Not many people like grant writing – a shock, I know! But most people think it is confusing and hard – in actual fact there are only TWO steps – simple!
Step 1 – Plan your project.
This is the part a lot of people forget. They see a grant that might be suitable for them and think – I want that money. Then they start trying to apply for the grant. An impossible task – even for a professional grant writer. You cannot apply for a grant until you have a planned project.
So, start at Step 1 and plan your project, meaning – decide what you will do with the money. You need to make the following decisions/actions to plan your project:
Decide what you want to achieve. (do you need to manufacture your product quicker and need a new piece of equipment to do that, do you want to test out a new farming technique, do you want to be able to train at night so you need lights on the sporting oval etc?)
Decide how you will achieve that. Set out the tasks/activities you will do to achieve your aim. (E.g. obtain three quotes, place the equipment order, complete electrical work on the warehouse to be able to then install the equipment there, then train our staff on its use).
Create a budget. Obtain quotes or calculate how much each of the tasks/activities will cost.
Create a timeline. Determine how long each of the tasks will take to complete.
Step 2 – Answer the Questions.
Once you have planned your project you have most of what you need to be able to fill out the grant application form. So now all you need to do is answer the question – meaning go through the form and answer each question that is asked, one at a time.
Most grant applications fail for one of two reasons.
1. They did not ANSWER THE QUESTION or
2. They didn’t provide enough detail in their answer.
If you have planned your project, then you should have the detail you need. When the grant application asks you for your project description you should be able to detail exactly what tasks you will complete – instead of a one-line answer saying, “Buy a packaging machine”.
Now obviously there are a few more tricks to writing a quality grant application than this, but these are the basics. The key is in that first step – in planning your project. So make it easy for yourself and put in the work before you start trying to fill in an application form without any idea of what you are actually proposing to do.