Demonstrate the need for your project!
If the grant assessors are not convinced that your project is sorely needed, then they will not see the benefits it will deliver. Without significant benefits, you can’t possibly meet their funding program objectives and they will not give you any money.
But how do you demonstrate this exactly? Through stories and statistics!
Statistics: You need to do some research about the demographics of your location, undertake or collect survey data and look into academic research. Census and Google are your friends in this area! Conducting a survey to demonstrate the need for and interest in your project is another good way to provide statistics and evidence. And a quick Google search on the reason your project is needed should come up with reports you can reference to demonstrate need.
Stories: In addition to providing the solid evidence, you also need to tell the story to demonstrate why your project is needed. The story links all the statistics and relates them to the funding objectives. The story you tell demonstrates the on-the-ground impact that your project will make. The story makes it real for the assessor. It takes the evidence and personalises it so that the need is clear for anyone to see.
Answer the KEY QUESTIONS
Grant applications are all different in what they ask you and how they ask you to provide the information. However, there are some key questions that you need to ensure you answer in every application in order to produce a strong grant application. These key grant questions include – Why, Who, What, When, How & Cost.
Funding bodies will ALWAYS need this information in order to determine whether they should fund your project and your organisation as it shows them how you will give them what they are paying for and proves you won’t waste their money. If you consistently and thoroughly answer the key questions, you will dramatically increase your success rate when it comes to your grant application.
Read the provided guidelines.
It is amazing how many people submit an application for a grant that they are not eligible for, or don’t actually answer the questions in the application. Before you even begin writing your application – read the eligibility criteria carefully and make sure your organisation and your project meet the criteria. If you aren’t eligible there is no point wasting your time in applying.
The grant guidelines tell you why the funding body is giving away money. What are they trying to achieve by providing the funds? Showing the funding body that your project will meet their objectives is key to writing a successful funding application.
The guidelines will also contain the assessment criteria. These are the criteria on which your application is scored. You need to answer the question that is asked – don’t get caught up in talking about how great your project is and forget to answer the specific question.
Keep a copy of the assessment criteria handy when writing the grant and constantly refer back to them to ensure you are answering the question. Then check again at the end!
4. Plan, plan and plan even more
In the world of grant applications, planning is KEY to the SUCCESS of your project and your grant application. As the old saying goes “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Creating a Project Plan is the first thing you should do when you need funding for a project, whether that funding is coming from a grant or sponsorship. Discovering the perfect grant for your great idea often means people rush the project planning side, not realising how vital it is for grant success.
A project plan is a MUST for all winning grant applications it can make or break your grant application. Having a clear plan for your project will ensure your project can demonstrate its need, viability and feasibility.
5. Speak to the funding body
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the funding body. Talk to them about the fact you’re considering applying and tell them about your project. They may have some ideas to strengthen your project or may give you quality advice. Some funding bodies even offer to review your application and provide feedback if you send it to then within a certain time before the due date. Importantly though, if you’re not sure of something, pick up the phone and ask
If you would like support as you write your next application, we have a mentoring program that is perfect for you.