The Art & Science of Effective Grant Proposals

October 28, 2022

Tom Jacobs, Director, Environmental Programs at Mid-America Regional Council

Tom Jacobs, Director, Environmental Programs at Mid-America Regional Council talks about crafting grant proposals and some of the nuance that goes into good grant writing in this month’s episode. Here are the gems from our conversation with him: 

  • New legislation, including The American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, includes myriad funding opportunities for nonprofit organizations. No doubt, it’s a challenge to review the bills to find just the right opportunities, but it is a worthwhile investment of time. 

  • Choosing which grants to respond to involves considering several factors: knowing what you do well (what infrastructure is already in place), how much competition exists (local/regional is usually less competitive) and what relationships might you already have with a given funder. Relationship matter a lot.

  • Writing effective grants is a combination of responding to what the funder is wanting to achieve, what you’re uniquely able to accomplish and how those two factors align. When writing grants, it’s important to review the criteria exhaustively (go over it at the end again), consider partnerships you can bring to the table (very important) and being practical about what you can reasonably achieve with budgets and timelines.