9 Best Practices For Effective Grant Writing
Grants are a type of funding provided for individuals, corporations, or nonprofits by the government or private corporate sources. Grant recipients are not obligated to repay grants which is why they are beneficial for businesses like nonprofit organizations. However, for the same reason, the competition for grant money is very intense. This is why it is important for hopefuls to master the art of crafting irresistible proposals. In this blog article, we will be taking a look at 9 of the best practices for effective Grant Writing.
1. Make Your Proposal Target a Specific Project
Grant proposals that are targeted towards a singular cause are more likely to be approved than proposals that ask for general support. To increase the possibility of getting your proposal accepted, consider targeting a specific project for your proposal. For instance, if your nonprofit is centered around mental health, you could seek funding to create resource material on emotional health.
Before you start to write your grant proposal, be sure of the reason why you are doing so. By making your proposal target specific, you will increase your chances of being awarded the grant.
2. Use A Storytelling Approach
Your grant proposal is one out of hundreds and thousands of grant proposals that your potential benefactor will read. People in charge of reading grant proposals are will have to go through thousands of proposals before picking a worthy few. A lot of proposals are very likely to get skipped over. To ensure that yours is not part of that statistic, tell a great story with your proposal.
A great story will be easier to read than a bland grant proposal with boring statistics. A great story will also captivate the reader by tugging at his emotions. By using storytelling to appeal to the emotions of your reviewer, you will be increasing the chances of your proposals getting approved.
3. Pay Attention To Detail
Grant providers can be very picky about who gets their money. This is why you should first be sure that you meet all the requirements for grant funding.
When you are certain that you meet the requirements for the grant, focus on how the foundation wants the proposal to be presented. Grant providers often have requirements for what they want out of a grant proposal. This is why you should never use a predesigned template to draft a grant proposal. Pay very close attention to their formatting requirements like font type, font size, page margins among others. These may seem inconsequential but it can be the reason why your proposal is deleted before it is even read. You don’t want that, do you?
4. Focus On The Solutions, Not The Problems
Focusing on the problems will give your proposal a negative look. Never make the mistake of only talking about the problems that you are facing. Everybody knows that there are problems. The existence of problems is exactly why the grant providers are giving you money. Instead, focus on how solutions can solve the problem. This way, your proposal will have a more positive vibe and outlook.
5. Doublecheck Your Budget
One reason why many grant proposals are rejected is because they are submitted with incorrect maths. Ensure that your budget is in line with the grant money you are requesting. Asking for way more money than you need will give the impression that you can’t manage funds well. You don’t want the grant providers to see you in that light. Run your calculations as many times as possible to ensure that they are correct.
Research is perhaps the most important aspect of writing a grant proposal. Before you put pen to paper, perform extensive research on the foundation you want to request grant money from. Ensure that your interests align with that of the grant provider.
Research will also help you figure out how to craft your proposal to show that it was specifically designed for the grant provider. This way, you can increase the likelihood of your proposal being considered, at the very least.
Never make the mistake of not doing adequate research!
7. Start Writing Early
It is almost impossible to finish writing a grant proposal in one day. Give yourself enough time to write the proposal. A well-written and well-researched grant proposal should take about a month to complete. Have as many drafts as possible and never stop editing till you have crafted the perfect application.
8. Use Signposts to Guide Your Reader
Signposts will help the reviewers ease into the narrative you are trying to sell. Use bold font, underlined text, and italics to emphasize the key sections of your proposal. For instance, you can make highlight the headings and subheadings using bold text, while project goals can be highlighted using both bold and italicized font.
These signposts will improve the readability of your application, thereby, increasing the chances of it being approved.
Grant Writing is an art best learned by practice. Every new proposal you write is an opportunity to learn something new about the craft of effective grant writing and improve your skills. Learn from the rejections by integrating the feedback of the reviewer into the draft of the next submission.
Effective Grant Writing may be a tough skill to acquire. However, the benefits are worth the hassle. Using the 9 tips outlined in this blog post will put you one step ahead of the competition. It is very unlikely that you will get awarded for all the grants that you apply for. However, remember that every rejection letter is an opportunity for you to improve your grant writing abilities.
To wrap things up, here are some features of a well-written grant:
- Focused and concise writing
- The provision of well-articulated and relevant details
- Arguments that are supported by relevant data
- Descriptive yet highly specific writing
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