Writing an effective grant proposal can be the difference between expanding your local charity and hosting another walk-a-thon. Grants are amounts of money that is awarded to a person or entity and does not need to be paid back. Grants often have eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for the grant in the first place. With the importance of grants as high as every, there is now more competition because there are more applicants. In order for you grant proposal to be well-received it must be well written.
The EPA has written extensively about ways to write an effective grant and specific guidelines that should be adhered to. Here is a quick look at the most important grant proposal writing guidelines that are applicable to every grant proposal, regardless of who it is for.
1. You Must Believe In Yourself
If you do not think that the foundation offering the grant will give you the money, you probably won’t get it. It is vital that you believe that they WANT to give you the money. If you have your doubts, it will subtly show up during your grant proposal writing.
2. Start With the Big Picture
It is important, when writing a grant, that you and end with the big picture. While details, especially statistics and financials, can be critically important, that doesn’t mean that you can lose sight of the big picture. More often than not, the foundations giving the grant must buy into the big picture before they take the time to delve into the specifics. Let them know who you are and what your strength’s and priorities are.
3. Know Who You Are Talking To
One of the biggest mistakes a grant proposal writer can make is to create a one-size-fits-all proposal for every grant. It is important to know who you are talking to because different organizations will key on different aspects of your group or business. Make sure that your proposal speaks directly to your specific audience.
4. Think of It as a Plan
Many grant writers make the mistake of of telling others what they are going to do with the money they would receive, but not how they are going to do it. The more detail you can give about how your will spend the money, the more prepared, in control, and serious you are about the grant. By providing as many details as possible about how you will spend the money, the people issuing the grant will have more confidence that they are sharing their money with for a specific and productive purpose.
5. Need Money Now?
If you need money now, then you are already to late. First, it can take months to get approved to a grant and then additional time before you actually receive it. Moreover, if you need money now then you will scrambling to get everything together and write your grant proposal. This makes it difficult to be clear-headed and focused.
Grant proposal writing doesn’t have to be be difficult, you just need a plan of action. By following these 5 tips, you will be able to write rock-solid grant proposals every time.