pexels-photo-1080847To serve the public, NFPs need to secure reliable sources of funding. While many nonprofits rely on individual donations, others depend on government-funded grants to help them make a genuine and lasting impact in their communities. The grant application process is complicated, and time-consuming, and typically requires the skills of an experienced grant writer to be successful. The following strategies can help you polish your abilities so that you can increase the odds that your proposal will be approved!

Start the Process Well Before the Deadline!

Most grant applications have one or more components that are highly time sensitive. If you see a grant that you would like to apply to, but the deadline is less than six months away, you may be better off skipping it rather than trying to do a rush job and complete everything in a couple of weeks.

This way you have plenty of time to get your letters of support, and other documentation together. It also gives you extra time to seek feedback on the contents of your proposal from any partners or other experts that you may be working with to secure the grant.

By starting early, you also have more time to create a well-planned presentation that will make a better impression on the decision makers than one that’s just been haphazardly thrown together in a rush!

Carefully Follow All of the Directions

Many grant proposals are disqualified early in the selection process for failure to follow one or more steps in the application instructions. Make it easier for your decision makers to say yes by carefully observing all the rules and guidelines set out in the application. Have others check over your proposal and supplemental materials to make sure that you’ve not left out anything significant.

Tailor Your Proposals

Some nonprofits seek to get a head start on the grant application process by having a “generic” grant proposal that they use for all their submissions. While it’s true that some of the requested information will be the same, or very similar, from one application to the next, it’s essential that you tailor each submission to meet the specific requirements and instructions of the grant application.

You will also increase your chances of success if you are a little more selective in your process of deciding which grants you will try to win. You are more likely to win approval when you seek a grant that has previously been awarded to a community group or other NFP whose project is similar to the one you are seeking funding for. Look for grants that are similar in terms of the size, scope or structure of your organisation, and develop your proposal by illustrating how much more impact can be made if your proposal is accepted.

Don’t Give Up – Resubmit!

While it’s very discouraging to receive news that your proposal has not been approved, it’s important not to give up! Many grants will allow you to resubmit your application if it is rejected on the first try. You might also consider tailoring your original proposal to submit it to a different agency for funding.

If you do plan to resubmit, pay close attention to any comments or suggestions made by the reviewer or other decision makers. Discover whether the funder will be treating the resubmitted proposal as an entirely new entry and make revisions accordingly. Ask peers and colleagues for their feedback on your updated proposal before you submit it.

Use Training to Boost Your Grant Writing Skills

While most successful grant writers have excellent written communication skills, it takes more than proper grammar to write a winning proposal. Training is an excellent way to take your writing abilities to the next level and acquire the knowledge that you need to write a great grant proposal. Two seminars that you might wish to consider attending to learn more about what it takes to write a winning proposal are being offered in August.

How to Win Grants and Influence People is being offered by the Institute of Community Directors, the Funding Centre and Our Community, on Thursday, August 23 at 9 AM – 12:30 PM UTC+10 at the RACV Club. Tickets range in price from $90 to $120. Attendees will learn the ins and outs of how to write a great grant proposal, as well as how to create a template to save time during the application process, and other helpful strategies such as how to build and strengthen relationships with decision makers and other tips.

Grantmaking in Australia Conference 2018 is a two-day conference that will focus on the changing landscape in the grant application and approval process, as well as how recipients can better illustrate the value that they provide through grant-sponsored programs and services. The conference is sponsored by Our Community and will be on Aug 23 at 9 AM to Aug 24 at 4:30 PM UTC+10 at the RACV Club.

Registration for both events will be ending soon, so don’t delay! Get your tickets today and make plans to attend and improve your grant skills while networking with others in the not-for-profit sector.