Consider this scenario: You are an energetic social entrepreneur with a great idea to help your community. So you register a non profit 501c3 organization (may take 2-8months) and are ready to go. So you figure the next step is to write a grant, right? Wrong. Wrong for two reasons:
(1) Before you write a grant ALWAYS know your audience. Every grant maker has different criteria and requirements. You will need to tailor your grant proposal to each specific funder you apply to.
(2) Most grant makers will not fund startups (one exception is the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation) so you are in a bit of a pickle.
How do you overcome these challenges?
First, identify and contact some local foundations who’s criteria your organization will fit with. Contact the program officer and candidly discuss your idea and ask what it will take for you to get a grant considered for funding.
Next, get some experience under your belt. Grantmakers look favorably upon initiative and determination. Sorry for the downer – but plan on implementing your program – even a micro version of it – on a small scale for 6-12 months. This will provide a valuable learning experience to help you deliver more effective services to your target demographic and also demonstrate results and a commitment to the work you are proposing.
If you need help with the research, let me know. I charge $300 for this service and can complete the work in 1-2 weeks providing a fundraising blue-print as you forge ahead.