General Grant Application Advice
1. Start Early!
2. Choose appropriate grant category / opportunity
- Are you eligible?
- Will the timing work?
- Is the potential grant award useful to you?
3. Look at the Application form and estimate the amount of time it will take to fill out
4. Write a brief paragraph of your project, to get started
- Include the basic Who, What, Where, When, Why and How details
- Review your paragraph and start making a list of items you need
- Notice what you’re missing – fee for an assistant, insurance /liability, etc.
- Consider what you could remove, or do without, in case your project is not fully funded, or in order to make your project more feasible
5. Begin filling out the application form. The form may help shape your project.
6. The most important parts of any grant application, which should tell the same story, or match:
- Project Description – should have all the information except dollar amounts
- Budget- should have dollar amounts for all the items mentioned or needed in the Project Description, with no surprises or new items that are more than $50, or at a very low threshold
-should have two sections: Revenue & Expenses, or Income & Expenses, that total the same amount
7. Write clearly, respectfully, and be persuasive.
8. Review your application before submitting! Make sure your attachments don’t have a formatting problem, or that they didn’t attach at all. Ask a friend or colleague if they understand it, and better yet, if they would fund it.
9. Turn in your application ON TIME or EARLY.
10. Make sure you include the most up-to-date Contact Information, and if it changes, UPDATE the funder immediately.
11. If your application is Denied, don’t be discouraged about your project. Also, if your application is denied, try not to take it personally, and remember that you took part in a competitive process. Ask the funder if they would recommend applying with them again, or if they can offer referrals to other funding sources that may help.
12. If your application is Approved, thank the funder, and watch for communication about follow-up steps. Your funder may prefer that you wait to announce your grant award publicly until after their own announcement, for example.
13. Grants come with some strings – agreement forms, final reports, logo and funder name recognition, etc.
a. Turn in agreement forms and any other paperwork as soon as possible to receive first payments
b. Document your project and any changes as you go along, for the Final Report (and yourself)
c. Note Final Report dates on your calendar and meet the deadline to receive final payments
d. Make sure to recognize your funder in the manner they request
14. Remember that Applying for Grants is a skill that improves with practice. Remember that because most grant processes are competitive, even good projects with great applications are not always funded. It’s best to plan a project that has multiple funding sources just in case: grants, in-kind donations, fundraising efforts like events, crowdfunding, private donations, and personal investment.