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Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising

Book Description

Grantwriters often have little or no training in the practical task of grantseeking. Many feel intimidated by the act of writing, and some don't enjoy writing. In Storytelling for Grantseekers, Second Edition, Cheryl Clarke presents an organic approach to grantseeking, one that views the process through the lens of the pleasures and rewards of crafting a good story. Grantseekers who approach the process as one in which they are connecting with an audience (grantmakers) and writing a narrative (complete with settings, characters, antagonists and resolutions) find greater success with funders. The writing process becomes a rewarding way to tell the organization's tale, rather than a chore, and their passion and creativity lead to winning proposals.

This book walks readers through all the main phases of the proposal, highlighting the creative elements that link components to each other and unify the entire proposal. The book contains resources on crafting an effective synopsis, overcoming grantwriter's block, packaging the story, and the best ways to approach the "short stories" (inquiry and cover letters) that support the larger proposal.

Clarke also stresses the need to see proposal-writing as part of a larger grantseeking effort, one that emphasizes preparation, working with the entire development staff, and maintaining good relations with funders. In Storytelling for Grantseekers, new and experienced grantseekers alike will discover how to write and support successful proposals with humor and passion.

New edition features:

  • Overall updates as well as both refreshed and new examples
  • Workshop exercises for using the storytelling approach
  • New chapters on the application of the storytelling method to other fundraising communications like appeal letters and case statements, as well as the importance of site visits
  • Example of a full narrative proposal

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Foreword
  5. Dedication
  6. PREFACE
  7. Acknowledgements
    1. First Edition
    2. Second Edition
  8. THE AUTHOR
  9. Introduction
    1. WHAT IS THE STORYTELLING METHOD?
    2. YOU ARE ALREADY A STORYTELLER
  10. chapter ONE - First Steps
    1. GET PREPARED
    2. IS THE PROJECT FUNDABLE?
    3. DON’T LET A BAD PROPOSAL DISGUISE A GOOD IDEA
    4. IS YOUR STORY READY TO BE TOLD?
    5. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE RAISING MONEY FOR
    6. GET READY TO TELL YOUR STORY
    7. “TALK” YOUR STORY
    8. SUMMARY
  11. chapter TWO - Research and Relationships
    1. EFFICIENT RESEARCH: THE FOUR FILTERS PLUS ONE
    2. THE FOUR FILTERS PLUS ONE—UP CLOSE
    3. HOW MUCH MONEY TO REQUEST
    4. HOW LONG YOUR GRANTMAKER LIST SHOULD BE
    5. HOW TO FIND THE GRANTMAKERS
    6. RECRUITING OTHERS TO HELP YOU
    7. WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR “SHORT LIST” OF GRANTMAKERS
    8. BUSTING A POPULAR MYTH
    9. SUMMARY
  12. chapter THREE - The Short Story
    1. PURPOSE OF THE LETTER OF INQUIRY
    2. THE KEY WORD IS FIT
    3. HOW TO CRAFT A LETTER OF INQUIRY
    4. SUMMARY
  13. chapter FOUR - The Proposal Narrative
    1. OPEN WITH A “HOOK”
    2. PRESENT FUNDAMENTAL INFORMATION
    3. INTRODUCE THE OTHER MAIN CHARACTERS
    4. ESTABLISH A SENSE OF TIME AND PLACE
    5. SUMMARY
  14. chapter FIVE - The Need or Problem
    1. UNDERSTANDING THE STORY ARC
    2. WHO IS THE ANTAGONIST?
    3. HOW LONG SHOULD THE NEEDS SECTION BE?
    4. APPLYING THE STORYTELLING METHOD
    5. JOINING FORCES WITH OTHER HEROIC AGENCIES
    6. USING DATA AND STATISTICS EFFECTIVELY
    7. PUTTING A HUMAN FACE ON THE PROBLEM
    8. GIVING THE LEAD CHARACTERS A VOICE
    9. WHOSE NEED IS IT ANYWAY?
    10. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER
    11. SUMMARY
  15. chapter SIX - Goals, Objectives, and Methods
    1. THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES SECTION
    2. The Difference Between Goals and Objectives
    3. THE METHODS SECTION
    4. SUMMARY
  16. chapter SEVEN - Evaluation and Future Funding
    1. THE EPILOGUE AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
    2. EVALUATION TOOLS, STRATEGIES, AND REPORTS
    3. HOW TO WRITE A COMPELLING EVALUATION SECTION
    4. THE SEQUEL AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
    5. WHY YOU NEED A FUTURE FUNDING PLAN
    6. THE FUTURE FUNDING SECTION
    7. SUMMARY
  17. chapter EIGHT - The Budget
    1. WHO TRANSLATES THE NARRATIVE TO NUMBERS?
    2. WHAT THE BUDGET IS
    3. HOW TO BUDGET FOR CONTINUING PROGRAMS
    4. HOW TO BUDGET FOR NEW PROGRAMS
    5. A NOTE ABOUT BUDGET NOTES
    6. EXPECTED REVENUES: MORE DETAIL
    7. EXPECTED EXPENSES: MORE DETAIL
    8. OTHER COSTS THAT CAN BE ALLOCATED IN A PROGRAM BUDGET
    9. TAKE ONLY ONE BITE OF THE APPLE
    10. INCLUDING IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS
    11. CASH FLOW ANALYSIS
    12. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
    13. SUMMARY
  18. chapter NINE - The Summary, Titles, and Headings
    1. WHY THE SUMMARY IS LIKE A BOOK JACKET
    2. WRITE THE SUMMARY AFTER THE PROPOSAL
    3. THE SUMMARY’S SIGNIFICANCE
    4. WHAT THE SUMMARY MEANS TO GRANTMAKERS: AN INSIDER’S VIEW
    5. PERSUASIVE TITLES AND HEADINGS: A FEW CAREFULLY CHOSEN WORDS
    6. SUMMARY
  19. chapter TEN - Packaging
    1. NO BOILERPLATE PROPOSALS
    2. APPLYING ONLINE
    3. ALL DRESSED UP AND SOMEPLACE TO GO: THE PACKAGING OF A PAPER SUBMISSION
    4. AN ESCORT FOR THE PROPOSAL: THE COVER LETTER
    5. ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS
    6. DELIVERY OF THE PROPOSAL
    7. REPACKAGING YOUR PROPOSAL: THE LETTER FORMAT
    8. SUMMARY
  20. chapter ELEVEN - Site Visits and Beyond
    1. HOW TO STAGE A SITE VISIT
    2. COMMUNICATING WITH FUNDERS
    3. WHAT TO DO WHEN THE FUNDER SAYS NO
    4. WHAT TO DO WHEN THE FUNDER SAYS YES
    5. BEYOND THE GRANT AWARD
    6. SUMMARY
  21. chapter TWELVE - Beyond Grants
    1. ELEVATOR SPEECH
    2. MISSION STATEMENT
    3. CASE STATEMENT
    4. APPEAL LETTERS
    5. BROCHURES
    6. WEB SITE CONTENT
    7. ANNUAL REPORTS
    8. GOVERNMENT GRANTS AND STORYTELLING?
    9. BEYOND NONPROFITS
  22. AFTERWORD
  23. appendix - The Final Manuscript: Two Letter Proposal Samples
  24. INDEX