If you want to receive a grant to your project, you should know how to write a grant application. It’s one of the most important moments in receiving a grant. Unfortunately, letters with titles like “I want money” are not suitable, but such a statement will clearly reflect the aim of your application. This article will help you to write a great grant proposal.
To succeed in finding financial support, you need to do the following:
- Know the application process for grants.
- Find and analyze suitable financial sources.
- With the help of a professionally written application, convince the fund that you are the best applicant to be financed.
Finding a Grant
The simplest way to describe the process of gaining a grant is to compare it with finding a new job. Usually, many different candidates pretend to be in the same position. Finding the right job consists of analyzing job offers and establishing direct contacts with your prospective employer. Only by taking these steps, you can convince the employer to choose you. Without the experience of finding a job, you can hardly find a good job in a short time. Gradually, your practical experience will grow.
The process of obtaining a grant is similar to a job search. Every day each fund around the world is being attacked by hundreds and even thousands of applicants. However, only a few of them have a chance to receive funds – those who took care to find out which of the funds is closest to the goals and objectives of the proposed project.
You will succeed if you have established contact with the fund and presented a professionally crafted application. However, this still does not guarantee success. After all, experience accumulates not only in the process of analyzing funds and drawing up projects. Your experience will consist of results obtained after application: both approvals and refusals will help you understand how successfully you master the science of application writing.
Both public and private foundations have their own specific interests. They can be divided into the following categories:
• Specific areas of activity (educational promotion, medicine, etc.);
• Specific population groups (Catholics, youth, women, homeless people, etc.);
• Specific geographic regions (India, China, Eastern Europe, etc.);
• Specific institutions (hospitals, universities, churches, etc.);
• Specific objectives (finances for the purchase of equipment, conferences, dissertations, etc.).
How to Write a Grant Application
A grant proposal is a short form of a document that informs the fund about the content of your project. The grant proposal usually does not exceed five pages. Many private foundations use a short application letter as a document that is sufficient enough to decide whether to finance the proposed project or not. Sometimes, having read the application, the fund will ask you to send a more detailed proposal. It all depends on whether your project has caused interest in the fund.
At first glance, it may seem that writing a grant proposal is much simpler than a full, detailed proposal. Our own experience suggests the opposite. A short letter will require from you much more work, accuracy, concentration, and a more careful attitude to the compilation of each new proposal, in which you will need to present a lot of information in short phrases. For the extended application you will spend approximately the same amount of time as for a short proposal. Keep in mind that you should compose a unique proposal for each foundation.
Each grant application should contain seven components:
The first paragraph will contain one or two sentences that have a very short description of the whole project and attract attention. In this part you must include the following information:
- Basic information about your organization;
- Features of your organization that make it unique;
- Project implementation costs and type of project;
- The main goal of the project.
2. Choice of fund.
In this paragraph, you should explain why you have chosen this fund to provide finances for your project. You will need to emphasize that the interests of the fund coincide with yours in the following categories:
- Priority areas of the fund;
- Geographic areas served by the fund;
- Social groups.
3. The problem.
This section can take from one to three paragraphs and is devoted to making a brief presentation of the problem for which you are applying for financial assistance. At this stage it is important to consider the problem from the point of view of the fund, at the moment forgetting about your own. In other words, try to show the fund that financing your project will ensure the achievement of its own goals. For persuasiveness you can use:
- Statistical data collected in publications of public editions and reports from international programs;
- Quotes from government statements;
- Reports and other results related to studying your “problem.”
- Statistics should be used with caution: excessive concentration of complex data will make your text difficult to read.
This section takes up to three paragraphs, in which you must show how you are planning to find a solution to the problem. When creating this section, focus on the following:
- Summarizing your goals and objectives;
- Convincing the foundation that you will be able to successfully implement the project;
- Providing a detailed timeline of your actions aimed at solving the problem.
- It is advised to place the timeline on a separate page; no text should distract attention.
Your main task in this section is to convince the fund that you are able to successfully implement the project. To do this, you need:
- To show that you have unique competence in the area to which your project belongs;
- To emphasize the fact that your employees have the necessary knowledge and experience;
- To mention or support commitment from other organizations, including other funds.
In this part, special attention should be paid on what impact the budget will have on the status of the social group to which the project is designed.
You will need:
• To indicate the amount of resources which should be allocated to your organization for the project implementation (you can attach a brief table with budget in attachments);
• To formulate your request using the relevant measurements (number of students involved, amount of patients, trained administrators, etc.);
• To divide costs for several years, if these costs are too high.
In the final part, state that you will continue to contact the fund. You will need to find out about what impression your application left on the foundation representatives. The range of tasks at this stage:
• Identification of the foundation representative with whom you will communicate in the future and have the opportunity to answer questions that the fund will have about your project;
• Determining how and when you will contact the fund to find out about its response to your application;
• Ensuring that grant proposal is signed by the head of your organization.
With the help of the application letter you must establish the first contact with the fund. The initiative must come from you. Remember this while writing a grant proposal! Many funds are simply overwhelmed with projects on various topics, and fund representatives are not able to look closely at details in each application.
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