There are many interesting opportunities for talented people today. Free education, training, internship on exclusive terms, cost coverage, etc. To do this, you need to get external sponsorship. This method of financing is called a grant. It can be issued by a state or public organization, university, private company. Finding a grant may not be an easy task, but obtaining it is even more difficult. After all, it’s not enough just to find an opportunity, you need to leverage it to your advantage.
But there is good news. When writing out your grant application, you can follow a certain structure. Just study the requirements beforehand, as the format may vary. In one case, you will need to answer questions about yourself and in your experience, in another, write an essay, tell why you need a grant, how you will use it. Anyway, you should provide as many details of your project, as possible.
Regardless of your goals, in order to present your project convincingly and receive a grant, you need to master the skill of writing grant proposals. In extreme cases, you can order this document from professional writers, but it is always better to try to cope with the task yourself.
We offer you a complete guide that will help to convincingly submit an application and receive a grant for your needs.
Definition of the Grant
First of all, it is important to understand what a grant is. This is financial assistance that can be provided by the government, company, organization that is interested in you. Do not confuse the grant with a loan, because you do not need to return financial assistance. Nevertheless, a situation is possible where you need to return the money if it turns out that you used it for inappropriate purposes. Grants are usually given to students who cannot pay for their studies. Or to scientists for research projects. The government provides grants to public organizations and start-up businessmen.
Important Tips on How to Write a Perfect Grant
This task may be not the easiest one, and sometimes it is even time-consuming. With our grant, you’ll know how to write a winning application saving your time and efforts.
Your first step is to understand what problem you have, which you need to solve and which you can solve, but for this, you need financial resources.
Consider these simple 5 steps to succeed:
Step 1: Come up with the problem
First of all, you need to determine your needs and to prioritize them. For example, members of an environmental public organization may need money to clean up a dirty river. Think about stakeholders who may be interested in this issue, to attract all interested parties to discuss solutions for the problem. In the end, if it turns out that this is irrelevant or that there is a way to clear the river without a grant, you will not receive money. And this can lead to additional problems.
Step 2: Do the grant research
This part is very important as you can understand exactly what do your grantor need. Look for all the requirements, the documents needed, etc.
You need to:
- Understand the application
First of all, be sure to study the grant application. Do not fill it out immediately, just read all the questions carefully. Write down if something is not clear to you, requires additional study, search for materials. Tag keywords and phrases.
Usually, a grant is provided for a particular purpose and you need to make sure that it meets your goals. If the grant is aimed at improving the environment, indicate that each member of your community is an eco-activist, and you seek to transfer this knowledge further.
Such a study will help you brainstorm. Also write down your strengths along the way, confirming them with examples.
- Prepare a final statement
Once you have studied all the requirements for the grant, it is time to prepare a project summary. This will help you get started, look at the bigger picture, and see what are the weaknesses at the moment.
Provide the following information:
- a short story about yourself or your organization
- project description – your achievements and goals
- what financial amount do you need and how are you going to manage it
- Prepare an outline
You need a plan to organize your thinking. You can include all planned steps in this outline
To make a good plan, focus on the requirements of the grantor. Make sure that you get a coherent and consistent text, that you have enough information and examples for each of the points. If something seems inconsequential, just get rid of it.
- Decide if your project fits
We have already mentioned that grantors are in search of specific projects for financing. They are still not so rich as to give out money to absolutely all projects. Therefore, once again make sure that your project falls into the necessary category and meets the requirements. Otherwise, it will be a waste of time and will spoil the mood for all members of your organization
Step 3. Write your proposal
We’ve prepared several crucial sections to include:
- Cover Letter
Ideally, a cover letter should be written at the very end, when you have already filled out the application form, answered all the questions. But you have to make it really outstanding, creative and eye-catching. Since the letter will show the grantor what kind of person you are and how interested you are in solving the problem. This is what will help make an impression of you. Do not try to write as if you are addressing ordinary people. Write about your project, talk about what inspires you and what causes concern. Share your plan for solving the problem and show that support is very important to your organization.
