Grant writing can be a time-consuming endeavor. Ensuring you understand the eligibility requirements for the grant and ensuring you understand your project fully takes time. One cannot cut corners in grant writing. However, there are things you can do to make it a much smoother process.
Grant Application Quick Sheet
Most grants ask for generic information before delving into the grant-specific questions.
Having that generic information in one place will save an incredible amount of time.
Not all grants ask for the same information and the make-up of your organization will determine, in part, what information you need to provide. Here is what AdvantageHOPE keeps on a “Grant Application Quick Sheet.”
Legal Business Name
Operating Name (if different from Legal Name)
Date of Incorporation
Payroll Tax Number
Company Contact Email
Company Contact Phone Number
Mission / Vision Statement
Number of Board Members
In addition to a generic fill-in-the-blank section, applications will often ask for a variety of documents that help reviewers determine whether you are a solid investment. These vary, but often include:
Constitution and Bylaws
Previous Year’s Financial Statements
Letters of Support
All grants require at least one signature. Save yourself from frantic emails ten minutes before a grant is due by understanding who in your organization has the authority to submit grants. If your organization is run by a board, then this will often be the President and/or Treasurer. Every organization is different, so find out early.
Talk to your signatory about the grant and the project ahead of time, so a signature request does not come out of nowhere. Providing a project synopsis or an early draft of the grant is always a good idea.
Grant applications have many parts. By breaking them into manageable pieces, the process becomes exponentially less tedious. Preparing what you can ahead off time cuts down on mistakes and frantically trying to locate a signatory or your organization’s bylaws five minutes before the deadline.
Letters of Support
Letters of support are important pieces of most applications. Assume everyone you want a letter from is extraordinarily busy. In order to make life easier for everyone, write the letter for them. Provide it in a word document and welcome them to make any changes they deem necessary. All they should have to do is sign it and put it on company letterhead.
Send a synopsis of the project and a rationale for asking along with the letter in the first email. Do not make someone go back-and-forth to help you out. Make providing a letter of support the easiest thing in the world to do.
Pay it forward and be generous in providing letters of support for others. It helps build community connections and keeps different facets of a community connected to projects happening throughout town.