1. Have all your paperwork in order. Standard items include, audited financial statements, current budget, organizational timeline or history, IRS 501(c)(3) letter, Tax ID number, List of board/committee members, their affiliations and monetary contributions
2. Be concise. Present a plan with reachable outcomes. Be sure your proposal matches your mission.
3. Research. Know your funder. What and why do they support the areas? Who is on the board? Who have they funded in the past? Know requirements: deadline, geographical area etc. Know about their funding: will minimums help your playground project, will funds be release in time for your project, what type of reporting is necessary and can you meet it.
4. Follow the Rules. Read the directions thoroughly. If the funder asks for a 500 word narrative don�t give them 520.
5. Write a Case Statement. 2 pages. History, mission statement, need (how the playground will help the community-use statistics and demographics) show the outcome will be long-lasting and create a sense of excitement and dedication
6. Prepare the Budget Funders are looking for cost effective use of funds and realistic estimates. Don�t forget personnel expenses including payroll taxes and benefits; direct and indirect expenses; and in-kind donations of goods or services.
7. Check your work. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Check your budget balances and all columns calculate. Check that you followed all the rules (See step 4). Use plain language- the funder should understand your playground proposal.
8. Turn your proposal in ON TIME. Plan to be early and/or MEET THE DEADLINE.
9. Follow up. Even if you are not awarded the grant send a thank you. Ask for feedback-What could be done better? Can we apply again next year?
If you are awarded the playground grant keep your funder involved in the project and use the money as proposed. Most importantly, comply with all the reporting requirements and deadlines.