You have visions of hundreds of thousands of free government money rolling in to fund your research or community projects. All that stands between you and your money is hours and hours of work to write a government grant proposal. Besides the time involved a few other issues need to be resolved to be successful in obtaining grant money.
Learn the terminology of the grant proposal.
One of the big reasons for missing out on a grant is that the writer did not provide the correct information on the proposal. This frequently happens because terms on the grant application can be difficult to understand. While every effort is made to keep the language clear and unambiguous, it still can seem quite foreign to novice grant writers. Having a resource person can be a real asset. On some grants, the government may have someone who can be contacted to clarify difficult language.
Be precise about what you are going to do with the money.
Frequently on government grants, it is not good enough to say that you are going to buy a piece of property or a building. You need to have the exact property or building in mind. If you can furnish appraisals for the value and written cost estimates for any physical changes being planned, it will increase the chances of your grant being approved and selected. The same concept holds for supplies and personnel costs.
Describe in detail why the grant is important to your community or other value it may add to society.
Details make all of the difference in grant writing. The writer must be able to convey to the granting institution or agency why the project deserves to receive a pile of free money. Being able to “wow” the grantors is the ideal way to go. Those who distribute grants are looking for evidence that you know what you want to do, why you are doing it, and how to get it done.
Stick to the facts.
This is not a term paper where you are just trying to meet a word count. Every word in a grant proposal matters. When people have to read hundreds if not thousands of applications, they have little interest in your ability to stretch a point. Keep it straightforward and simple. You do not want to appear to be trying to cover weaknesses in your plans by excessive writing.
Make sure that your proposal is complete.
Most grant proposals require a long list of things to be included. It can be easy to omit or overlook items that need to be a part of the packet. Keep the list of needed items handy and review it multiple times while assembling the information. Do at least one final review of all documents before sending the proposal. It is a good plan to have other people review the completeness of the materials.
Some grants require an application fee.
Read carefully about any fees that may need to be included with the grant application. Some of these require special types of payment media. It may specify a cashier’s check or a money order. These fees, if any, are not usually excessive. Failure to put the check in the envelope will cost you the chance for the grant.