Writing a grant proposal can be time-consuming and stressful. Writing an okay proposal and writing a great proposal can mean the difference between getting the funds or missing out. If this is your first time writing a proposal or you need to get better at writing them, your goal is to write in a manner that addresses a problem in your area and how those funds are going to help fix the problem.
The main components that go into a grant are
- problem statement
- future funding opportunities
- Evaluation of the project
- a budget
A grant application requires a substantial amount of work but by following the necessary tips, you will be on the right track.
1. Create an outline
Describe each step and write down notes on what you should include in each section. You should follow this outline while writing the proposal, it will help make sure you have all the information needed. Write a one paragraph summary that includes who your company is, what you are applying to and how you plan on using the money. Look at all the requirements and see if you meet all of them before you start writing.
2. Write a first draft
If this is your first time writing a proposal, you will want to get a feel of how you should be writing and what you want to include. Like any piece of writing, writing a first draft is a good thing to do. Rewriting your first draft is a safe choice because grant writing isn't a simple thing. You want to make sure you're including all the information and it is clear and concise.
3. Follow the Instructions
The application has specific guidelines to follow and its important you keep these in mind when writing your proposal. If there is a page limit be sure to not exceed that amount. If you go over the amount of pages it asks, your grant reviewer might see that you can't follow single directions and you may not be trusted with funding.
4. Make your goals specific
Be specific on what you are going to use the money for. Don't be vague. The people reviewing your grants want to know exactly how you plan on using it. For example, if you want more money for your school, talk about how you will use them for three new computers.
5. Proofread and have others read once done
Like any other document, it is important to re-read what you wrote. You can find grammatical or spelling errors that wouldn't look good when you submit the proposal. You will also find things you want to add that you might of forgot or a point you could elaborate more on. Another thing you can do is have another person outside your company read what you wrote. Ask them questions about it and if they are unable to answer, you may want to go back and elaborate on a specific topic or add more content.
6. Consider hiring a grant writer
If you don't have the time to write a grant proposal, consider hiring a professional. They have the time to work on the project that you might not have. Since they are professionals, they know exactly what information to add into the grant and what wording works best. If you do decide to go that route, a grant writer usually costs a client a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. A thing to keep in mind when hiring a grant writer is they may not know all about your company and that's the advantage you have over someone else writing it. You know how much you need this grant and what it will do for your company, so sometimes its beneficial to make the allotted time to complete it.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
When you are searching for grants to apply for, do some research and see if they typically award grants to organizations like yours.
If you are awarded the grant, how long will it take to get the money. If you need the money before you are awarded it, it might be best to look for another grant to apply to.
Start thinking about the proposal budget. Gather all the information needed and start creating it.
No one said the process of a grant proposal and application were going to be easy. Take your time and add lots of solid information and be sure to complete all the necessary paperwork needed.
If you have any tips on writing grants, share them with us below!