The first rule of grant seeking from foundations is to match your goals to a foundation's goals. Each foundation has a slightly different mission, but in general, here is what foundations like to see:
High impact results: Show how your work will solve critical problems.
Measurable outcomes (quantitative and qualitative): This includes an evaluation plan that answers the question ‘How will we know that your work is successful?’
A successful track record: This will show that you follow up on your proposal, stick to the budget, and use the money as the foundation intended.
Cost-effectiveness: Foundations want to know that you are tapping into all available sources of funding and that your organization is also contributing resources.
Collaborative work: Foundations would like to see you in partnership with other credible organizations and funders. This shows that the project is sustainable and relevant to a broader audience or field.