Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Six Tips to Increase Your Odds of Getting Grant Funding

writing When grant writing, keep in mind there are circumstances out of your control that may cause your proposal to be rejected. For instance, the foundation you applied to may have had to cut back on funding, or they could have simply accepted the proposal of an organization they have a close relationship with. You can, however, increase your odds of getting your grant proposal accepted by following the tips below.

1. Be realistic. Don’t try to fund your entire operation from one grant source. Apply for several grants and more money than you need, with the understanding that you’ll probably get some rejections. Foundations like to see that you’re able to obtain funding from other sources, too, such as fundraising drives.

2. Exercise time management. Rushing through a grant proposal could cause you to make errors you normally wouldn’t. When you research your options, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write the proposal and submit it with time to spare. If you wait until the last minute, you may not have enough time to make revisions or add supporting documentation you accidentally left out.

3. Follow the grantor’s guidelines. This cannot be stressed enough. Read and reread them to ensure your organization’s program fits within the guidelines. If it doesn’t fall within the guidelines, you don’t get funded. Ask yourself these questions:

· Does the program fall within the appropriate geographic area available for funding?

· What type of support am I requesting? Am I asking for operational expenses, which aren’t covered in the grant?

4. Prepare a detailed budget. The foundation wants to know how the money will be spent, and the budget breakdown will help them better understand that. If you don’t have the staff internally to accomplish this task, outsource it to someone who can. It’s too important not to.

5. Proofread the document. A document riddled with typos and misspelled words does not convey a professional image. Proofreading also ensures the format is consistent throughout. If you’ve combined sections from different staff members, it shouldn’t read like there were different authors. Proofread the proposal to make sure the “voice” of the document is the same in every section.

6. Review the guidelines one more time. Do this before you mail the proposal. Make sure you’ve followed the guidelines regarding content, delivery, and the deadline for submission.

If you follow these tips, you increase your odds of getting funding and have done more than the average grant seeker.

If you choose to outsource your grant writing tasks, Freelance Assistance, LLC can help you. We will conduct research to find grants that could fund your program(s). We can also write the grant for you and proofread the final document to make sure it’s consistent throughout and there are as few errors as possible. Send us an email if you have questions about how we can help you increase your odds of getting grant funding.