It’s that time of year again where many of you may be involved in putting proposals together for a grant for your organization. Grant writing is a process. Like any other skill, it takes passion, preparation, credibility, and perseverance. If you are writing your first grant proposal, it is extremely important you remember the following key factors.
Key Factors for Grant Writing Success
- Read your Grant Guidelines. Make a list of all “fatal flaws” and keep that in mind as you construct your application.
- Create an Outline of your project, including all required elements from the Grant Guidelines.
- Build your budget. Understand fully budget limitations on indirect costs, equipment, operating costs, etc.
- Write Your Organization’s Story: Whether it be a school, hospital or state facility, the story behind your needs is compelling.
- Paint a Vivid Picture for the Reviewers. Summarize your project and lay out your needs as well as your intent for the project. Make sure your goals are measurable.
- Develop a Graphic Depiction of the relationships between resources, activities, outputs and outcomes of your program.
- Incorporate Case Studies when available to demonstrate the work you’ve been doing and its efficacy.
- Reference Research on similarly implemented programs to demonstrate.
- Complete your Grant application with a Project Summary
Superior grants are well-prepared and demonstrate strong attention to detail. Grant proposals should be viewed as business plans designed to make the funding partner confident in the success of your project. Your proposal must convey the overall impact of resolving difficult problems for your organization. It should also relay the importance of the befitting of the student/constituents/member that you serve.
At the same time, your submission must be passionate. You must convince the reviewers that your proposal matters by addressing the impact, the “so what question”, and the paradigm shift you will make in the field.
At the end of the day, superior grants are a product of preparation, preparation, and more preparation. Once you are prepared, credibility, attention to detail, passion, and conviction will enthuse, and ultimately convince your donors.
Checklist for success:
- Prior to even drafting the proposal, research the grant-making organization’s mission and funding interests thoroughly. Look for key phrases and try to integrate these into the text of your proposal.
- Check the organization’s website to see if there’s an archive of previous winners. See how well your idea lines up with what’s been funded in the past.
- Pay very close attention to the guidelines. Make sure to look into any internal requirements or deadlines for the opportunity.
- Get as much feedback as you possibly can. Give yourself enough time to write multiple drafts of your proposal.
We wish you much success with your grant endeavors. Zunesis hopes to partner with you on any future grant projects.