengthy and thoughtful process it is. Our staff, our Board of Trustees' Strategic Planning and Grants Committees, as well as the entire Board review and approve concepts that require many hours of discussion, writing, and reviewing..."lather, rinse, repeat!"
We put in the necessary work up front with the intention of finding all the right partners to help MeHAF make a difference in the lives of Maine people.
Whether you are considering applying to MeHAF or to another foundation for funding, here are a few tips to help ensure you'll get the right fit:
The staff at MeHAF has had many conversations with prospective applicants determined to submit a proposal, trying to convince us that their proposal is a good fit even when it clearly is not. If you are in one of those situations, whether it is with MeHAF or another funder, it is best to have an honest conversation and be sure to listen to any candid feedback the foundation is providing. The notion of a "right fit" is essential to the success of receiving a grant, but more importantly, to the success of achieving the project goals...for your organization and stakeholders, for the foundation, and most importantly for the people your organization serves. You never know what will happen down the road, but realize that sometimes the shoe just isn't the right fit and you have to walk away.
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