7 Tips to Write Grants Like a Pro
Patrick Kirby 0:03
Hey, everybody, welcome to our monthly nonprofit boot camp guest expert training. I am very excited for today’s topic. I think it’s number one. Some of the most confusing things that nonprofits and and small businesses, whomever is involved with it is Grant’s, like we just have, again is an impossible thing to wrap one’s head about it. Unless you’re the expert that we have brought on today for you. So we’re very excited to have our guest expert trainer today. A couple of housekeeping items. Number one, this will be a replay in the next couple of days. So you have access to this and and everybody who’s watching in replay. Hi, welcome. You’re more than welcome to join us live. And I’m really glad that you’re watching this in replay. That’s the benefit and value of the nonprofit boot camp. So kudos to you. Sammy, my partner in crime is with us today. She had an unfortunate Garbage Truck Accident, which we will maybe blog about because it’s just too good of a story not to share on it. But she’s walking, watching with us as well. And in the chat. Speaking of chat, feel free to ask questions, if you have any. I’ll be monitoring that throughout this entire webinar. And I am very excited to welcome again one of the smartest human beings I have ever come across in the nonprofit realm. Holly rustic Welcome to our nonprofit boot camp guest expert training today. I am grateful for your time, I am even more grateful for your perspective. And I am excited for you to share with us all of your super awesome knowledge but all things grants. Oh, I you unmute and take it away. I will be monitoring chat and I will be excited to hear everybody’s awesome feedback on literally one of the best webinars that you will be on. I guarantee it. Healthy floor is yours.
Holly Rustick 2:01
Thank you, Patrick. And before you disappear, I just want to straighten one thing out and that is that Sammy is okay.
Patrick Kirby 2:08
Right. That’s his truck accident. What happened? What? Listen, if there’s if there was ever a tease for a story, I feel like that’s a good one right out of the gate.
Holly Rustick 2:20
Okay, yeah, she’s okay. So I’ll let you keep the rest of the teaser. But just wanted to make sure it’s love it. But thank you so much for having me and all your nonprofit boot campers out there. I know this is really, really exciting to do about grants. And I don’t know a lot of you may be overwhelmed. So I definitely am going to be sharing today. I’m gonna share my screen here. Just give me one shake to get it set up. You know how it all goes, as we’re all familiar about the pause real quick. So let me find it. It was just here. Now I gotta make it fullscreen. So Patrick, just let me know once it’s full screen, please. Is it all good?
Patrick Kirby 3:00
You are golden. Yes.
Holly Rustick 3:06
This is your seven steps to write grants like a pro, and it is grant writing 101. So we’re gonna break down the basics. And this is a condensed version, actually of the long one here, but you’re gonna get everything out of it that you need. And if you don’t, you’re gonna know where to find me. So you’re all good. But you are definitely today is to walk away with at least one to three golden nuggets. All right. So that is the beauty of webinars, it’s something everyone should always kind of want to do, right? Because this is our time, and we’re investing our time. So we’re gonna go over the grant writing hacks today. And you guys are gonna love these. These are my seven steps. It’s amazing. We’re gonna definitely have time for questions at the end, I just ask that you turn off all distractions, because you are investing your time, which is powerful, right? Your time has so much has money attached to it value, etc. It’s what you’re doing. It’s what you’re dedicating. So make sure you focus you get everything you can out of this. Also, we don’t have a q&a box here. But we do have a chat box. If you have a question, please put your question in there. I would love to get to any questions at the end? Because everyone has questions. Every question is a good question. Right? And if you have a question, probably somebody else has the same question. So it’s always a good thing to ask. And I’m here for you. So let’s go ahead and you also get an invitation to join my free hub Haven. So you can definitely jump over to grant writing and funding.com. We have a platform where you actually get immediate access to it with a bunch of resources. I have my full grants formula in there. So I break this down even more in little mini videos. We have freelance grant writing resources, if you’re thinking about opening up your own business, and we also have a nonprofit funding rating sheet and other nonprofit general funding preparedness, resources and you get an email from me every single week. So if that sounds like something that’s interesting to you, go ahead and jump over to grant writing and finding.com It is completely free. And that is our hub Haven. Alright, so I want to know about you guys, I know there’s a few people on I know a lot of people are gonna be watching the replay. But I just want to know like where you’re at, or if you’re a nonprofit, leader or development director, and you just don’t know where to start with grant writing, but you need funding for your organization. So this might be you, you might fit into that category. You may be a newbie grant writer, but you’re super motivated to learn grant writing, and maybe start a freelance grant writing business even. And you may be or you may already be a freelance grant writer or nonprofit consultant, but you want more consistent, reliable sales. And I know you also might be a part of a chamber of commerce, right? You may be a business owner, or you may be looking for grants, that sort of thing for your business. So you are definitely in the right place, if you fall into any or even more of these roles. But here’s some of the most common ones that I see that join this webinar. And I think it’s really important to to say yes, there are grants out there for nonprofits, individuals, and for for profit organizations, we’ve seen that especially with the pandemic, an increase in different types of grants. Alright, so you might feel frustrated, right? So you might sit down with a full intention of writing a grant, but end up staring at a blank screen. So definitely let me know. Yeah, if that you feel that way. You could feel overwhelmed and confused. When you continually get stuck in certain areas of a grant, ie the budget section, evaluation section, knees section, or three, you could feel inadequate in your skills and confidence when applying for grants, right. So that might be something you face. And of course, maybe you feel like an imposter. If you are a business owner, or you know, you’re writing grants, and you actually want to pitch your grant writing services. Or you might just feel like an imposter even when you’re submitting your grants. So I know we just had several people on the on the call today, but you guys are so valuable. So let me know. Do you guys resonate with any of these? Yes, no. With how you might feel. So once again, frustrated, full intention of writing a grant end up staring at a blank screen, overwhelmed, continually stuck in certain areas, inadequate and your skills