Anyone who has ventured into the non-profit world knows the value of mastering the skill of grant writing. The non-profit world relies on the grants provided by the government, companies and foundations.
Grant writers who can help your cause get awarded funds are in high demand. This book attempts to turn you into that successful grant writer.
The author, Bev Brown, certainly has the credentials. She has won over $80 million in grants for organizations in her nearly 20 years experience in the arena.
This is a "For Dummies" book so it gives you very basic information (sometimes way too basic!) and the occasional valuable nugget for those with some experience.
I've written a few grant applications for Computers Assisting People and won a few and lost a few.
Much of the information found in this book can be gleaned from carefully and thoroughly reading the guidelines for the particular grant you are applying for. It is crucial to follow their rules as a seemingly innocuous discrepancy such as 11 point font instead of 12 point or having the header centered instead of right-justified can get your application thrown out without even being read!
The book gives several online sources for your non-profit that is seeking grants but you could probably find them just as easily via a web search.
The author stresses the need to be thorough, complete and follow the rules and this is good advice - as her $80 million in awards can testify.
She spends some time in giving buzz words that are supposed to get the grant appraisers to like your proposal and fund it. They seemed forced and somewhat trite to me but her success gives her street cred. Of course if everyone starts peppering their proposals with words like "nestle" it will backfire eventually.
I'm not sure I learned anything new from this book though it did reinforce a few lessons I had learned the hard way. So if you are a beginner in the field, give it a try and good luck. When you hit the big award, remember your old pal who told you about the book.
Great Lakes Geek Rating: 2 out of 5 pocket protectors.
Reviewed by Entreprenerd Dan Hanson, the Great Lakes Geek
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