Calling grant seekers!  Does your organization serve low income, at-risk, or special needs youth, older adults, or people with disabilities?  The Loudoun Impact Fund, a partnership between the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, is currently accepting proposals for programs that advance youth and elderly welfare, and services for people with disabilities.

The Loudoun Impact Fund is a giving circle of annual philanthropic investors who review and recommend grants into our Loudoun community. Each year, members of the giving circle  select their top priorities for grantmaking in Loudoun. We request proposals for funding that will positively impact the priorities they selected; you submit a carefully prepared application, requesting funding for your good work.

So, you wonder, what might nudge your application to be selected as one of the top-ranked proposals?   Here are our tips to help your proposal stand out:

The details matter.

Carefully reviewing your narrative and budget to ensure you completely answer each question in the application requirements is an important step to make sure the reviewers have all the information they need.

But, keep it simple.

 The art of crafting detailed yet concise messaging related to your organization’s work comes with practice and careful editing.  It’s tempting to wax poetic about your proposed project or program; after all, your organization is doing great things, and probably a lot of them!  But keep in mind the reviewers are reading many proposals.  You want yours to be easily digested and understood.

Avoid assuming.

Remember, our reviewers may not be familiar with your organization, even if your organization is a previous grantee.  Each year, new members join the giving circle – some may have knowledge of your work, and some may not.  Ask someone unfamiliar with the intimate details of your proposed project to read your proposal and provide feedback prior to submitting your application.  A fresh pair of eyes can see things you might miss.

Money matters.

Be thoughtful about your budget submission.  Our grantmakers pay great attention to your other income sources and project expenses.  Submitting a carefully planned, realistic, and balanced budget is just as important as a well-articulated narrative.

We’re here for you.

We welcome questions from grant seekers as you prepare your proposals and we’re more than happy to provide you with our thoughts and feedback.  Have a question about the Loudoun Impact Fund application?  Call Nicole Acosta, Director of Grants and Nonprofit Programs at (703) 779-3535, x3.

Interested in submitting a proposal?  View the Loudoun Impact Fund 2018 Grant Guidelines here.

Interested in making a gift to become one of our Loudoun Impact Fund grant makers?  Donations can be made online here, or mailed to Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, PO Box 342, Leesburg, VA 20178.