and confidence. Maybe you feel like an imposter. So yeah, St. Patrick says yeah, up. So please let me know, you can definitely put it in the chat box, keep engaged. You think can I really do this? Right? And I’m here to tell you that yes, you can. And I’m going to help you today. And here is how all right. So I am a national, regional and regional trainer and speaker on grant writing. I’ve also written a best selling book, the beginner’s guide to grant writing, which is used in universities across the United States podcast just like Patrick. So definitely, if you want more on that, definitely I have a lot of resources. I’ve been doing this for almost two decades, I’ve written a ton of grants, here’s just a snapshot. And I’ve also developed training and courses, courses on grant writing as well, and nonprofit related materials. So I’ve definitely been in this space. I’m here to help you overcome the overwhelm. Because I’ve had so many people coming to me going holy, I feel overwhelmed, I feel frustrated, I feel stuck, etc. So what I’ve done then is created a formula to write grants, that makes grant writing simple. Now I’m going to use the word simple. I’m not going to use the word easy, right? But it can be simple. So I’m not trying to talk down anyone because I understand it’s frustrating. It’s overwhelming. Every grant is different. But you can have a strategy. So you’re not so overwhelmed, you’re not so frustrated. So your brain starts clicking together in the pieces that oh, this is a puzzle, and I’m going to put it together, I have a process now. And that can simplify things, which increases your confidence than when you go after grants. So if that sounds like something you’re ready for, keep keep attention. But stay tuned here. All right, we’re gonna get into it right now. So I’m gonna be sharing my seven grant writing hacks. And as a grant writer, I got an acronym for that. Okay. So we are full of acronyms, and it’s simply grant so you can remember it. Okay, once again, simple, simple, simple, important. So definitely, we’re going to be getting into each one of these right now. Right? Yes. And Sam says a lot. Saved my life. Yes, they
Holly Rustick 9:15
do. grant writers. I actually I was working at a grant writing company. And I remember like getting a full sentence that was only acronyms. So yeah, we’re full of it. So the first one is the G right. So let’s break this down. The G and the grants formula is get the FOA or the RFP. Now if you don’t know what the RFP is, let’s tell you right now. Okay. So a fella once again, acronyms, right. We love them. The fo is the funding opportunity announcement. And the RFP stands for request for proposal. Basically what this means are grant applications, right. So grant instructions. So government federal government likes to use the word FOA. A lot of foundations in states like to use RFPs II. So they’re kind of the same, right? So what that is, is basically, once again, it’s when the grant announcement goes out, and they’re giving you the instructions on how to apply for the grant. So of course, you say, of course, that’s the first step, Holly, but let me show you the magic on how I use this once I get it. Okay, now, this is the magic trick, this is what’s going to save you so much time. Okay, so if you walk away with nothing else, understand, get us this tip that I’m going to share right now. So I just wanted to give you a little bit of a sense here, this is grants.gov. This is a completely free website. This is where all of the federal grant applications are hosted us to have cooperative agreements, you have different procurement contracts, etc, they won’t show you all the bids. So if you’re a business, you’re not going to get all the bids here. But you are going to get all of the grants and some other fun stuff. So you definitely want to go here, it is free. One of the hacks is there are different federal agencies 26, in fact, right, these are like the Department of Justice, Department of Education, etc, you can select who you want to hear from. So you can actually get this emailed when new grants are published to your email, you can get it sent to your email. And that can save you kind of some time to to only kind of get in here when you need to, and to be alerted of some grant opportunities that might be a good fit for your nonprofit or your business. Right. So this is really important. So say, if you are your nonprofit works in higher education, you want to be alerted of, you know, department of education grants that are published that deal with higher education, right. So instead of you taking a lot of the time to come in here all the time, although do get familiar with it, you can get emails to you. Now, that’s not my only tip, forget the phone, don’t worry. Okay, so, um, but here’s just what it looks like, I just want you to be familiar, if you’re not familiar with grants.gov. This is the opportunity number, which you would click on that the name of the grant, etc, the agency, one of those 26 agency that it’s coming from, and they also have when it was posted, and when it’s going to be closed the deadlines, so you can definitely play around in here and get familiar, it is free. Okay. Um, now the other place that you can find a lot of RFPs now request for proposals with like foundations and that sort of thing that are not federal grants. Some UK don’t just Google don’t Google. There are, there are there is software out there that you can access. However, this usually is a pay to play place. Okay? That means there’s like instrumental is one of the big four runners out there that I totally advocate for, because they’re very smart, and how they connect you with the funding opportunities that are available, right, so you can put in the actual like program that you’re looking for funding for, and kind of like Tinder, but for grants, they’re gonna, like connect you with funding sources, okay. And then email you and say, Hey, and then email you like alerts with deadlines and that sort of thing. So this can save you a lot of time. However, it is a pay to play place. There. There’s definitely other things besides instrumental out there. We have Foundation Directory Online, Grant Gopher, and they all range in different prices, etc. But I do encourage you not to just Google, but at some point to invest, especially if you’re looking for foundation funding. These also have the federal sources, but grants.gov just has federal not foundation. Okay. So I just want to be clear about that. But this can save you a lot of time. And that sort of thing. So if you’re a grant writer, you need like, just trying to find grants is a whole art form right? Now, once you get the actual, yes. Once you get the actual FOA then or the RFP, right, you go there, you find the one you want, you download it. Now, let me show you the magic on how to go from that frustration of staring at a blank page to actually creating a grant template. Now, this is one that’s going to help you score very high. This is one that most people don’t do. All right. And I’ve I’ve been a grant reviewer as well for years. And I can tell when people do this and when they don’t. Okay, and this helps me score people higher when they do this. So I’m giving you the magic trick from the other side of the funding coin from the grant reviewers perspective.
