Grant writing takes time, but can help an organization to thrive if the monies are awarded. Most writers can’t simply sit down at a computer and instantly draft a well-written grant. It takes time and insight to write a grant that will have great impact and get the results you desire. It’s such a skill that most organizations hire professional writers to write grants for them.
If you’re going at it on your own, here are five insights when grant writing that you should always keep in mind:
Do Your Research
Don’t waste your time or the time of others. When asking for money, it’s important that you’re asking the right organizations. Research to see if your grant will align with the potential grantees values and goals. Take a look at their website, read their mission statement, and even give the organization a call ahead of time to ask any questions you may have. If you have to stretch yourself to figure out a way your need lines up with their values, the grant might not be a good fit or worth your time to pursue.
Guidelines need to be followed in the proposal. Providing the necessary details, even when it seems like you’re repeating phrases or information, increases chances of your proposal’s acceptance. Read the proposal over and over again and make sure it looks exactly how the grantee wants it look. If a section of the guidelines is confusing, give the organization a call and ask for clarification. It’s better to call and ask than to make a mistake with the desired format.
The best grants are filled with details and specifics. Specify the need, the description and the budget. Showing detail shows confidence. Give specific examples of what you have done in the past and how you plan to use the funds if you are given the grant. Use statistics and details that will illustrate your needs. It’s important to not only be specific, but also to be accurate and up-to-date. Don’t be afraid to use graphics and charts to simplify your points. These can have a greater impact than just words and can increase understanding.
Organize and Edit
You are asking for money, sometimes very large amounts of money. It’s imperative that your grammar and spelling are perfect. The grant should be organized, professional, and polished. Do self-edits, but also invest in editors to read your drafts. You’ll never catch all the errors yourself. An error-free grant proposal reflects upon the organization you represent.
While a grant proposal should logically and succinctly follow the required format to demonstrate needs and show beneficial uses for the money, it’s OK, even encouraged, to show your organization’s passion for its mission. Be sincere and show heart. The more passionate you are, the more moved the reader will be and your grant just might be approved.
Feel free to share a link to your grant. What tips do you have for organizations writing proposals for your grant? ~ Natalie