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Information on Grant Writing?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Myself, along with several of the women I do rescue work with have decided to go off and start our own rescue due to some differences with the current rescue we are with. We are working on all the nuts and bolts - have filed to incorporate, are awaiting the certified copy so that we can file for 501c3 status, have a website, adoption contracts and applications, foster homes etc. Because of start up costs associated with this, and a desire to help as many cats and kittens as possible, we've decided to look into grants rather than just relying on public donations and adoption fees to keep us running. Every rescuer knows that one really sick animal can do major damage to a shoestring budget.

I've been researching on the net, and have some specific questions if anyone can help.
1.) A lot of the places I've checked out want budget information for the last year - we haven't been operating that long, is it okay to use projected budget for the coming year as long as we state that it's projected?
2.)When applying for a grant, do you typically state an amount that you are looking for, or just say "any amount would be appreciated".
3.) What are the key points to emphasize about your program? I don't want it to seem like we are tailoring our activities to a specific grant (does that make sense?) we do mostly rescue of stray and abandoned cats and kittens, do some TNR, owner assist rehoming, and education on spay/neuter and only adopt out altered animals. Is that enough of blurb about us or do I need to go more into detail about how we do that?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 3
Ok, so take this with a grain of salt because I am not a very experienced Grant writer, I've just read up on it and taken an on-line course.

I'm not sure on the first one but I have an answer for both 2 & 3.

To the best of my knowledge you want to have some very specific goals, these would be in your non-profits mission statement. While you may do all these different things (TNR etc) what is the real goal of your organization?

The logic being that people don't want to give money to those who are doing "a little of this, a little of that..." they'd rather give it to someone who is "Helping to reduce the number of homeless animals on the street by x, y and z". Furthermore, you can then tailor who you apply to for grants a little better, since different foundations only want to fund certain things. Some ONLY fund spay/nueter and will not fund TNR at all, etc.

As part of that, you do want to ask for specific amounts of money. Why? Because then it looks like you have a specific use for it and a specific goal. Asking for "$7,000 to help fund our foster program by paying for x, y and z" sounds better than "we'll take whatever we can get."

That is my understanding, and it may not hold 100% true for all foundations, but it's what I've been taught.

There are some good links out there for grant writing for Animal Welfare, but you may have already found them.
post #3 of 3
I write grants for my medical research - or set policies for those who do - but have not done it for cat rescues. But I do think you absolutely need a mission and a vision and a set of goals. Then, look for grants that fir into that vision. Obviously - your mission is not just for the
grant(s), it is your guide thru life as an organization and you re-examine it when you do a strategic plan. That would be great to have to but mot necessary I don't think for a small organization. (Impressive if you do tho).

I would use your projected budget but you need to be precise I think in asking how much you are asking for. I think that depends on where you are applying. There are varying requirements. Read as much as you can about the funding organization so you know what sort ofthings they fund and what priorities they have. Emphazise how you would use the money and how it would benefit the cats, how frugal you are with the money (I can think of no unfrugal cat rescue or most nonprofit group for that matter, lol) and how the projects/activities of the Mission will be allocated and how unique your group is - you often need to stand out to attain funding (in my world anyway).
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