Top 10 Tips For Grant Writing
20 November 2012 at 10:03 am
Attention to detail is the key to drumming up financial support for a Not for Profit project, according WA grants consultant Tammy King who offers her top ten tips for grant writing.
Here’s her list:
1. Before you begin an application, decide what you need a grant for. If your proposal is considered to be a part of your organisation’s core activity then your application is unlikely to be successful. The grant guidelines generally state what is eligible and ineligible for any particular grant.
2. If you are still unsure if your project is eligible for a grant, contact the grant provider. They all have a dedicated program or grants officer coaching applicants through the process. They can give you a clear indication of what is eligible and may also be able to provide you with feedback on your application prior to finally submitting it.
3. Tell everyone! The more people that know about your upcoming project the better. Drum up support for what you are doing and get relevant letters of support from organisations and individuals to submit with your application. Furthermore, your organisation’s Board or relevant decision-making body should be aware of your intent to write an application and be updated regularly on its progress. This ensures that if the grant writer can no longer undertake the grant writing task, someone else can easily pick up the application and continue writing it.
4. Do the math and use local suppliers. Ensure your budget is detailed and include everything from stationery to promotion to equipment. Absolutely anything that will be utilised for the project. Check the guidelines; you may be able to add in a percentage for administration or project costs. When obtaining quotations for your budget, go to local suppliers wherever you can. Grant providers like to see the funds supporting the community wherever possible. Obtain the appropriate number of quotations.
5. Do a bit of research to justify why your project should receive a grant over others. Search online through peak bodies or associations and obtain statistics to support your application as well as quoting influential persons. Let the grant provider visualise your project, include photographs, diagrams and plans of what could happen if you received the grant.
6. If you see a grant that you may be eligible for but it is less than seven days out from closing – don’t even bother. Quality applications require plenty of time and attention. Even if you might be able to get the application together, it is usually guaranteed that you won’t be able to obtain appropriate letters of support or even have it signed off by an authorising officer.
7. Some grants are ongoing (no closing date) and some have specific rounds (publicised opening and closing dates). Be proactive towards grants; be aware of what grants are available to your organisation and what their applicable timeframes are. This will allow you to prepare your project better and completing a grant application will be nowhere near as daunting as you thought.
8. Once you have completed your application, have someone else read it that doesn’t know the ins and outs of the project and ask them if they understand what the project is and if the responses address the questions in the application form. Even the smallest question or comment can assist you with an improved application. Remember that the grant provider doesn’t know anything about your project either so your writing has to be crystal clear.
9. Submit the application as per the guidelines. This may seem like a simple request but so often applications are submitted incorrectly and it is frustrating. Some grant providers require multiple copies, others prefer them not to be bound or even stapled, check the guidelines.
10. Tell a story. Let the assessor be taken away with your application. They want to know the background to the project and if they approve a grant to you, what will be the outcomes and who will benefit from
About the author: Tammy King is the founder of perth-based Empress Administration which specialises in providing grants consultancy services to both public and private sector enterprises and Not for Profit organisations.