Things You Just Do
- Double-Check the foundation’s contact info, meeting dates and guidelines. I know it sounds obvious but it’s important to check the board meeting dates are still accurate, and its guidelines and current grant focus are all updated.
- Cite Credible Sources in your vision or need statement. Your need statement sets up the “why” of your grant proposal. If you don’t convince funders here that your project is serving a worthy cause, they’ll stop reading. Credible sources, scientific studies and strong data are essential in writing a strong proposal.
- Logical Budget and Program Description. Your budget should reflect your program objectives. Make your budget straight forward. It should be obvious why each line item in your budget is present.
- Follow directions. Don’t spend all this time and effort to blow it on something completely avoidable. Some Grants are very specific about how to apply, make sure you follow the directions.
- Speak to your past successes. Don’t forget that you are asking for assistance. You must properly articulate why your organization is deserving of the funds. Highlight your foundations capabilities and success rate. Hard data wins! Make sure you quantify your organizations successes and make it easy to understand.
Things You Just Don’t DO
- Don’t apply until you’re ready. If you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to a fully formed, highly competitive and carefully proofread grant proposal, it is best you hire someone to do it for you. Sure, the money is attractive, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors by submitting an application that isn’t up to par.
- Don’t Be Boring. This can be difficult, because it’s rather subjective. What one person finds riveting, another finds tedious. But if you find your proposal boring, then there’s close to zero chance anyone will want to fund it. You should never submit a grant proposal unless you are genuinely excited by the work that you are proposing.
- Don’t Be Overoptimistic. An overoptimistic proposal assumes that results will turn out perfect and you’ll have 100% conversion. This is unrealistic and they can tell. A proposal should highlight something useful, even if the exciting predictions don’t work out.
- Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket. If acquiring funding was as easy as writing one large grant and hitting submit, everyone would do it and GrantLinkX wouldn’t exist. Take the stress out of the experience and make Grant Writing a full time priority. You’ll sleep much better at night if you’re confident in your grant strategy.
- Don’t Fall Off the Map. When you are awarded funding from an organization. Be sure to thank them and keep them informed on your organizations progress. This simple act further establishes rapport and allows for future prospects.