Grantwriting is a lengthy process and if you are new to it there are plenty of missteps you can be prepared to make. The more grants you apply for, the more you learn about the process and can avoid the mistakes you’ve made in the past. However, if you are brand new to the process, wouldn’t it be nice to learn from the mistakes of others to help you along? Here are a few tips for new grantwriters to help you make the most of the process:
1. Describe your program more than your philosophy. Grant makers aren’t as interested in your philosophy as they are in the program you’re applying to have funded. They want to know what problem your program will solve and who is going to run the program (and why they are qualified).
2. Be very clear about how your program matches the foundation’s requirements.
3. Be familiar with the foundation and use their own “language” throughout your grant application.
4. Round your budget to the nearest whole dollar – either hundreds or thousands. Foundations aren’t interested in exact dollar/cents amounts.
5. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application and its attachments. Your grant is important to your organization. Approach the application process with a sense of urgency.