Ideas to Keep in Mind When Working On A Grant Application

Grant Writing TipsGrant writing is a wonderful lucrative career for persons who have excellent written communication skills, are well organized, creative, data-driven, and have a strong attention to detail.  Grant writing is a highly specialized form of sales communication. 

Here are a few tips to to keep in mind when working on a grant application.

  1. Accuracy. Funding sources specify their requirements: what materials they want, how they want them, what information they need and when. Follow those instructions to the letter. If not, your application will wind up in the virtual circular file.
  2. More accuracy. Make sure that spelling, punctuation, and all information regarding your proposal is 100% correct. Your proposal reflects your general attitude towards your work.
  3. Start early. Organize your thoughts to define the project.  Leave enough time to perfect the application and increase your odds of success. Deadline stress does not produce top-quality work.
  4. Get a second eye. Or even better, a third or a fourth pair of eyes. Outside perspectives can provide valuable critiques of style, presentation, and will identify errors that a person close to the work may have missed.
  5. Avoid technical gobbledygook. Remember that the people or Board of Directors reviewing your application will be reading many proposals.  You want them to find your statistics interesting, accurate, from reliable sources and relevant to the topic.
  6. Keep it clear, concise and honest. Don’t waste time and space repeating and repeating with blah, blah and more blah. Don’t present your organization as more accomplished than it is. Speak about your real successes.
  7. Research the Foundation. Understanding the funding sources’ mission, preferences and who they recently funded will help you speak their language.
  8. Network. Find someone who knows someone who knows someone who can mention your organization’s name to the Board. Of course, the fewer degrees of separation, the better.  Invite the individual to see your program first hand. Do not ever do this wirh a government fundied grant that prohibits lobbying!
  9. Include your staff in the process. Your staff will contibute to the content with current up-to-date information, recent testimonials, and most likely have some budgetary and programmatic suggestions.
  10. Consider investing in yourself. Build your skills with books, courses, consult with experienced grant writers, and utilize online resources.

If you are a successful grant writer, consider joining where you can bid for professional grant writing jobs.