Author: The Strategic Grants Team – always going for the grants gold!
In honour of Brisbane being announced as the host for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic games, we’re sharing our top tips for writing a gold medal grant application – giving your application the best chance of making it to the top of the funders’ pile and securing the ‘grants gold’!
Make sure your organisation is ‘grant ready’
Just as you wouldn’t participate in an Olympic sport without extensive training to ensure you are ready for the games, you don’t want to embark on writing a grant application if your organisation is not ready!
Before you even begin to write your application, make sure you have a clear list of organisational priority funding needs that align with your strategic plan objectives. This will help overcome the last minute “what can we apply for?” and will ensure that only real needs are being presented to funders. A set of clear key messages that everyone in your organisation is across, and a project wish list go a long way too in making sure you are prepared before you put pen to paper.
Read the funder guidelines carefully
Ensure that your organisation or project is eligible and the project fulfills the funding round objectives. If in any doubt at all, contact the funder.
Talk the funders language
Read their criteria and guidelines carefully and use their keywords in your application. Don’t be afraid to break out the highlighter!
Read the questions carefully and answer them
It may sound simple, but it’s easy to get sidetracked, especially when you are passionate about the cause. Funders often review hundreds of applications at a time (yes, the competition is steep just like at the Olympics!), so be as clear and concise as you can to increase the chances of your application being put at the top of the pile.
Ensure that your ‘ask’ is at the top of the application
Ensure that your ask focuses on the people/animals being helped as a result of the funding and not the organisation itself. Remember – people give to causes (to help people, environment, animals etc.)!
Tell them how your project addresses their criteria
Grant applications that have strong responses that directly address the funders’ selection criteria, as opposed to including extra (potentially irrelevant) information have a higher chance of making it to the top of the pile.
Include any evidence or results you already have
This will make your application stronger and show funders that you are serious about the project.
Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Have someone who writes well put the application together or at least have them review it. And make sure that someone also does a throughout proofread for any spelling or grammatical errors.
The Strategic Grants team is here to help with every stage of your grant-seeking and writing, including writing applications, providing training for your team, and providing the tools you need to find the right grant opportunities relevant to your organisation’s needs.
Good luck, we hope you get the grants gold!