Grant Writing isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone but it is one that can be learned. Persistence, perseverance and motivation are important factors if you wish to write grant applications. Many people are afraid to try and assist their community group/organisation with this important area because they have never tried. Why not have a go? You may find that you really enjoy the challenge and learning of new skills. Our communities need more community minded volunteers who would assist with their skills and talents.
To write grants you need to be a learner, researcher and trainer!
· Read, and this can’t be stressed enough that you must read the paperwork thoroughly – know the grant makers guidelines, the maximum amount that your group can apply for, what you can use the grant can be used for and what you can’t use it for, the terms, conditions and reporting requirements to grant organisation.
· Is your organisation/community group eligible to apply? Does the organisation meet the general guidelines of the grant?
· Does your group have its purpose statement, mission statement, budget, audited financials, and business plan as well as any operational budget· Are you or is there a team of people responsible for overseeing the writing and application of the grant/s and will you or the Treasurer and management team oversee the distribution and reporting of funds?· If you are required to obtain quotes make sure they are relevant- i.e. don’t get three quotes on 3 different item of equipment, make sure quotes are similar on models, items, etc· don’t rush – make sure you allow enough time to complete application and send it in · Ask other people to read your application (within your organisation) and be prepared to edit and reflect as well as change your perspective· Ensure your operational budget is real and accurate, don’t pull figures out of the air.Keep your application easy to read, remove fancy/small fonts and consider line spacing· Tell the story of what your group wants to achieve– but make it to the point and clear to understand, not longwinded or fanciful· A checklist assists you so that you can tick off and know that all requirements are covered.· The Grant maker/organisation will have people to assist you – contact them for help if you are unsure of questions and/or terms and conditions. Do this in plenty of time, not on last day of applications being accepted.· When the grant your group has applied for is successful, allow sufficient time to review process, evaluate and address areas that can be improved. Also teach others the process you have learned.· This is IMPORTANT! Make sure that all reporting requirements are followed through. That is, if you want to be considered for future grant opportunities.
(Please note: the views expressed in this blog are my views only. : )