No grant is an easy win these days. Grant processes are often complex and time consuming. Many applicants get tripped up by simple mistakes and by trying to hurry the all-important submission step. Here are 5 points to consider when deciding whether or not to apply for a grant.
- Does the grant have too many rules and milestones to be of use to you over the short period?
- Does the grant need be used for a certain purpose that doesn't align with your needs? e.g it must be used to purchase new equipment, but you really need some business analysis done or a new trainee put in place.
- Many grants ask for collaboration between parties. This may mean that you need to link with (for instance) a supplier, a university, a school, another similar association or community group in order to meet the requirements of the grant. Building such relationships take time and effort and this should not be underestimated.
- Perhaps the grant needs to be acquitted by end of next FY. It may not leave you enough time to deliver on the plan you had for the money.
- Is the grant a 'matched funding' arrangement.? This is very common in government grants programs and is used to ensure 'buy-in' from the grant applicant. This can only work for you if you have the ready access to the matched funds. Do not pursue this type of grant when you are not in a cash (or equivalent in-kind) situation to meet the matched arrangement of the grant at the time of application.
If any of the above pointers ring warning bells for you, leave it and look for another grant that suits you better. Don’t try and make the grant fit your needs.
The Grants Whisperer