Holly Rustick 14:12
Yes, free tip. All right. Here’s what we Okay, on the left here was his project description that that’s at the top. This is kind of like the grant application, the photo, the RFP, they’re going to kind of give you instructions, like I mentioned on what they want to find in the back of those usually, but not always. All federal grants usually have this foundation grants once in a while, otherwise, you can just use what they put here. But a lot of times you’re gonna see on the right here where they have these scores, they’re actually going to tell you how much they’re going to score for each area. Okay. That means when I’m a reviewer, I get that checklist. That’s what I have to score, right. So if you don’t make this clear and your grant on where these words are right with the checklist, I don’t know how to score that I’m not going to give you a high score then right? So what you want to do right away is turn that PDF of the photo or the RFP into a Word doc, or copy and paste it, slam it into a word. And then I want you to make all of these things from the criteria, or over here from the actual application where they have like a right where they have like the main headers, turn those into your headers on your grant. Okay, right away. What this and this is what it would look like, and then you start filling it out. Okay, so I would take the project description, bam, I would put Community Eligibility and assessment of community needs as a header as well. And then I would start writing exactly to what they’re asking for identify the area to be served by the project and the community, the area to be served. Notice I’m bolding that, yes, I am building that. Okay, because as a reviewer, once again, I want to make this as easy as possible for the reviewer to say, okay, she hit the mark, point, right, she or he hit the mark a point, etc. And I want to go through this. So many people writing grants don’t do this, they just see all of these words. And then they just start like trying to write with a flow on how they might respond, right. But they don’t really take these words into consideration or respond to all of these points that they have in here. This is vital. And all of a sudden, you can just look at even I’ve highlighted some things I might not know everything yet. But when I’m starting from folate RFP to my blank Word doc, and I don’t want to start staring at a blank screen, I’m putting this in, I’m filling it in, I’m creating my headers, I’m pulling out the words, I don’t need to have everything done yet, stop it, and then go and do it. And then come back and do this. Let me do my framework. First, let me do my template first. And then I’m going to highlight such as Holly check on the steps here. And I’m going to do the whole thing. And then I know what tasks need to get done, what gaps I need to fill what research I need to pull from, but the template is there, that’s magic, that’s going to save you so much time. Or if you’re working with a team, then you can delegate, you will find out the stats, you do the budget part, etc. But the frame work is done. This is going to save you so much time, this is going to help you score so much higher. Because as a reviewer, I don’t have time to try to understand what your word means compared to what the word is in the criteria and decipher that and all that I might miss that, etc. But if you’re using the exact same language you’re building out, you’re creating headers, it’s so easy for me to score then. And if I have 14 grants that I need to score in 10 days, that’s usually about the average, I’m tired, I’m exhausted. I’m a person I’m I have a full time job and being a grant reviewer, right? You want to make this as easy as possible. Remember, humans are reviewing this. Okay. So let’s just make it easy for them. So yes. All right. So now let’s go to the next part. So that is your hack. For number one, my number one tip for the G in the grants formula, get the fo the RFP now you know what to do with it. Right? Yeah, that’s right to the criteria. Never start with a blank page. And that’s how you can do it. All right. Are you ready for tip number two?
