Back in 2004, my boss at the time, the late Rick Miller, MLA Edmonton-Rutherford, called me into his office.

We chit chatted and then he looked at me, then the newspaper.

He said, “your job is to keep me in there asking great questions.”

And here’s how I want you to do it: “follow the money.


 My boss. The late Rick Miller, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford. Simply the best. Everyone on all sides of the housed like and respected him. 

My boss. The late Rick Miller, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford. Simply the best. Everyone on all sides of the housed like and respected him.

So I did, and did we have fun.

Money everywhere.

I was amazed.

We found grants for frat houses and grants for just about everything else.

Since those early days in the legislature and writing non-profit grants, I have learned a lot.

So this week I want to teach you some dos and don’ts, then I want to leave you a couple gifts.

1.     Only do one grant at a time. If you’re new to grants, you may be overwhelmed by the number of grants your non-profit organization is eligible for. Normally when I put a grant package together for a non-profit, I stop at 75 grants. Having said all that, I recommend you create a grant calendar and do one at a time.

One of the big pain points is creating a good master grant documents. Once you have that document completed, you are well on your way to applying to more grants. In all honesty, I would say if you are submitting more than four grants a year, you are in an elite category of grant applications.

The big question becomes, “how do I write a good master grant document on a budget?” Well, you attend our first ever Live Grant Writing Seminar in Edmonton on June 20! I’m starting with a very small group (about 15 students). You can purchase your seat here:

The one-day session is only $250, includes coffee and a light lunch. Again, I’m only allowing about 15 students for the first session. Get your seat before they’re all gone.

Okay, time for another tip.

2.     Meet the grant agency before you write.

So, we have all heard the horror story: “I applied for a grant and it didn’t work.” I know. I’ve been there. But here is the deal I’ve learned. If you talk to the grant agency before you write, you are well on your way. I’ve learned that if you have a good relationship with the grant agency, you will know BEFORE you apply if you stand a good chance.

Grants are risky; it’s why I love them. I love putting everything into an application and competing. In my experience if you are trusted by the grant application, they will help you even if your application is a poorly worded – try to avoid it though.

3.     Be honest and up front because it all comes out in grants.


Sometimes grants can be tempting because they are almost perfect. Don’t apply. Unless your grant fits the criteria perfectly, you will likely lose.

Now here is the good news. Our database has hundreds of grants in it. Your specialty niche will have grants. Heck my sister had a niche in women in aviation and she won $426,000! I’m sure if you are helping children or people with developmental disabilities you have a lot of grants.

4.     Understand government. If you are running a non-profit organization, you need to understand government 101. You just do. You need to know your Member of Parliament and Member of the Legislature of Assembly. They are the stewards of tax dollars, and I don’t care what anyone tells you, they call the shots.

For these reasons I am including the first part of my Live Grant Writing Seminar as Grants 101. I go over the essentials of government, and you will be given a commitment sheet to build trust with your key stakeholders. You can register here:

5.     Just Apply.

You need to get started. I talk to non-profit organizations ALL THE TIME and they are NOT applying. I’m telling you grant agencies have all kinds of money, and they are looking for qualified applications. The first step is find all your grants. Second step meet the agency. Third step write the application. We can help you with each step. Here’s what one of our customers just told us on Facebook:


6.     First Come-First Serve

You need to do some checking, but with many business grants, the applications are sometimes first-come, first-serve NOT best-come, best serve. Now I know some grants are wildly competitive, but not all of them are. So, dig deep on all your grants. I find grants all the time that are outside the box.

7.     Easiest money.

Now try to follow me here. I am going to show you how to get easy grant money, and it doesn’t come from the government. Two organizations: Rotary and Corporations.

If you are near a Rotary Club (hint you are), you need to start building trust with them. They are always looking for great partners to work with. It could be a win-win relationship.

Corporations. Businesses have several reasons for partnering with non-profit organizations. In some cases; it might be highly strategic. A non-profit organization can be a conduit to helping them build trust where they do business. A food bank or other popular non-profit organization are great examples. Really focus on the relationship. Understand the corporation’s true need (it might be government or citizen trust). Demonstrate how you can help them. In this way, we are working together to make the planet a better place.

Out of time for this week.

Don’t forget to check out my Live Grant Writing Seminar. At only $250 for the day, it’s a price you can’t beat. The outcome will be grant 101, writing tips, and a DRAFT master grant application. We’ll get as much done as we can in one day.

David Kincade

Phone: 780.297.6177