Depending on the individual grant program or tender, attachments can be an important part of your application. But they can also be a reason why you fail. So here’s a few points you need to know about attachments to grant applications and tender submissions.
You cannot always include them. Some grants and tenders do not allow ANY attachments, others specify exactly what can be attached and you cannot add anything else, whereas others allow you free reign to attach what you want.
Attaching a document does not mean your actual responses in the grant or tender should be any shorter! In fact, the response should probably be longer because you need to answer the question and also refer to the attachment. Attachments should provide additional detail or evidence the claims you make in your written response. They should not replace your response. Write an answer to the question and then refer to specific parts of the attachment (e.g. section x or page 4) to beef up that answer.
Often people think that because the information the question asks for is in an attachment (e.g. Capability Statement, Policy, Manual etc) they can just attach the document and not make the effort of answering the question. It absolutely does not work like that and this approach will likely cost you, because:
If you don’t refer to that document in your response then the assessor probably won’t look at the attachment AT ALL when they are scoring that individual response. Assessors often score each response/criteria individually. They don’t necessarily read the whole tender or grant application and attachments and then go through and score the entire thing as a whole. If you don’t tell them to look at an attachment when they are reading that particular answer then it might not be considered at all.
The information to answer that question may be in the attached document, but where? Does the assessor have to read a 50 page document to find a few paragraphs worth of information? Then they probably won’t. And you will be scored as if you hadn’t even provided that information. You have to write one tender/grant but assessors have to read 10, 20, maybe more. Do NOT make them do the work because – they don’t have to, so they may not. They can choose to just read your response and not go searching in the attachments.
The information might be in the document in some form but it is unlikely that the document answers the exact question that is asked and that it answers ALL parts of the question. You cannot just answer a question with “See Attachment A” and that is it. You need to answer the question – copy and paste parts of the attachment into the application to answer the question if you have to.
Don’t attach documents that you don’t need to! As mentioned, whilst you are writing one tender/grant, the assessors have to read a lot of them. They do not want to read through dozens of attachments – especially if those attachments don’t add value. Anything that is an open source document (i.e. the assessor can find it on the internet) should probably be just a mention in your response instead of an attachment (e.g. According to xxxx report…). If the assessor really wants to read that report, they can Google it. Anything you attach should provide specific detail about your organisation or your project/proposal. So some common attachments I recommend include:
- Design drawings/masterplans of your project
- Feasibility studies/business cases
- Capability statements
- Letters of commitment/support
- Lease agreements/MOUs
- Project Budget/Financial forecasts
- Organisational Policies/Manuals
- Staff CVs
Don’t be too cheeky! Whilst attachments can be a great way to add value to your application, they are not supposed to be used to get around word limits. If the grant program places limits on the attachments you’re allowed to attach – you need to comply. So if they ask for Letters of Support and no other attachments, don’t attach a Letter from your own organisation detailing the proposed project under the guise of a ‘letter’ just because the word limits restricted how much project detail you could include in the application. This may result in you being deemed ineligible as some grants clearly state you can only attach the documents they have asked for. You could, however, provide a bit of project detail to someone you have requested a letter from so they can include it in their letter! So be smart about it but don’t treat the assessors like fools.
Happy grant/tender writing! If you would like to discuss our grant or tender writing services, please contact our team today by hitting the button below.