“If only the foundation knew how valuable this work we are doing is OR how much of a different even a small grant would make for our work!”

I have heard this or similar statements many times by missionaries and they always make an impression on me- BECAUSE THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY TRUE!

I would advise all grant writers to try and make the same impression with each foundation, but to be of two minds:

With one mind, be factual and detail oriented, providing all the information and documentation that the foundation asks for, by no later than the foundation requires, hopefully earlier.

With the other mind, tell your story, and be descriptive, about the meaningful and deeply needed service you provide and the powerful assistance that will be given with a grant from the foundation you are applying to. If there is no space on the form, add a cover letter or cover email. Always include a good photo if you can. Communicate in emotion and colorful detail in such a way that the foundation executive feels like he or she is in your country, because most of them have not been to any or very few mission countries!

Foundation executives do not like to admit that they often have little understanding of what life is really like in the many countries where applications come from. If your application can give them a sense of confidence that they understand the local situation in your country, it is easier for them to feel and speak with conviction about the grant request you are making.

But don’t forget, you need BOTH minds- get all the details and documentation and deadline first, then tell a story of meaning and hope that they will not forget!