Do You Have the Drive to Secure Grant Funding?

Are you a grant seeker? Are you new to the journey? It can be quite overwhelming at first, not knowing where to start, which path to take, or which sign to follow. You’ll be inundated with new terms and concepts like RFP, LOI, 990, boilerplates, award letters, block grants, and so many more that it might make your head spin. Don’t lose your sense of direction. GrantWriterTeam is here to lead you on the road to grant funding success!

GrantWriterTeam is well-versed in all things grant funding. We know that writing a grant application is not an easy task to undertake. There are twists and turns and the occasional roadblocks and dead ends. We also know that most individuals may need to hire a professional grant writer. However, there is some information you need to get started on your way. So, scooch over and let GrantWriterTeam take the wheel for a moment. We have some key advice from our experienced team.

You Are the Driver (Who Can Apply for Grants?)

The short answer is YOU. You are in the driver’s seat, and it’s your goal to navigate your way to that much-needed finding. It’s true, anyone can apply for grant funding. However, bear in mind, that just because you apply does not mean you will automatically win a grant. Unfortunately, there are never any guarantees. Grants are generally intended for programs, projects, and activities that benefit the community.

Most funding is geared towards nonprofit organizations, however, there are grants available for small businesses (usually referred to as for-profits), as well as individuals. Individual grants are mainly for researchers, scientists, teachers, and artists. However, think of it as just a detour because all roads lead back to projects that benefit the community.

Outfit Your Ride (Meet Eligibility Criteria)

Let’s really get the most out of this cheesy metaphor. We’ve established that you are the driver (grant seeker), now we can turn our attention to your car. The car is your cause, your project, or even your small business. Accordingly, you need outfit your ride with everything you need to ensure you are eligible for funding.

That being said, no two grants are the same. Each grant is unique and has specific eligibility criteria. Remember, grants come from the government and from foundations. Each funder has a set of guidelines (a roadmap, if you will) that they must follow as well. When it comes to industry, location, and program, they must adhere to these rules in order to allocate funding. Put it simply – avoid this dead end. If you do not qualify, do not apply. By far, the most frequent reasons that funders reject proposals include the request falling outside of the funder’s giving interests and the applicant not following  application guidelines.

Learn to Read the Signs (Understand Grant Language)

In this unfamiliar landscape, you’ll come across many phrases and words that may be unfamiliar. Luckily, GrantWatch offers free resources like a glossary of terms. Here’s a sign you won’t want to miss: The most common acronym you’ll come across is RFP known as the Request for Proposal – the proper grant term for the application.

So why don’t they use the word application? An application gives the illusion that you fill out paperwork or a questionnaire, similar to applying for a loan. However, this is usually not the case when it comes to grants. You are required to write a proposal to the funder – including explaining how you propose to utilize the funding, as outlined by their guidelines. It is not unusual for this to be over 20 pages in length and must be detailed as per the funder’s request.

Consider a New Driver (Hire a Grant Writer)

If you’re not feel comfortable completing the RFP on your own, consider hiring a grant writer. When you hire a grant writer, your cause is no longer a car; it has morphed into a stylish limousine, complete with driver. Now you have the help you need to locate and apply for funding. Your professional grant writer knows this terrain, you know your cause, and together you have a substantially higher chance of success.

Even if you want to complete the process on your own, you can still ask for a grant writer’s help. Grant writers can complete a range of tasks – from locating grants you may be eligible for, to completing and submitting the RFP.

GrantWriterTeam connects grant seekers with experienced grant writers. A grant writer starts at around $500. The average median price is roughly $1,500, but this could be higher or lower, depending on the funding you need and the success rate of your grant writer. A solid grant writer increases your chances of being awarded to 1 in 5.

Grant writers will never work on a contingency basis or success fee. This is not only unethical but goes against state, federal, and foundation funding guidelines. If a funder were to ever find out that the grant writer was paid a percentage of the grant award, at the very least, the grant would be rescinded, and at worst, there could be legal consequences.

 Look for the Green Light (Difficulties Finding Grants)

Maybe you feel like you’ve stalled in your search. Or perhaps the road ahead seems too long and fraught with potholes and insurmountable obstacles. We get it. Sometimes it can seem as though other businesses and nonprofits are in the fast lane and you can’t find the onramp.

If you are having difficulties locating grants, sometimes it just comes down to timing (You know, like waiting for the light to turn green). New grants are constantly being released. If a funder has given funding to similar organizations or causes in the past, they are likely to continue. If you can wait, you may be able to apply in the future.

However, remember that a green light isn’t your only option. You might also do well to look for a side or connecting road. Some grants are broad in their description, and while they may not seem like a good fit at first, they might offer support you still need. Don’t limit yourself to a particular genre and be creative when searching.

The Final Stretch

This is our stop.   o conclude, navigating your journey to grant funding won’t be a Sunday drive in the country. Indeed, the road ahead is full of pitstops, potholes, and detours. What’s more, there are thousands of grants on your map. It’s time to settle in and buckle up for the ride. But, oh, what a ride it will be!

About GrantWriterTeam

Are you a nonprofit or small business in need of some help? If you are searching for grants but are feeling overwhelmed, hiring a grant writer may be the perfect choice for you! Grant writers thoughtfully grant opportunities and consider the pros and cons of applying and the chance of success. Consider your writer an extension of your organization. Your grant-seeking success is our priority at GrantWriterTeam.

Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that grants will be awarded as a result of this information.