Where did you find a story that touched you in the past week—
Were you listening to a heartwarming story on the radio?
Did you watch a gregarious friend entertain guests at a party?
Were you reading a grant application?
Not a lot of takers on the third one, huh? Well, you can change that.
Grant applications often feel like class research reports. You have to answer a certain number of questions in a certain order within a certain number of pages or characters.
More formal than appeal letters, presentations, or other donor interactions, grant proposals are nevertheless another way to tell the story of your organization. One of the best ways to communicate your organization’s work is to include an impact story in your application.
Yes, I said application. Usually, we provide impact stories in the grant report. But you can include a successful case in your application to demonstrate how your organization made someone’s life better.
After all, grant reviewers are people like you and me, and they probably got into this job because they wanted to make a difference in their community. They don’t read hundreds of pages of applications because they love seeing how many different ways nonprofits can answer the same question – they want to know how their foundation’s contributions will make a difference.
You can weave your story into one of the standard application sections, such as statement of need or organization background. You’ll still need to give them the outcomes, statistics and budgets they require, but show them a little love and put some emotion into your application.