Applying for grants is an essential fundraising strategy for NonProfits. It can be an intimidating process if you’re not a seasoned grant writer, but with the right approach, you can craft a compelling grant application that will set your team apart from the competition. Here are some tips that you can use when writing your next grant application!
It sounds obvious but this is a crucial part of writing a winning grant application. Once you’ve found a grant that you want to apply for, you need to try to align with the organization issuing the grant. If you don’t meet a Grantor’s criteria or follow the directions exactly, your application will likely be rejected. Before you start writing, it’s important to do research on the grant provider and other organizations who have received similar grants in the past. This will:
Understanding the grant provider’s mission and goals is important as it helps ensure that your proposal aligns with their values and objectives.
Always Be Researchin’
For example, government grants will have different criteria depending on the government agency that is issuing the grant. A grant issued by the Department of Education will have different objectives than a grant issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. So it’s important to make sure that you’re continually aligining with the values of the funder issuing the grant.
Ok, you’ve done your research and and now you’re ready to start writing. Where to start?
When writing your grant application, always remember to state your case clearly. Imagine yourself as the person on the other side reading your proposal. They’ll likely be asking two key questions with each grant they read.
Writing grant proposals is a bit like technical writing. You want to break down the problem and your solution into easy to follow words and phrases. When in doubt, you can start small using a framework like this and build your case around it:
We need X amount of funding so that we can do Y. By doing Y, we expect to have a positive impact on our community because [insert numbers]
The Florence Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to continuing research in the fight against cancer. We need $35,000 in funding so that we can execute on our mission researching new experimental treatments. By researching these treatments, we expect to be able to make the cancer process more affordable by 50% for low income workers.
This is a made up example, but once you have this framework down it becomes easier to build upon and state your case clearly. Just stating your case clearly will already put you a big step up past the competition.
You’ll need to make sure that your argument is compelling to stand out and win. When in doubt, sell the problem your organization wants to solve. Whenever possible, provide relevant facts and statistics about why your organization needs this grant and how it will benefit from the funds.
Make sure to detail the specific plans for using the money in a way that shows how it will help achieve your the Grant Providers goals and outcomes. You can fill out the grant application yourself, hire a grant writer, or even use AI to generate grant proposals for you.
Bonus – include a realistic timeline of when you anticipate completing certain objectives with the money from the grant. This will show grantors that your team is organized and prepared to deploy funds.
The final step in crafting an effective grant application is proofreading and revising as necessary. Be sure to read over everything carefully before submitting; typos are sloppy mistakes that can make an otherwise great proposal look unprofessional.
The best approach is to take your time and arm yourself with knowledge of the common mistakes that can often be overlooked. Try reading out loud: not only will this help you sound out words more clearly, but it will also allow you to get an overall view of your writing’s flow and structure. You should also check punctuation and grammar on every page, watch for typos, and double check any names or titles of people whose grants apply to.
Take small sections at a time and look closely at any mistakes or areas that may need improvement. Additionally, take breaks; when proofreading we often skim over errors due to being accustomed with our own writing and this can result in overlooking mistakes. Refreshing one’s eyes every so often grants them clear vision for maximum accuracy in their proofreading process.
Finally, engage someone else as an editor and take their review into account during the proofreading process; they could catch something you haven’t seen due to their fresh eyes on the document. Grantboost’s team offer fresh eyes and free pointers to help nonprofits win more.
While there are no shortcuts when it comes to proofreading grants, having a clear system in place will help ensure everything is checked before the final submission!
Writing a compelling grant application doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow these steps!
Do these steps and then you’re free to submit the grant! If you follow these tips, you’ll increase your team’s odds of succeeding in getting funding for your non-profit organization! Good luck!
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