While grant applications may differ in format, they take a similar structure regarding the information you are to provide. Regardless of the type of grant you are applying for, either for your charity organization or project collaboration, grant writing is a skill you need. You should be able to define the project and deliverables for the money sought clearly. Therefore, your grant writing process needs to be carefully prepared, planned, and packaged to succeed.
So in this guide, we’ll look at the necessary grant writing steps you’ll require to achieve a convincing and winning grant application.
Step 1: Go through the Grant and Research a bit on Your Grantor
Once you have found a grant that aligns with your proposed project, you must take an in-depth look at the grant to understand what your grantor needs. It also allows you to get all the questions you need to provide answers for and the necessary documents you may be required to add to support your grant application. It would help if you likewise took note of all the keywords or phrases you might need to keep on referring to in your application.
Also, do a little research on others who your proposed grantors have given to in the past. It will provide you with an idea of whether or not the application is fit for your mission. And then carry out an honest inventory of your organization’s grant-readiness before you write out your application.
Step 2: Proposal Title Page and Document Collation
The next phase of your grant writing process is to prepare a title page for your grant application. It can also be in the form of an abstract. The purpose is to give your grantors brief but sufficient and specific details about your application at a glance. Make sure that your title page is appropriately coached. Since it is the initial impression your potential grantors will have of your brand, you should put to have a well-designed, very informative, and error-free write up.
It should carry information such as the title of your proposed project, business name, proposal objectives and outcomes, name, and tile of your company representative, legal business information, and contact. This information will quip their attention to read the proposal further and make them take you seriously. It will also help you organize your thinking on how to write the main body of your application.
Additionally, now is the time to have a checklist of all the documents required and collate them together. It is advisable to do this to avoid last-minute scampering. Documents such as a list of board members, your IRS determination letter, financial reports, a statement about the organization’s history, etc. should all be up to date. When you fail to provide a requested document, no matter how incredible your concept may be, the funder will likely dismiss your application immediately.
Step 3: Writing the Body of Your Grant Application
Writing the body of your proposal is the most critical step, and it should contain the following parts:
- The executive summary helps to give the grantor a brief insight of what your project is about. It should be short and straightforward, providing all the vital information. The executive summary provides the grantor with a glimpse of your proposal and what they should expect.
- Needs Statement: is the essential aspect of your grant proposal. Therefore it needs to convince your grantor that your proposed project is crucial. Also, write on your organization’s capability in handling the project and the impact the grant money can make. Your needs statement should be detailed, so whatever information the reviewer fails to pick in your summary, they can easily find it here.
- Goals and Objective: provides information on how you will handle the project and what you aim to accomplish at the end of the project. Thus, the goals are the projects’ overall outcomes, and the objectives are the steps that you will follow to achieve these outcomes. For instance, if you need the grant to set up an essay writing service review site like GrantWriterTeam. Your goals can be delivering 1000 quality essays daily, while your objectives will be the procedures you will take to write out quality essays.
- Program Design: This is the part of your application where you give your grantor a detailed approach to your project’s objectives. It should contain information such as the step by step model approach and timelines.
- Evaluation Section: This section shows how you are going to assess the success or failure of your project. It gives you room to explain to the grantor that their money accomplishes a purpose. Therefore, you should explicitly state your evaluation plan and the records you intend to use in the evaluation process. If you plan to use an internal or external firm for auditing the project, also state so.
- Project’s budget: here, you will need to give details on the cost of your project. You should evaluate your budget correctly to avoid the estimation of the cost.
- Visual Data & Social Proof Matter: Enhance your textual content with adequate visuals such as your company’s infographics and other visualized data. Getting the perfect balance between written and visual content makes your partnership professional, well-curated, and highly informative. You can also include testimonials from your clients, existing social media data, and other stakeholder data to increase your grant application’s approval.
- Table of Content: providing a table of content makes it easy for anyone to locate paragraphs and data points in your proposal. Your table of content should be informative and straightforward. Do not include additional details that aren’t in the grant application.
- Cover Letter: it is best practice to attach a cover letter to your grant application. It can also serve as an introduction and summary of your request, so make sure it contains information that will make your grantor look forward to reading your application.
Step 4: Review and Submit Your Proposal
Finally, once you are done with compiling everything, ensure that you crosscheck the full application and documents in case of possible errors. You can use the following checklist to review your application before submitting:
- Ensure that all of the questions in the grant application have all been addressed
- Crosscheck your budget figures and justification
- Match you written request against the grant format guidelines if any
- Edit and review for any typographic errors. If your application needs a paper writing service review, sites like GrantWriterTeam provide such services.
- Be mindful of the deadline.
- Ensure that every required document is attached and according to the required number of copies
- Send the application in the manner requested by the grantor, either by submitting an electronic copy online or sending a hard copy.
Extra Step: Follow Up
Your work is not complete just because you have sent out your application. You can still reach out to your grantor to engage them and convince them further. However, please don’t rush the follow-up, wait a few days before reaching out to the grantor. Also, don’t wait for the investor to reach out to you first. Truth is they might not. Additionally, you can keep the conversation going with calls, texts, and emails. Consistent and well-timed follow up will increase the odds of raising the funds you need.
The grant writing process may not always be easy, but it is usually straightforward. But hopefully, with these steps and good practice, you should be able to write put successful grant applications with more ease. Bear in mind that the writing process is about selling your project as it is about convincing the grantor about your competency and capacity to use the funds and perform successfully.
Aaron Swain is a writing specialist. He is passionate about marketing and SEO. He expands and improves his skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.