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The Funding Request:
How Nehemiah Won a Grant

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

The king granted these requests. (Nehemiah 2:8, NLT

The Funding Request: a #devotional for #writers based on Neh 2:8 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #GrantWriting #nonprofits

A Word For Writers

A compelling funding request presents a detailed need, a clear solution, and a specific ask. 

Who receives these requests? Funders fall into three main categories: private foundations (financed by an individual, family, or community), corporations (the charitable arm of a business), and government (designed to meet the needs of the community).

King Artaxerxes is a good example of a private funder. He provided a generous grant to his cupbearer, Nehemiah.

Nehemiah, the applicant, followed an ideal model in presenting his funding request.

First, he outlined the problem: his home city was in ruins (Nehemiah 2:3). Nehemiah used clear details to describe Jerusalem’s broken, charred walls.

Then, he proposed a way to alleviate that need. Nehemiah could travel to Jerusalem and lead the repairs, if the king allowed him a leave of absence (Nehemiah 2:5). Nehemiah had a track record of reliability, so the king knew he could trust his cupbearer to get the job done. Plus, Nehemiah gave a timeline. He explained how long he’d be gone.

Finally, Nehemiah made a specific ask: he requested letters of recommendation for safe passage and an in-kind gift of lumber from the king (Nehemiah 2:5-8). He didn’t leave the king wondering how the project would be accomplished.

Funders have the resources to bankroll worthy projects – especially when you describe a well-defined need, show a reliable, clear solution, and make a specific ask that will complete the project. 

A Wise Word

A compelling funding request presents a well-defined need, a clear solution, and a specific ask.

A Word To Pray

Gracious God,

You promise to supply all our needs according to your riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Thank you for generous funders who provide for needs. Show me how to word a funding request to present the need, the solution, and the ask in a compelling way.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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