With competition for grants at an all-time high, it’s important that your grant applications hit the mark every time. In fact, you should assume that every time you submit a grant, you are competing with hundreds of other organizations and/or individuals for the same money. Is it any wonder that many proposals get shelved without a second look? However, there are certain things that you, as a grant writer, can do to make your grant application stand out. Here are our top tips:
NUMBER 1: SHOW THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUNDING BODY
Funding bodies can tell when organizations are looking for a cash grab. Therefore, the first question you ask, and the question that drives the initial stages of your grant application, should be, “What does the funder want?” In grant application writing, it’s vital to know what the funder cares about, their purpose, mission, and objectives. Without a full and profound understanding of why they exist and how they want to invest their money, your proposal is likely to miss the target.
NUMBER 2: MAKE THE FUNDER CARE ABOUT YOU
Once you understand what the funding body cares about, demonstrate why your organization is like-minded. Good grant application writers explain how funding their project will be mutually beneficial because it will achieve the mission objectives of both their organization and the funding body. Above all, the best way to make a funder care about what you are doing is to clearly demonstrate to them that without your program, your community suffers. Grant application writers need to show them the gaps, the issues, and the problems in the community and help them understand how their solution is one that will make a difference in solving the problem. Skillful grant writers paint a picture of a problem or a need that stirs a passionate discontent in the grant reviewer that makes them want to open their wallet and give.
NUMBER 3: SHOW THE FUNDER THE DIFFERENCE THEY COULD MAKE
Finally, tell a vivid story about how the world will be better or different because your organization received this grant. Make sure the grant application reviewer can picture it in their mind. Therefore, it must be achievable, measurable and desirable. Also, as a grant application writer, you need evaluation and assessment measurements to ensure that your goals are achieved and the reassure the funding body that you will use their money wisely.
NUMBER 4: DARE TO BE DIFFERENT
Funding Bodies receive hundreds of grant applications and you can bet that many of them offer the same kind of solutions to the same kind of problems. If you want to stand out, then think outside the square. Funders are looking for innovation. Funders prefer to try something new than to constantly fund the old. Shoe the funding body that your solution is distinct, that it’s unlike anything they have seen before.