Holly Rustick 18:08
All right. Research the needs that is our our research the needs, there’s always going to be a need section and a grant. You always have to show Yes, I am actually filling a gap somehow and you have to identify what that gap is. Now hacks on how to find so many grants I’ve read don’t even include statistics. Oh, no, no, no. They include flowery language is like I call it what the flowery painfulness, right. It’s, you know, how devastating everything is. And guess every grant we know is going to fix something that there is a gap that there is, you know, an issue with and a problem. So to try to use creative writing in a grant really isn’t helpful to reviewer because we can’t score it based on well, how bad is this really needed? Or how bad does that sound? That’s not the criteria, right? It is not the cause? How proven? Is there a gap, those sorts of things. So you need to use statistics, you need to use facts, right? You can use statistics, surveys, case studies. And here’s a little tip try if you will, not to go much beyond five years from when you are writing and submitting for data just because it can get a little outdated. However, if you’re in a certain niche, we understand you just have to say like, like the US Census, it’s not published, you know, every five years, right? You know what I mean? So you can say this is the latest one that we’re getting information from that sort of thing. Just be clear, and just like you’re gonna see these Russian dolls here on the side. This is the part of the grant that’s you open it up. There’s another one you open it up. There’s another one and it all fits together in a puzzle. So I want your mind to be thinking about every certain part of the grant, even other different sections. They all connect and we can start using layers of the same language and I’m going to show you how. So here’s some other hacks newspapers you can find report’s focus groups testimonials, etc. incorporate these into your needs section. Okay. So here’s an example problem statement that you can put in your needs section. There are no shelters for survivors of human trafficking and ex city, right? So I’m not saying there isn’t what I see a lot of times in grants is someone saying, oh, there’s a need for shelters, right? There’s a need for this. What you saying there’s a need is actually telling me what the solution is, you’re not showing me what the issue or the problem is, because you’re saying there’s a need for this. So you’re saying there’s a need for the solution, but you’re not telling me what the need is? Okay. So try to understand that, how you use those types of words, we need to be clear. And that’s why stats, case studies, all of that will help with your language and with your clarity, as well. So you’re just telling me there are no shelters? Or maybe you say there are five shelters, but they have a waiting list of 20 people at all times, then I know that’s a need, right? That’s a problem. You’re not telling me what the solution is yet. So this could be a sample problem or needs statement. All right. So let’s look at once again, don’t use terms like lack of, there’s a lack of shelters, if there’s none to say, there’s none. If there’s three, tell me there’s three but tell me there’s a waiting list why you have to have another one. If there’s three, right? If you use lack of and need for those, that’s ambiguous language, try to be very clear on your grant writing language. Okay. Alright, so we’re gonna move on, I know we’re zipping through this, but I hope you’re grabbing little bits and nuggets for this. Alright, it’s all about the grant writing nuggets. So all right, articulate the goal. So our third tip, the A articulate the goal. You always have to identify a goal in grant writing, okay, what what is the problem? Now tell me what the goal is, when you get the money, right. When you implement the project, what is the goal?
Holly Rustick 21:56
It’s what do you want to accomplish? Right? You can also look at other community goals that you can link in. So if you have like a human Human Trafficking Task Force, right, and they have a specific goal, you can link this goal in with theirs as well. Right. But what do you want? So here’s an example. Yes, I’m giving you examples, to create safe homes for survivors of human trafficking in our region. Now, how you can easily come up with a goal. And this is the reason why we need to get that problem statement first, right? That problem statement? Remember, there are no shelters, right for human traffickers, survivors and ex city. So how you get the goal, you might say, well, how can we still keep it connected, because remember, this is our second part of this, that we’re kind of taking apart, the puzzle piece, if you will, is you flip the problem statement around easy, and this is how you keep it connected. This is how you don’t go off base. Because if you said there are no shelters for human trafficking survivors of human trafficking in our city, and then you said, and the goal is to create, I don’t know, animal shelter. That doesn’t connect right, you have to make sure it connects. So let’s go ahead and look at it. So if we flip it around, there are no shelters for survivors of human trafficking in our city. All we’re doing is flipping it around them to say, Well, how could we do that? Well, we’re there, we need to have shelters. Now there’s a part where you can talk about the solution is in the goal section. So creating safe homes makes complete sense. If you have no shelters, right? That’s how you keep it all consistent. Aha, that’s the magic wand. So just think of how can I flip it around? How can I make sure that there is a goal with this business need, right? Okay. So, as we’re going to our next step, step number four, the end is narrow your objectives, you’re always going to have to have objectives to and objectives are basically, the layers of how you reach that goal, because you said, Okay, this is our big goal, we’re going to create safe homes. Okay, that’s great, because we know that’s going to fix the need. So that’s awesome. But how are you going to do that? Right. And the objectives basically tell you how you’re going to reach that goal, that kind of big, audacious goal and what are the steps underneath? So some of you may know that they need to be smart. And I hope a lot of you understand that what smart is and if you don’t, no worries, it doesn’t mean they have to have a PhD. It means they need to be once again an acronym, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant or realistic, and time bound. All right. So make sure you hit on all of these different things in one sentence in one objective, and the trick of the trade is usually no more than three objectives per goal. So if you have one goal, you should hit around three objectives. I’ve seen some grants where it’s like 15 objectives and I’m like, usually those Your activities by then, and I’m going to talk about activities in just a second. So don’t get all crazy. But if they are smart, they’re usually objectives. They don’t hit all of these specific measurability, achievable, etc. A lot of times, that means they’re just an activity. So let’s go to an example. So it makes more sense. So let’s first reflect, because remember, this is all part of the puzzle, you always want to say, problem statement, goal objective, do they connect, let’s make sure they can act, right. So the goal is, the goal is to create safe homes for survivors of human trafficking in your region, then an