Grant writing is no easy feat. Even for the most seasoned grants professional learning how to write a grant application, more importantly a successful grant application often takes time. Especially when you’re faced with a large application process that requires supporting documentation and evidence. Multiply this with the many funding opportunities at once and the whole process can seem overwhelming. You may be thinking, “why isn’t there some tips to help me along the way?”. Well, that’s where we come in.
At The Grants Hub, our goal is to make finding grants easy. Before you abandon your next grant application, consider these handy tips on how to write a grant application. They’ll not only prepare you for what’s to be expected but will also help you craft a high-quality grant submission, capable of winning a great opportunity.
1) Determine why you require funding
Before you write any grant application, decide what the grant will be applied to and used for. Determining the ‘why’ first up helps you look at the bigger picture, and this information will be even more useful during the application process. By finding out this element of your project or your idea, you’ll reveal its likelihood of success, and even determine if it’s something already being covered. It’s vital to establish a case for support.
2) Ensure eligibility
It would be heartbreaking to start or submit an application only to realise after so much hard work that your organisation is ineligible. Clear this hurdle early by researching the funding providers guidelines to identify what deems eligibility. Ensure you meet the criteria before applying. If you’re still unsure after reviewing the application details, contact the grant organiser as they’ll have a great representative ready to assist all applicants.
3) Rally community and legitimate support
The more people who know and support what you’re doing, the better. Some grants ask for letters of support, so it’s best to connect with your community and show how your project or idea will benefit more than just one person. The value of your application is always increased significantly with the inclusion of community support, statistics and evidence. Think about teaming up with established organisations who may support your application.
4) Research the funding body and previous grant recipients
Competition for grants can be quite intense. To increase your chances of success we recommend doing extensive research into the funding providers and the previous recipients of that particular grant. This can help identify where previous grants have been awarded and some opportunities may even give examples of the types of answers the funding provider is looking for. Understanding the driving forces behind a funding body will influence your case for support.
5) Be proactive about grants
At the end of the day, time is your best friend so the longer you have to prepare for, and write, a grant application, the more high-quality your submission will be. Revise the application format and what the funding provider is asking for. Ensure you set yourself a realistic timeframe for each requirement and start gathering your assets ahead of time. The whole grant application process won’t seem as daunting if you’re proactive and organised. Knowing about opportunities ahead of time will make your application stronger. Also, did you know that at The Grants Hub we have a calendar feature that helps you organise upcoming grants? These tools will help you stay ahead of any funding opportunity.
6) Set some realistic goals and ideas for your application
Make sure your application is achievable and clearly defined. This may mean you need to engage in a bit of research as to why your project or idea should receive funding over others. You also want to ensure your idea is unique to your organisation or community and that someone hasn’t already pitched the same concept or successfully established a similar project. Read the grant guidelines and ensure you’re a great fit for the funding opportunity. Then back your claims and develop a compelling case as to why you require funding.
7) A good budget always helps
In any grants application, the budget is an opportunity to demonstrate that your project or idea is well-planned, well-conceived, cost-effective and feasible. A well-developed budget will highlight how achievable your goals are and where the funding income will be applied. Include quotes where required, and list all sources of income, with matching income/expenditure totals. Ensure your budget is detailed and that everything outlined will be used in your project. Grant providers want to see the funds benefitting the community, wherever possible.
8) Write the proposal with life and passion
Put yourself in the shoes of a grants reviewer, who needs to assess many applications. A case filled with enthusiasm will not only help drive points home, but it will standout amongst other applications. In saying that, you need to write for someone who may have limited time, so make sure those ideas maintain a clear and concise tone of voice. Don’t lose your passion. Use up-to-date data with clear language, and follow any complex points with a sentence that sums up the big picture. A grant application is about convincing your project or idea is exciting and worthy of funding.
9) Revise, revise again and revise with friends
Your goal is to develop a clear and concise grant application that communicates your project or idea effectively and passionately. Spelling or grammar errors, waffling sentences or vague ideas could hinder your overall application. A fresh set of eyes will always assist with these types of things and help you address areas you may have left out, so don’t hesitate to hand your application over to a trusty source for editing. Take on board their feedback and rewrite again if necessary.
10) Submit ahead of time
Submit the application as per the guidelines and ahead of time. Don’t leave it to the last minute, in case you encounter any unexpected errors along the way. Stress can play havoc and you don’t want to miss out on any element, because you were rushing to make the deadline.
Grant writing takes time, perseverance and dedication. By following these tips on how to write a grant application you’ll be ready for your next grant submission. If ever in doubt, our Grants Experts can help you succeed. At The Grants Hub, our online directory lists over 1500+ open national and state-by-state funding opportunities with many great features to make searching and applying easier than ever.
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