Grants are an excellent way to secure funding your child care center needs. They can provide new playground equipment, help implement a new safety training program or buy computers for learning programs. The key to receiving grant money is to write a clear proposal.
Following directions is the easiest way to help put your application at the top of the pile. Carefully read through what the funding organization wants. Most will have specifics about how they want the proposal formatted; including page numbers, spacing and font sizes. If you’re applying for a grant that gets thousands of applications and you don’t follow the directions, the reader will likely disqualify you. Also make sure that your application contains all of the information that the grantor wants to see and that all attachments are included.
Meeting with Corporate Managers
Many large corporations offer grants to non-profits. If you’re applying for a grant from a company that has a local office, it may be helpful to schedule a meeting with one of the managers. While she may not be able to offer you a grant on the spot, she might be able to tell you which types of proposals typically get funded or what information they are looking for. This can help you tailor the proposal to meet the needs of the organization giving the grant and build a relationship with the local office.
Getting Specific with Your Needs
Grant committees want to see specifics in your grant proposal. They want details about how you will use the money. They want to know who in your company will be leading the project and what type of experience that person has. They want to know about your child care center, its goals, and how the grant money can help you and your staff reach those goals. If appropriate, include statistics that could help your proposal, such as number of enrolled children, growth over the past year, etc.
Matching Proposals to Grantor’s Program
You should always be looking into programs that offer money for programs that benefit young children, but you also want to look into the types of proposals the organization typically approves. Some organizations prefer to focus their efforts on literacy or math programs. These organizations would be unlikely to approve your request for playground equipment. A program that focuses on children’s health would be a better fit. Some common causes that organizations like include programs that focus on tutoring, foreign language acquisition, character building, and studies in a particular area. Make sure to do your research before submitting your proposal.
Grant writing is likely to be a worthwhile endeavor for your child care center, and it is definitely an art form.