objective could be one of the objectives by the end of quarter one to lease a four Plex apartment building that will provide housing for eight survivors of human trafficking. All right, so looking at that, it doesn’t have to be so this is a one year grant, this is a three year grant, your objectives don’t need to be the full duration of the grant, because you’re gonna have different objectives. One objective could get done like this one in one quarter, and that’s okay. But we want to make sure it’s time bound, right? We want to make sure so let’s make sure it’s smart. So let’s look at how you actually look at that. Okay, so how is it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and time bound? And you can even list this out is specific because boom, it’s measurable, because boom, it’s achievable. Because boom, you can actually write that I’ve written that when I have a lot more words in my, you know, I our page, page numbers, and my, did you turn that off? So sorry, my daughter’s alarm set for? So when you have a lot more flexibility in your pages, you can actually write that and I have, because nearly every single criteria is gonna say, are their objectives smart? Okay. And even if it doesn’t say that it’s a grant reviewer, you’re always looking for that. Okay, so I want to make sure you know how to do this. So how is this specific? Well, it’s specific in a couple of different ways, right? It’s specific, because it’s actually what you’re going to do, you’re going to lease a specific type of structure that can fit a specific number of people, right. And it’s, it’s also specific to the type of people it’s not just like housing anybody, right. And this could even be like housing is certain demographics. So maybe you’re going after a certain grant that’s like for teens, teens of human trafficking, that are human trafficking survivors, right. And you could have 12 to 17 years old, 812 to 17 year old survivors of human trafficking, right, you can go that specific, based on the fo in the RFP, once again, right? Remember, you have to hit their priorities. So how is it measurable? It’s measurable in a few different ways to write, there’s, there’s a time bound in there, by the end of quarter one, you’re going to lease an apartment building, right, a four Plex, or sorry, and then the eight survivors, you’re going to hit that measure of number of people, right? So it’s measurable, you’re measuring all of these things. Is it achievable? Now, here’s something you might have to think about. When we get to the budget section, does a budget support this? Because it has to be achievable? Do you actually have a budget to get a four Plex? So those types of things? But in the sense, those are some things that we can look at. But so far, if you have the capacity to do this, then sure it can be achievable. You can explain that in your grant. Is it relevant? How is it relevant, it’s definitely relevant, because it’s fixing the problem statement. It’s helping you reach the goal. That’s why this is all connected. That’s why we want to make sure it’s relevant. And there’s a time bound. Yes, here’s the secret trick of the trade for you another Golden Nugget to walk away with today. Right away, I always start my objectives with the time bound, either started or I end it. So just like this, I always start by the end of and that I can even just have a placeholder there, right. Or you could say leave to lease a four Plex apartment building that provide housing for eight survivors of human trafficking by the end of quarter one. So I bookmark it on either side to make sure it’s not forgot, because the time bound is so important. Okay. Hope you guys are all getting that on there. Alright, so remember, there should be about three Max, it should reflect the goal, but it needs some tasks. Okay, now, this is great. Let’s just go back and look at this for a second. This is awesome. It’s smart. It’s doable, but it still needs action steps to get accomplished, who’s going to do it, right? What are the resources etc. That’s okay. We don’t need to put that in the objectives where we need to lay or that down now, right? Here’s the goal, right? Here’s the objective to reach the goal. Now here are the action steps to get the objective done. Okay. Now let’s look at that. It still needs all subtasks. So let’s talk about timetabling your activities. Now. That is the T and the grants formula. And this is a graph if you have space for it. I know a lot of online brands and you’re submitting for foundations. You may not be able to do this when you can, like in a federal grant application usually have sometimes 50 pages and you’re able to put chart Isn’t there and that sort of thing, please do this or even in a two page letter of inquiry, this can actually take up less space than writing it all out. And it’s visually appealing. Whenever you can break up the space a little bit with all of the words and create little charts and that sort of thing that makes sense, then it’s good. Don’t use a lot of pictures and grants though, please. But graphs, and that sort of thing will help the reader. So this is how you can break it down. Always put the description, the role, the start and end date, and how you’re going to evaluate it. And this is also what you’re going to need for your budget, which we’re going to get into in just a moment. Okay, so you want all of these things, and here it is one of the for this objective, right? Always put the objective here, which we have, you need to secure that four Plex apartment building,
Holly Rustick 30:48
right? So who’s going to do that? Well, excuse me, we’re going to have the project director do it, when are they going to do it? Because remember, our objective is by the end of quarter one, they’re going to start looking in month one, and they’re only going to secure it by month two, how are you going to evaluate that that task gets accomplished, the lease is signed? This isn’t rocket science folks, right? Make it simple. You don’t need to go into the whole video, the evaluator knows I’m gonna assume we’re gonna have all these whatever models? No, simple, simple, simple. All right, and then you can go like, well, how are you even gonna get those eight survivors? How are they going to know about this program? We needed to develop outreach and materials for the project beneficiaries? Well, we also need to hire an outreach consultant to do that. When are they going to do that? How are you going to evaluate these? These are very simple things. And it’s just breaking it down. How is it going to get done? Who’s going to do it by when? How are we going to make sure that it’s checked off? Right? So what’s glorious about this? And yes, I will use the word glorious. That when you have this, even if you’re hiring a new project director, who’s never seen this grant before a new outreach consultant, who’s never seen this grant before, you can literally hand them the grant, they will go to this page, they will look at the chart and say what do I need to get done. And by when this is amazing, it will make your program so much more successful. And grant writers or grant reviewers will drool over this because they’ll be like, Oh my gosh, they know how to manage programs. They know how to manage money, we know how to measure, you know, we know how to like ask them, hey, is this done yet? Here’s the money for that blah, blah, blah. This is amazing. So please do this. And what this will also help you with is our next part. Yes, because everything is fitting together like