- Executive Summary
This is what follows the cover letter. If the letter reveals the subject broadly, then the summary provides brief information. It should be sweet and short, but informative.
So you give the grantor his goals, he will understand what can be expected. Invite colleagues to read the resume to test it in practice. It should be catchy and arouse interest.
- Needs Statement
The most important part of your grant proposal is the Needs Statement. So, you need to approach this as responsibly as possible. You do not need long sentences and intricate phrases, describe the needs simply and clearly. The reviewer will not try to understand the descriptions, he will finance the problem and those needs that will be close to him.
- Goals and Objective
The next step is a list of your goals. Remember that they must be SMART. Proceed not from what you would like to achieve, but from what you can and will achieve with the funds received.
Take the overall project results as goals, and in the objectives section describe the steps that will help achieve these results on time.
- Program Design
You have already set goals and objectives. But what you need for now you is to provide the grantor with detailed information on how you are going to implement them. Most likely you will need to develop a logical model, explain how you can achieve your goals and why exactly in the stated time frame. Only specifics, this section should be waterless and without spatial reasoning.
- Evaluation Section
This is an assessment plan where you should outline your steps after receiving funding. Imagine you got a lot of money. How do you distribute it? Which purchase or investment will be the first? Will you attract third-party contractors and pay for their services? The grantor needs not only the final result but also the knowledge that his money will be managed wisely. Think ahead to force majeure situations, because they are likely to be. Include them in the budget too. So you show your forethought and responsibility.
Your next step is to provide the grantor with information about his financial situation. Perhaps your project is so important that you have already submitted several grant applications. Or you already have a source of funding. This will give him a reason to feel more confident. After all, if someone has already agreed to invest in your project, then he deserves attention and will get more chances.
Make sure that you mention not only finance but also other support methods. Perhaps there is a sponsor who is going to provide you with an office, equipment, supplies.
It will not be out of place to tell you what you plan to do next with your project. Funding will end, will you have new goals after that? Will the project help to find funds for them?
- Brief information about yourself and\or organization
Once you find a sponsor, it is important for you to get to know each other, tell about yourself or your company. This is necessary so that he is imbued with confidence in you, understands that you can really implement the project and that the funds will be spent wisely.
In this section you need to mention:
- History of your organization
- The mission
- The people you work for
- Your notes
- Previous experience
- List of projects that you have already implemented.
This project is of great importance. Imagine that the grantor knows absolutely nothing about you, even if you have already applied to this company and received financing.
- Project Budget
You need to calculate how much your project costs. Try to do it as accurately as possible. Think about what expenses await you and prepare a short budget. If there are incomes, include them on the list too.
We offer a list of expenses that are worth mentioning:
- Staff costs
- Direct project costs
When speaking about incomes, you should include the following:
- Earned money
- Additional papers
Don’t forget about the following documents for your granter:
- IRS letter indicating that the organization does not need to pay tax
- Composition of your board of directors, names of organizations with which you are associated
- Your current budget
- The planned budget for the next financial year, if the project duration affects it
Step 4: Completion
Prepare all the information and all the data that you managed to collect. Check everything several times to make sure there are no errors.
Nowadays, all grants or almost all are submitted online, so this will not take much time and effort.
Step 5: Follow Up
Be sure to verify that your grantor has received and is considering the application. You need to be in constant contact to answer questions, provide additional information.
Take your time with a letter, wait at least a week before writing and clarifying the situation with your grant. You should understand that consideration may take time. This doesn’t mean that the application has been rejected. On the contrary, bad projects are eliminated immediately, and good ones are studied for a long time.
Take a Look at Sample Grants
If you have never encountered grant writing before, this task may be difficult for you. Therefore, you definitely need to study samples in order to understand the essence and be inspired.