Organizations that have been invited to submit a full grant proposal in the Competitive Grant Program are also required to give grant presentations to complement the written grant application. Grant presentations offer organizations a unique opportunity to speak directly about their programs, share information that may not have been available in their grant proposals and ignite interactive conversations with the grant panelists.
What to Know about Presentations:
While the specific dates of grant presentations will vary year to year, they generally occur 2-4 weeks after the written grant application deadline. Shortly after submitting your grant application, you will receive a date and time for the grant presentation. All presentations are held at the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Presentations are ten minutes, allowing five minutes for the presentation and five minutes for grant panelists to ask questions. Please note: grant presentations are required in order to be eligible to receive funding.
Remember: grant presentations are intended to be engaging, informative and fun! This is an opportunity to lift your proposal off the page and bring your program to life.
Tips for a Successful Grant Presentation:
While acknowledging every grant panel is different, certain approaches are sure to make for a more positive grant presentation. Please consider the following tips when preparing your presentation:
- Make your words count – you only have five minutes! These five minutes should be an opportunity to inform the panel about an aspect of your program that may not have been represented in your grant application. Repeating the mission statement or offering an overview and history of your organization may not be the best use of the time. In other words: dig right into the program for which you are requesting a grant.
- Keep it simple. Handouts, props or brochures, while sometimes providing additional information, can be distracting to the grant panelists and often go unread. If you would like to highlight specific statistics or use visuals, a Powerpoint slide is advisable before printed materials.
- The presenter is key. Sometimes in these situations, it feels imperative for the Executive Director to serve as the primary presenter. That may be the case – if the Executive Director is also the individual who can speak most knowledgably on the program. In many instances, it is more effective to have a Program Director or Development Director speak directly about the program. No organization would ever be penalized for not having the senior most executive speak on behalf of the grant.
- Budgets! Grant panelists often ask specific questions related to program budgets. Don’t hesitate to bring your Finance Director to the presentation – just in case you need to call on his/her expertise in a pinch.
- Manage your group size. There is no maximum number of people from your organization who can attend the grant presentation; however, it is advisable for groups not to extend beyond five people. Larger groups with board members and additional staff members can sometimes make the presenters feel anxious and can add an extra layer of pressure on the presenter. The majority of presentations are led by 1-2 people.
- Collaborate. If you applied for a grant that is in partnership with another organization, or from which another organization would benefit, bring a representative of that organization with you. Collaboration in writing is attractive – but seeing it in action adds a special appeal to programs.
- Have fun! We know public speaking is not the easiest or most comfortable activity for most people. Just remember: the grant panel is on your side. Everyone listening to the presentation wants to learn about the great work you are doing in our community. Enjoy yourself, let the passion and inspiration you have for your work guide you in delivering a fun and lively presentation.