Nonprofit Owes Debt of Gratitude to Student Grant Writer at Illinois Wesleyan Univeristy

Melissa Breeden, (left), senior director of YWCA Young Wonders, and Savanna Steck, ’18, collaborated on a $500 grant proposal enabling the YWCA to purchase an industrial sink and faucet.

The kitchen update looks like a new industrial sink and faucet, but to staff at YMCA McLean County, the recent purchase will not only save money on catering costs, but help provide for the preparation of nutritious food onsite for more than 330 young children in their care throughout the year.

Mellissa Breeden, senior director of the YMCA Young Wonders program, said the nonprofit organization owes a debt of gratitude to Savanna Steck, a student at Illinois Wesleyan University who wrote the proposal for the kitchen project that earned the $500 award.

Grant writing is easier said than done for many nonprofits that don’t have designated staff or the human resources to perform the bulk of the work involved in winning a competitive award. The task is made more difficult considering that, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States – including public charities, private foundations, chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues – are competing for funding dollars from limited sources.

YMCA McLean County was fortunate to obtain the services of Steck and her classmates, who competed against one another on behalf of the local nonprofit for the $500 grant funded by IWU’s Action Research Center. But, not all nonprofits are as lucky to have a qualified writer at their disposal. Those that continue to struggle to produce a highly competitive grant proposal will stand to lose out on opportunities that can be few and far between.

Nearly $390 billion in grants were awarded to charitable organizations in 2016; up 2.7 percent from the year before. Individuals accounted for 72 percent of all gifts, but foundations and corporations made significant contributions as well.

Human services charities like the YMCA Young Warriors program accounted for 12 percent of all donations. These awards are considered the lifeblood of nonprofits of all sizes that depend largely on grants to continue operations.

Every successful proposal begins with a thorough review of opportunities. Finding these funding sources can dramatically impact a nonprofit, but Identifying a grant writer that can convey the mission of an organization to the focus of a donor can be equally as challenging.

Many nonprofits as well as small businesses and government agencies that cannot invest in hiring or training a grant writer will turn to Proposal writers at can translate your ideas to create a compelling statement that markets your organization and demonstrates the effectiveness of your product or service to the funding source.

Grant writing is a skilled craft that involves time, accurate management plans and well-packaged reporting mechanisms. The process and the ability to communicate a vision should not be underestimated.

Writers at will collect your background data, articulate your concepts and ensure that your arguments are well-documented. Grant writing can be extremely puzzling and require multiple applications before achieving success. If you don’t have the time and energy to commit to a proposal, will help you find a qualified writer who does.

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