How to Use Storytelling for Your School to Get More Grants

For most of our client schools, fundraising covers 20% of operating expenses.

They've moved on from individual donations. They've stopped going for the low hanging fruit and are thinking big.

They spend ALL their fundraising resources on applying to foundations for grants.

You deserve to get grants — lots of them.
You are a nonprofit. You impact your community and support the next generation. You are the ideal applicant for a foundation's strategic initiative.

Here are five big ways you should change the way you think about grant seeking:

1. The Need Statement: The Story Behind Your School's Existence
Your need statement is the first chapter of your novel: while the grant writer doesn’t yet know much of the plot, they’re figuring out the setting in which your story takes places, along with some of the key characters.
That good impression early on is precious!

2. The Program Description: How You’re Solving Your Community's Problem
You’ve set up some tension in your story. Now it’s time to who how your school to swoop in and take action. In this scenario, your school and its team of intrepid problem-solvers act as a catalyst to create meaningful social change.

3. Outcomes and Evaluation: How Lives are Transformed
Foundations care more about the results of your activities than they do about the activities themselves. Never lose sight of that. All types of funders care above all else about impact. So your entire application should keep up a solid momentum leading into this powerful social impact as the apex of the narrative.

4. The Budget: Your Story, in Translation
Here comes the part where you translate everything you've written in your proposal narrative into the language of numbers. Your narrative and budget should be mirror one another; they should tell identical stories.

5. With Storytelling You Transform Grantwriting Into a Strategic Plan
Think of grantwriting as an opportunity to seize upon the intersection between your school's mission and a foundation’s goals. In this light, you are trying to connect a potential grant to the shared interests that will make funders care.