a puzzle piece is that s and this is our final tip and the grants formula strategic budget. Alright, so hang out with me, folks. I know we got a few more minutes here. And I definitely know a lot of people have questions about budgets, a lot of times we write first because the budgets the last thing they asked for in the phone RFP, and then we scramble because we’re like, oh, I’m a word person, not a budget person. Now you can do a budget if you’re a word person, because for grants, especially think of it is another piece of the puzzle, because it is. And a lot of times you also have to use words to explain the budget. We’re just going to look at a line by line budget, though. But think of how this makes sense. Now, you have your problem statement, you know what the need is you have your goal on what this grant is trying to accomplish. You have your objectives, and then you written out all of the activities that need to get done. Take that checklist, okay, open up your Excel sheet for a Barbaro so here’s your checklist, these were just a couple, obviously, you’re gonna do more than this. These are just examples. You want to put that side by side with an Excel sheet, and then start putting in what who needs to get paid for this to actually work? Okay, so side by side, you’re gonna put everything in. So here we have you need a project director, right? You also need an outreach consultant, you need some funds for this, what other funds do you need? So this is just part of the budget here, but I just wanted to break it down for you real quick and give you some tips on budgets. Okay. So personnel can include a portion of your executive director salary, a portion of finance, direct and direct project staff, okay, who’s going to run it, etc? Why I kind of say the executive director can also be included in here, but probably only a portion is because you could, that executive director is overseeing other things too, right. So if they’re, but you could definitely put a part of their time into a grant understaffed because they still have to oversee portions of it. Right. So this is a great way to get maybe you’re like, Ooh, how do I pay for the EDI? This is a way you can integrate them into each of your grants. Same thing with your bookkeeper, etc. Okay. Fringe benefits. Obviously, you need to do whatever fringe benefits are for your nonprofit. Hopefully, there’s
Holly Rustick 34:49
a lot more than just spike on workers comp, but these are the two you have to include right at a minimum travel. Now most federal grants if you’re looking at federal grants they used to require in person trips, but we’re definitely seeing the virtual trenching change here, which is actually really beneficial because you used to have to put in to travel usually to DC or somewhere into your grant budget. And even though it’s great to get together and meet those people in person, you know, the people who are mad at are the funding your grant, ooh, to take it out of your grant, that was just kind of like, that’s how you’re paying for your travel. But now a lot of it’s online, so we’re not putting this in. But if you need so for this specific grant, though, there are example, you may need to get a van drive the human trafficking survivors to different supportive services, etc. That’s where you would put this as under travel equipment. So here’s another line item that we should and I’m giving you all of the federal line items just to keep it simple. If you don’t know what to put in your budget, you can always put zero under these. But if you keep them consistent, it’s just easier for bookkeeper for when you start getting federal grants. Okay. All right, for equipment, according to the IRS equipment is only one unit of $5,000 or more, so it’s not $1,000 for 10 computers, so that’s $10,000. So I’m gonna put computers under equipment. No, it’s like one item, if it was one computer or $5,000, you know, then you would put it there, right? Or like that minivan, if we’re going to purchase a big equipment, right, we’re going to be putting that if it’s one, one thing that’s $5,000 or more. Now, here’s some other ones. And these are the rest of them that we have. It’s really basic, you guys really basic, right? But now we have supplies, that could be where your computers go, this is where that outreach materials can go. Right. Those are your supplies for your program. You also have contractual and consultant. And this is where your lease would go. Because that’s a contract. This is where you’re, you might hire a instead of doing a staff for an outreach consultant, maybe you hire a consultant, right now the staff person, so you’re not going to put them under personnel, because you don’t need to pay their fringe benefits, and all of that as a consultant if you’re hiring a consultant, and other really popular consultants for nonprofits to hire are like web designers, you know, social media, that sort of stuff. It’s not in house freelance grant writers, right. So you can definitely put different types of consultants here, this is where you would put it. And of course, other items, just anything else related to the program that doesn’t fit anywhere else, they have an other line. So it’s kind of nice. And of course, indirect costs. Now, this is the indirect cost. In 2016, the federal government change regulations, which is amazing, because every year nonprofits would have to negotiate with this for to get their indirect cost rate. So a lot of them just didn’t even do it. But in 2016, they said, Okay, any nonprofit can go up to 10% at indirect cost rates on a grant, they don’t need to negotiate, some still have to negotiate if they want higher than that. And a lot of like universities will have very high indirect cost rates, like 42% of the entire grant just goes to indirect, because that’s like keeping the lights on in the parking lot. And that goes into like things that aren’t directly to a program. But they they help. So that program can exist, they’re indirectly related, right? So for your nonprofit, that might be the same thing, like the lights at the nonprofit headquarters, those types of things, your audits, you know, a lot of the different things and you have to clarify what those indirect costs are, right? So a lot of times, what you do see is utilities, audits, that sort of thing in indirect cost rates. So they don’t directly serve the program, right? Because you’re going to be leasing. For you know, Plex release, right? For the survivors. They’re not going to be staying at your headquarters, but your headquarters needs to operate to still make this program happen. So that would be indirect costs that can kind of help with those general operating costs for your nonprofit. So that’s huge. So I do encourage you to use that indirect cost rate when you can. Alright, so that is it for the budget, Hulu. So here’s a wrap up real quick. Make sure your budget aligns with your objective and your project narrative. And by doing the different steps that we did, and making sure you’re always looking at what’s the problem statement, flip it around. Here’s the goal. All right. How do I meet this goal? Objective? It’s smart. Now what do I need to do to break it down and make sure that we actually execute that objective? Here’s all my activities, take that activities, boom, right, next year budget, what do I all need to fund them to make sure that these activities get done, right? That’s aligning it and that’s making it like I said, it’s not easy, but it’s simple, right? Do you have a process now.
