How to start with grants
October 8, 2020
Knowing where and how to start can be overwhelming when you are new to the grant-seeking path. Fear not, dear reader! Let’s shift down some gears and look at where to kick off from, followed by simple steps to get that grant application confidently submitted.
Before logging into The Grants Hub directory
Consider your strategic plan - what funding do you need to meet your current objectives?
Next, jot down your wishlist of future projects.
For each project or initiative, write down a list of all the expenditures that must be funded to bring your project to life, for example: equipment; venue hire; catering; program coordination; overheads; marketing costs; etc.
Some of these costs may not be eligible for grant funding (for example, operating costs are often excluded in grant guidelines) but they are still important to be aware of as you consider the feasibility of each project.
Begin searching by logging into your account with The Grants Hub
When searching in the Grants Directory, we always suggest starting with a broad search first, allowing you to narrow your search accordingly. Our members tell us that casting a wide search net initially alerts them to relevant grants that they would not have come across if they had used very specific criteria.
You can start your search with:
Location, i.e. where you operate or where your project will be delivered. You can opt to include National grants as well as your state(s) to see all relevant grants that you may be eligible to apply for based on location.
Topics, including e.g. Arts, Community, Disability, Education, Health & Wellbeing, Older People, etc. Our expert grants researchers reach grant guidelines and then categorise each grant by Topic to enable you to shortcut your search based on your interests.
Keywords, including e.g. mental health, social enterprise, women, etc. A keyword search will enable you to quickly hone in on grants that align with your specific objectives and/or target audience.
Other search filters you can use in the Grants Directory include: grant amount; who can apply; funding provider type; DGR status; and co-contribution requirements.
Remember to save your search to trigger Tailored Grant Alerts so that you receive email notifications about every new or updated grant that meets your search criteria.
Anytime you see a grant of interest, follow the link we provide to the funding provider’s website and read their guidelines in full to ensure you are eligible and that your project aligns with their program’s objectives. When in doubt, always get in touch with the funding provider using the contact details in their guidelines. Funding providers would prefer you spend five minutes on a call/email with them to clarify, rather than you spending five hours writing an application that does not fit their objectives.
By fully utilising the features included with your membership, we will help you keep track of grants so that you don’t miss out on future rounds.
You have found the right grant(s)
When you have found a grant that you are eligible to apply for, make sure you leave ample time to complete the application before the grant deadline.
It’s a great idea to have someone else such as a colleague, friend, or fellow committee group member read your draft grant application. Doing this will often enable you to catch grammatical errors, miscalculations, and opportunities to strengthen your case for support before you hit submit.
Once you hit the submit button, cross your fingers and give yourself a pat on the back! Hopefully, you will hear from the funding provider soon - and if not, you can reach out to them for an update, appreciating any timelines they provide for the grant program. Be mindful that it can take weeks - or months - for some funding providers to conclude their assessment process and notify applicants of the outcome.
One final tip: when you know the outcome of your application, take a few minutes to consider what worked well and where you may have room to improve. This will help you strengthen future applications and get ahead with grants.
Finally, let us know when you are successful! We love celebrating with our member community.