Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

How to Improve Your Grant Applications

Grant opportunities are in many forms and any organization that is seeking grants can try applying for them. But how do you get to have a winning application? If you can get places to apply for a grant, all you have to do is write a winning application. If you are seeking a usgrants.org or any other grant type, you need to get your proposal ready. Thus, you need to be aware of what the requirements are, if you are eligible and if the grant application that you have written stands out among the rest. Below are ways on how you can improve your grant applications.

Update your title 

The title of your project will give the first impression of your project proposal to the funder. Ensure you make a good impression. To attain a good project title, make it short and let it capture the what, who, and where of the project. If you feel it is not at par or it will not stand out to the funder. Update your title to make it grab the attention of the reviewers and the funder. When you have a great project title, it will also help the funder remember your project.

Have a central theme 

Although the project should be holistic, you need to focus on the goal or the central theme to ensure it appears organized. To do this, highlight a primary theme as you support cross-cutting themes. Also, within the project explain why the project is necessary and important. The mistake people make is to assume that donors will automatically understand the challenges that the beneficiaries face. Use case studies to highlight your points, you can do this through research or stories. 

Go through your budget 

Checking your budget is vital as most times you cannot lack some minor errors that can appear. Therefore, check and recheck the units, categories, and amounts to make sure that everything is accounted for and is correct. This also applies if you did the budget on Microsoft excel. Confirm the math to ensure there are no errors that were made. Although many donors are flexible, some donors will still fund the budget that you present, even though they discover, errors or omissions later. 

Check spelling and grammar

Two or three spelling and grammar errors are not enough to warranty to cause any rejection of your application. But to improve your grant application you need to check through your project for these errors because too many of them make it look rushed and unprofessional. Have other people help you review the proposal for any mistakes. Plus, ensure you go through the text and update any past projects or specific references to the funders. 

Consolidate all your contact information

Everyone that applies for the grant hopes the donor will contact them back. However, how your communication information appears is important to this goal. Avoid adding too many ways of communication as they will not be as useful and may be detrimental to getting the donor to contact you. When you include any contact details, it will not only result in mistakes or typos but it looks cluttered. If you have communication channels that are reliable and you use regularly include such. Importantly, avoid adding social media links as they are not useful in the proposal unless they are requested.

Review the donor requirements again 

Many applications are rejected because they make simple mistakes or do not meet the donor criteria. For this reason, before you send your application, ensure that each section of the proposal is complete and matches the donor priorities. Also, it should be submitted in a proper method and form. No applicant would want their application discarded before it is read due to minor technicalities. 

Add branding 

Remember that you are many applicants and the best one wins the grant. Thus, to improve yours, add branding as a little marketing will help the donor remember. Add a cover page with your picture and logo, and at the footer, include your website. In this way, you distinguish yourself from the crowd. If you have none of these, a consistent color scheme that is consistent will do the trick as well. Use Microsoft word templates, themes, and color palettes if you are not confident of your design abilities.