Holly Rustick 39:45
So also make sure that you work on your budget if you have an accountant or bookkeeper and your grant writer, and especially your accountant or bookkeeper because they’re going to know things like what the fringe benefits are, right? Like all of those things are like if you’re hiring a certain project director, maybe you already have a pay scale builds out, you don’t have to like, come up with those things. So definitely talk to them and work with them on the budget. Make sure it aligns with the human resources as well. And that’s like your hiring once again, you’re that staff how much they’re paid, etc. Yet procurement, right, certain procurement, maybe to get that van for 20,000. The grant also requires you to get three quotes, right. So they make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck kind of a thing. So if you do need those quotes, and that’s usually I like to submit them kind of like I follow that equipment line, if it’s $5,000 or more for one piece of appointment, I usually go ahead and put in three quotes, that’s just my default, because I know a lot of times, that’s what they’re gonna ask for. And that makes sense, right, they want to make sure that you’re shopping around, and getting, it doesn’t always have to be the lowest price. But you have to then justify why you would take a higher price versus a lower quote, maybe it’s because the shipping time is a lot less or the quality is higher, or whatever. But they just want to make sure right, those things are, are fit. And that’s understandable, right? They’re giving you money, you want to be able to handle it in the most economical way, right. All right, and keep your categories consistent. I just kind of like all these categories. But the beauty of this one is you get to replay. And you can find federal categories in my book as well, I give you a whole list of that you can actually then sign up and get a digital one. So if you want that just got the book and get that. So anyway, that’s today. That is my six grant writing hacks, get the fella or the RFP, research the needs, articulate the goal, narrow the objectives, timetable, the activities and have a strategic budget. Alright, and for more goodies, I just want to go ahead and say, let’s review. Right, that’s what we did. I hope you’ve all gotten at least one golden nugget out of the grant writing for today is that was my goal. So I definitely hope you’ve done that. So yes. And for more things. Yeah. Glenn Grant, Medina funding.com, you can check out these things. Thanks so much, Patrick. This is fun.
Patrick Kirby 42:03
First of all, I, I spent legitimately the entire time going up, and there’s more. And there’s more. I felt like Billy Mays for like somebody kept adding a value stack on to every single thing that you do. And I love apps. And I’ve been a lot of these webinars in which you go, Well, this is nice. It’s a thing. holistically, ridiculous. I mean, ridiculously good. Like it was crazy. So, you know, again, thank you so much. I think there’s so much value here. So if you’ve got any questions, I’ve got a couple more minutes. And I’d love to take some questions if you got them. I do have one, though. And maybe you can kind of touch about this philosophically. Where walk me through how to tell myself No. When I look at a grant opportunity and say, Oh, look at all that money available. This may be interesting for my nonprofit, I’m be able to squeeze that in and maybe I should do it even though I know it shouldn’t. Can you walk me mentally back on that process in which our eyes look at a number? And even though we know in the heart of our hearts, we shouldn’t we kind of want to?
Holly Rustick 43:18
Yes, I love that. I call it the enemy sparkle I
Patrick Kirby 43:23
better description than me. Yeah.
Holly Rustick 43:27
So I see that a lot. And that is also called Chasing the money. Right? So we hear that term a lot. What does that mean? It’s exactly what you said, it’s when you’re chasing something that’s outside of your mission. And because you are leered by the money, and you know, unfortunately, and a lot of nonprofits even start with this chasing the money concept, they think, Oh, I can make a lot of money. And I can quit my full time job like in two months, because I can start a nonprofit. That’s free. Right? Now it happens a lot. And then the reality sets in? And it’s like, no, it’s a lot harder than you think. And there’s a lot of competition and all of that. So how we can eliminate the Animate sparkle I have taking the money is to actually go back to your mission statement for your nonprofit, go back to your vision statement, you should definitely have those developed even for your business, right, you have those developed. And if you don’t do that now, and go ahead and say does this align with what our goal is for this nonprofit? Right? Overall? Is it something that aligns if it’s a yes, but it’s still like No, make me an hour? I don’t know. You know, think about do you really have the capacity to do it. Another thing that you can do is you can actually do what we did today without even looking for a grant and with without even getting that for RFP you can just break down what I did today. What is a program your nonprofit or your business really wants to develop that is the heart. Do your research, create a problem statement, create a goal, create objectives, create activities and create your budget when you have that that is what I call a master grant application. And I actually do that for clients just do that before we research the grants, then you research the grants, right? For one thing, that’s gonna save you a ton of time. For another thing, you are going to eliminate chasing the money because you’re going to just be looking for certain grants that fit your program, right. And even if it doesn’t fit in entirely, but hey, you can get a you can get a van funded just for 20,000 for one grant, well, that’s going to fit a piece of my pie, right, that’s going to fit a piece of this. And maybe I can use that as a matching for a bigger grant for the rest of it. Right. So that’s going to eliminate the anime sparkle, if chasing the money, and it’s really going to serve your nonprofit, it’s going to save you time and you’re developing a business plan and grants a business plan, right. So then all of a sudden, you have a business plan, then to take action on and you can even say, hey, donors, this is what we want to do contribute X amount of money. Now you know how much money you need, right? It doesn’t just have to be grants, it can be your fundraisers, your donors, everything else that then you can get monies for this program. You know, how much you need, it makes sense. It drives your mission. Yeah,
