How you say things makes all the difference in the world. Words are powerful tools and need to be used with caution. I’m going to take a wild guess that you probably don’t want to give me money just because I asked for it. You’d probably want more information and a little more professionalism if I was asking for funding. Unfortunately, when it comes to grant writing, sometimes our requests can sound a lot like begging. We all know why you’re approaching funders and the funders know why you’re approaching them. But that’s no excuse to lose tact so here are a few quick things to remember when you approach a funder.
Your Opinion isn’t What’s Important – You want to convey your passion and express the need for your organization, but leave out your frustration for lack of funding and personal feelings about the issue. Explain the situation, give statistics, and request the donation. Leave it at that.
Don’t Forget this is a Two-Way Street – Make sure to point out how your cause is a good fit with their philanthropy. Also, what will your organization do if the funder awards you a grant? Everyone wants to be recognized and it’s no different with funders – give them a mention in a newsletter or a spot on the website as a sign of appreciation.
Is that English?? – Use simple, clear, and easily understood language. The whole point to communicating is to understand. If the funder has no idea what you’re saying because you decided to use words that haven’t been used since the 17th century to impress them, you won’t get funded.
Be Honest – If you need $300, ask for $300. Don’t over-exaggerate or ask for “cushion” money. Ask for exactly what you need.
Don’t Lose Hope,