Grant Writing is almost a way of life for many not-for-profit organisations. Funding and grant opportunities are under review or being cancelled by the current climate and it’s not going to get easier. Your project must compete with other worthwhile projects to source funding. So what makes a grant submission stand out from the rest? We asked Anne Karslake, grant writer for Volunteer West, if there were any secrets to writing winning grants and she suggested the following:
1. Right fit
It’s all very well to apply for every grant that becomes available but your chances are dramatically improved if the grant matches your submission. Double check the eligibility criteria to make sure you are a right fit for the funding organisation. Does your project match their ethics and mission statement?
Know your grant provider and what is important to them. Read their website and any other sites that are relevant to them. Researching previous recipients can provide a picture of the type of projects or programs that are usually well received.
3. Make contact
By contacting the person organising the grant, you may get answers to what they are really looking for. Some grant providers even give preferential treatment to applicants who they have spoken to.
4. Have a vision
In your submission, provide a clear and succinct vision of your project from start, middle to finish. Leave nothing to chance. Do not use jargon or assume knowledge.
5. Be smart
Apply this clever acronym to your submission:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Targeted
Make sure you can answer each of the above. Keep it clear and measurable to test if your project has achieved its aims to its targeted audience.
Here lies the secret ingredient. It is your very own enthusiasm, determination and passion for this project. This is the X-factor and it could be the key to getting over the line.
We’d like to wish you luck with your grant writing but you should not rely on luck. A well written and targeted submission that showcases your passion for a worthwhile project will have every chance of winning!