After you have done all the hard work of writing your grant proposal, describing you goals, program activities and evaluation plan, don’t rush your budget preparation. Carefully consider what the project costs will be, and include enough detail in your proposal that the funding body can feel confident that they know what the grant will be used for.
After putting in all that effort and feeling quietly confident about a positive outcome, you find out that you are not successful in securing that grant. The disappointment can be deep and lasting but there are some positives to take away from the situation.
Big grant applications are a league of their own. Now when I say big, I’m not talking about applications which might take you a day. I’m talking about those big, nightmare applications, where each of the Selection Criteria require responses of around 1,000 words. The ones where the character count drives you crazy. The ones that are typically for Federal Government, and are for at least $500,000, but usually well into the millions. These are what I consider big grant applications.
After all your hard work, attention to detail and ensuring all your responses comply and match the requests of the grant application, you are successful in securing a government grant. Hooray! Time to celebrate. What’s next?
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.
Government, whether it’s local, State or Federal – is a conservative and risk-averse beast. When it comes to government grants, you can be assured of a lengthy, complex, considered and at times pedantic process.
It’s not uncommon for organisations to reduce personnel and overhead costs by outsourcing day-to-day back office functions such as accounting or IT – however it’s less common to outsource specialised functions such as research, development of fundraising strategy or components of fundraising such as grant writing.
The investment of time in setting up a system to support the grant application process, often referred to as grant readiness, allows organisations to identify funding opportunities that align with their overall strategy and most importantly avoid the practice of trying to fit a square plug into a round hole.