All funding bodies provide detailed information on their websites regarding the types of grants they provide, the types of projects they fund, their program priorities, eligibility, funding conditions, assessment process, key dates and how to apply. Make sure that your Club’s idea or proposal meets the criteria for the particular grant. If you’re not sure, seek further information from the funding body.
Number 1 Rule: Always Read the Guidelines Thoroughly.
It is then recommended that you:-
- Delegate primary responsibility for writing the funding proposal to one person in your group. This doesn’t mean that they have to do everything–or always do every funding proposal–but it ensures that someone has responsibility for the overall quality and focus of the grant application.
- Start early! Make sure you know the closing date – and allow as much time as possible before then to write the best possible proposal. Some grant applications require not much more than ticking boxes on a checklist. However, most require an amount of detail about your group, the aims and expected outcomes of the proposed project, implementation plans, measures of success etc.In a competitive environment, it’s important to make your submission clear, concise and relevant.Writing effective funding proposals takes time. Allow plenty of time for tasks such as:
- consulting with others in your group – to ensure that the project is feasible, practical and has general support within the Club.
- gathering data and evidence of past achievements (Funding bodies love examples of previous successful outcomes!)
- editing first and subsequent drafts,
- collecting all required documentation and attachments– eg Letters of Support, Certificate of Incorporation and whatever else the funding body wants. Don’t attach additional material unless it is specifically requested.
- getting the finished proposal to the funding body before the deadline.
- Remember that the funding body may not know much about your Club. Provide relevant background to demonstrate that your group would be a worthy recipient of their money.
- Keep your proposal concise and focussed. Use the ‘language’ of the funding body where appropriate – eg if the guidelines indicate an interest in projects that support diversity or youth or disability etc, be sure to indicate how your project will be effective in the particular area. Check their Strategic Plan or Vision Statement, and then demonstrate how your project reflects their aims and values.
- EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. Find someone in your group (or outside) who can check spelling, grammar, accuracy, relevance etc. Delete anything that doesn’t really add strength to the proposal.
- Keep a copy of everything you submit. Much of what you write may be useful for future applications.