Patrick Kirby 46:00
I so one I have to apologize to you is that you’re going to have to redo all of the marketing for that actual slide deck, because that is the eighth Great tip of the day. And that’s and that actually might, sorry, it’s gonna be after eighth grade tips. And you’re gonna throw that in at the end. Because that’s so what you just said is so brilliant. Because it’s the process. Yeah, you going through this process by just practicing and answering some of those really key questions, forces, your brain and your leadership and your ability to kind of look at your numbers of more critical, like, find your budget and figure out what you do, Mike, the amount of things that leaks into new leaks into your marketing, at least into your fundraising, at least in your storytelling, the way that you recruit board members, the way that you talk about your organization in the public. My God, you have given a formula for every funding Avenue. Yep, absolutely. I don’t want to mission creep you but like, you should just do that, too. Okay, got a couple more minutes. I have one more quick question on maybe just giving us one more big pep talk, because one of the things that you said in the middle, and I took it as clear over clever, though, the amount of words and the beautiful words that you think you need to write is really only getting you I don’t know, it makes it sounds good. But what are you doing? And I feel like if we you can leave us with just a give us that that reminder of why we’re writing a grant and what we need to be concentrating rather on doing everything spectacular. Everything theatrical, I think that would be the perfect way to wrap things up.
Holly Rustick 47:46
Okay, perfect. Okay, so I actually have this example in my book. And it’s funny, because I think this is so great. I would say go back to when you were a teenager, and you wanted to borrow money from your parents. It’s like, I need money for this. And this is how I’m going to do the dishes, if you give me the money or whatever. It’s a simple thing, right? It’s not think simple. And I love that because we don’t need the beautiful tragic language and grants like we don’t you can use that for your crowdfunding, you can use that for other places. And even that, I think people are rethinking beautiful, tragic as kind of outdated, actually, right? We’re looking at what is hopeful, what are solutions. And when you really put your mind cap, and you know, take it away, I love Sarah McLaughlin, but taken away from the zero McLaughlin animal, you know, commercials that made you cry for three minutes. And we want to look at, you know, more positive more solutions and grants are output outcome, how many people are you going to serve with the money I’m going to give you? Like, what are you going to do? And when you really break it down to these people are busy, they just want what they’re asking for, I’m going to make it clear, yes, I can still put some human in there. I don’t have to take it all out. But I’m going to use a testimonial than on how this impacted one of our beneficiaries. I’m going to show a solution, right. So if you really just take it down to think simple, you don’t have to be super clever. Or think back when you’re younger does I want this and I’m going to do this b That’s what we want to bring to the table and grants. They’re gonna ask you for more information if they want it. Right. And you don’t if it’s 10, page Max, you don’t have to fill it all the way to the last page either. You don’t have to go the format. Sometimes. Less isn’t always more or less is sometimes more but you also don’t just have to put like, oh, just this this yes, you can put some language, but make sure the language you’re putting in really supports then what the outcome is really what funders want to know only two things right for grants. Can you manage money? Can you implement projects, show them how you can do that? And that’s how you can do that with the formula we have today. Yeah,
Patrick Kirby 49:50
I’m gonna have to go get a chiropractic appointment from nodding my head consistently for damn near an hour. I appreciate you as always my friend. One more Time, how can people get a hold of you? They don’t really know what to do. And they need a little bit of extra help. And I know that you can, how do people get a hold of you? Where can they find you right now? Yeah, yes,
Holly Rustick 50:10
definitely grant writing and funding.com. Like I said, we have our free hub haven there. If you want to grab my book, if you’re like, oh, that’s something I need. And I want those downloadable sheet was talking about grab that, you know, those things can save you a lot of time grant writing master course, if you really want to get more into depth on to learn how to actually do it and do it and create those master grant applications. I actually teach you how to do that. So that sounds like something up your alley, jump over to grant writing and funding.com. I also have a podcast. So if you want to listen to that, get a ton of things. You’ve been on the podcast, and I was like you need to come back on soon. So you’ll definitely talk to some amazing people as well. But thank you so much for you guys putting this on your nonprofit boot camp and do good better. So thank you so much, Patrick, it’s been my honor.
Patrick Kirby 50:52
It’s been a pleasure is all ours. We’re going to drop all those links in in the notes that we have on the replay. Make sure that you do that replay. That’s so much good information like it is. It’s an incredible amount of information. Go back, listen twice, go to go to the website, get the downloadables get all this information. I hope it helped. I know it helps a Holly, you’re the best. Thank you for being here. Thanks for everybody being here. Thanks for being a part of the boot camp. Hey, go out and do some good. And then now use all these awesome skills not only the seven, but the eight skills that you learned today. to rock and roll. You’re the best. Appreciate you. Thank you. Thanks