Sunday, April 1, 2018

the art of grant application

Part 2 

The Art of Grants - 7 Ninja Strategies for Killer Grant Applications 

*Written by: Pat Grosse, who invites you to visit:

*Note - this article was a bit too long for our blog, therefore it was split into a 2-part advice piece... Look for part 1 published on March 26th. The 7 steps shared in this article offer a fun way to be strategic and only write the applications you know you stand a chance of getting. You will learn how to develop razor-sharp focus and use these seven strategies to prepare for your next battle grant.

...continued from March 26th:

5. He who wishes to fight must count the cost

No campaign is without cost. Time, money, risk. A wise player would count the cost before making the decision to enter the battle. Do you have the people and time to put your battle plan proposal together before the deadline? Will the funder pay the whole of the bounty, or will you have to commit some of your own resources or those of others to balance the account?

Going onto another person's campaign requires risk. The last thing you want is for your team to be found lacking or to be caught napping. A good commander plans for all eventualities before going into battle. A bad commander at best spends more resources than he can spare because he didn't plan for things going wrong and at worst, will fail, suffer loss to his reputation and never be allowed on the field in the future.

Make sure you can balance the budget. If expenses are high and the funder isn't likely to cover these costs, look elsewhere for contributions or use your own resources to make up the shortfall. Don't rush the application or leave it until the last minute. Put some of your own resources into putting together the best application you can. If you don't plan for risks, YOU may be caught with a much higher financial contribution to prevent failure, loss of reputation and successful future applications.

6. Take the devil out of the detail

Don't let language be a barrier. Putting your plan to paper in the language of the funder doesn't mean you have to go great lengths to use technical and sophisticated language. They're looking for the best strategies that will help them reach their targets. Give it to them straight and as simply as possible so there's no confusion. Minimise the opportunity for questions around any risks you pose for them. Leave them in no doubt, keeping your explanation as simple as possible, that you mean business. Don't leave anything to chance.

Always answer the questions as asked. Even if it means repeating what you've said elsewhere. Keep your language simple. Refer back to the funder's objectives and outcomes. Give them all the documentation they ask for. Make sure you've got letters of support and commitment, quotes where asked and relevant permits. Make it so easy that somebody checking over your application has everything they need to make the RIGHT decision.

7. Win first, then go into battle

A good commander has control at all times. Don't go ahead with any application unless you're sure you stand a chance. Pre-plan. Become a great strategist with plans and contingencies ready for the right opportunity. Learn from all your campaigns and use wisely.


Save yourself time and effort by following the steps outlined in this article, all the while remain on the look-out for the new opportunities. Prepare what you can do in advance and evaluate every project so that you can strengthen your case for funding and do things better next time.

Winning grants requires not just the right mindset, but also a systematic approach that requires a significant amount of planning before putting pen to paper. Grant writing is a system. If you use it properly, your success rate will be high and you will be getting funded for the amounts you deserve. Success brings with it the confidence to become strategic about what you apply for, according to your future plans. 


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