It’s stressful, it’s time consuming, and it’s fun all at the same time – filling out all those applications for grants. Completing grant applications is probably the single most dreaded academic task for all not for profit organization grant writers, but it has to be done. It seems as if every single corporate grant application and every single foundation grant application is different. While there’s no cookie-cutter template a grant writer can use, it pays to be aware of the general commonalities which all grant proposal applications for funding include which are entity-specific. If you do a little consternated preparation before you sit down to write, even those mind-bending government grant applications won’t be so bad.
Grant writing, actually sitting down at the computer keyboard and typing out what you hope will be the winning grant proposal application, doesn’t have to leave you pulling out your hair. Yes, it is academic writing many times akin to authoring a short dissertation, but if you remember what I’m about to share with you, it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Just like all people are different, all grant awarding entities are different too. In that light the very first thing you want to do is write your applications for funding with that thought in mind.
Types of Grant Applications
Government Grant Applications: Government grant applications are the most dreaded applications for funding in existence. It’s not at all uncommon for this type of application to take years to complete. This type of application differs from corporate and foundation grant applications in the way it’s put together. The most important step when completing government grant applications – and it’s the one single step most grant writers miss – is to follow the funding opportunity instructions right down to the very letter!
Corporate Grant Applications: Corporate grant applications, while not nearly as daunting to author; can be quite challenging to write. When writing a corporate grant application funding request the most important thing to keep in mind is who will be reviewing and awarding your grant request. Grant applications submitted to corporate entities are generally reviewed by business savvy men and women, many who either are or were CFO’s at some point. If you pen your request for funding with this one fact in mind, your award chances increase.
Foundation Grant Applications: Foundation grant applications, while the easiest to write are the hardest to win because everyone and their cousin and their cousin’s sisters apply for available funding. It’s not uncommon for a well known foundation to receive thousands of church applications for funding, individual applications for funding and more. If you remember only two things when writing your foundation application for funding, let it be these: Follow the instructions to the letter and make sure your primary mission meets theirs.
When submitting any type of applications for grants, remember it is all about your individual organizational readiness. Have you made an effort to get your name in front of the potential funder so when they see your final request for funding, they actually know who you are? Is your budget realistic and is your overhead low? These are but a few very important things funding entities look hard at when awarding applications for grants.