Grant writing is the completing of formal or informal fund soliciting request by an individual. The application processes is also known as grant submissions or proposals. It is usually carried out by a nonprofit entity, business or educational institution or one party to another. An individual may write to a government body, a foundation, trust or a corporation with the aim of asking for funding.
With the growth and development of charity work, the number of grant seekers and also grant makers continues to grow. Many grant makers may ask the grant seekers for a lot of information during the application process which includes filling out application forms. However, grant makers tend to ask and look for the same type of information in most cases. The only difference of information may result when the specific grant makers opt to ask for more information rather than the type of information that they require.
For a grant writing to stand out from the rest or to have a successful proposal, the information provided by the grant seeker must match what the grant maker is asking for. Thus, the needs of the grant seeker must match with the needs of grant makers. This process will include the matching of grant seekers and grant makers. This will be followed by selection of proposals or submissions that stand out from the rest or which will meet the makers’ requirements.
One of the most important steps when applying for a grant is ensuring that the grant proposal submitted is well researched. Seeking help from professional grant writers is one of the best options a grant seeker can use. This is because most of these professional have the know-how of coming up with a well researched grant proposal which will also include the most important information. A grant proposal written by the professional grant writer will most likely meet the needs of both grant seeker and maker.
Hiring a Professional Grant Writer or Doing It Yourself?
There are merits and demerits of both hiring a professional and doing it yourself (DIY). This hugely depends on the kind and amount of resources that are available. For instance, hiring a professional will definitely require the grant seeker to part with cash to cover the grant writer’s fees. Also, one may be required to use more time to ensure that they only have the most accurate information needed. It is this kind of information which is given to the grant writer that will be used as part of the research to compile information about the grant seeker.
On the other side, DIY approach will require one to part with little money and time. Most of the time used will be geared towards finding the potential foundations or trusts and also grants. This will include going through government grants and other types of grants like corporation and school grants. There are a number of grants which can be located by use of various websites. Today, the number of foundations which can offer grants has totaled to approximately 88,000 in the US alone.
DIY approach can also be advantageous if the individual has the necessary skills needed to come up with a good proposal. What is more, there are a number of resources which are available online that can offer guidelines on how to write a successful proposal. Even after completion of writing the grant, an individual can always contact a professional grant writer to get their feedback on the grant proposal.
Due to the significant increase of grant seekers and makers, a number of grant writing consulting companies have also developed. The kinds of services provided have also been developed in a bid to provide various services to all their clients. Consequently, these firms are now able to meet specific client needs as they have come up with better and broader skills that are designed to suit every client needs. Such services and skills include through grant research and writing which enables many clients to meet the requirements of the grant makers.
Moreover, it is imperative to know that hiring a professional grant writer is a highly advantageous option as they are quick in writing the grants. What is more, the high competition in this field will also prove advantageous as the companies all strive to give the best to their clients and all at an affordable rate.
In case an individual or institution lacks the money to pay the professional grant writing firm, they can always pay fees for partial services. This can also be considered when there is not enough time to invest in grant writing. Grant seeker can also pay for the services that they believe they cannot do by themselves like professional editing.
What Makes a Good Grant Proposal?
Coming up with a good proposal may be challenging to many individuals. However, tips for writing a good grant proposal can aid the writing process. An effective grant proposal must include the following:
An executive summary: this will serve as an introduction to your proposal. The summary must be brief and state what is contained in the proposal. Grant seeker may go over the main points of the whole proposal like project explanation, statement of need, organizational information and also the budget. The summary must be able to mirror the seeker’s professional approach and ability for excellence.
The statement of need should clearly explain the importance of the project. This should include a well researched background of the project to enable the grant maker clearly see the need that is being addressed herein and also needs to be convincing.
The project description should give relevant and important details about the projects. It must be well structured and well thought out to encourage readership. The performance indicators and goals and objectives of the seeker must also be well explained. Hence, the project description must show what is going to be achieved, how it will be achieved and evaluated.
The intended budget must also be included in the proposal. Like every other individual, grant makers understand the importance of money and would like their money to achieve the best results. Hence, the seeker must demonstrate that they understand the costs and that they intend to deliver the according to the budget or funds allocated.
Providing organizational information provides an opportunity for grant seeker to show that they have the ability to deliver. Brief history on the organization can be included. The governance composition that administers the organization can also be explained. Also, the activities, services and activities of the organization must also be briefly explained. History of successful delivery and experience the workforce has had can also be included.
End with a conclusion which should summarize all the key details included in the proposal. The conclusion needs to be short and clear since it is what the reader is left to think about. It is important that no new information or information that has not been discussed on to be added in the conclusion
Assessment/outcome section should show how the seeker intends to assess the success of the program. Grant seeker can set measurable goals and standards that they are likely to achieve. How, when and who will carry out the evaluation process will be done must also be shown.
For instance, indicator of success examples can include after School program goal which can show the minimum set goals for a program. The indicators of success must also show or compare the goals achieved with existing data.
How the evaluation process will take place can be also be shown. For example, workforce readiness program goal can show the minimum participants going on interviews or training and how long it will take them to complete the workforce readiness programs.
Other formats that will aid in grant writing can be obtained from Non Profit Guides which will provide templates that can be downloaded to help with the evaluation process.
Joining an association for grant professionals
In the US, the nationally recognized association for grant professional is the American Association of Grant Professionals (AAGP) which can be joined by many grant professionals depending on their professional certifications. As a grant professional certification institute, the AAGP awards professional certification title. In order to obtain these titles, all grant professionals seeking the same must complete a demanding exam. The professional must also show their education, professional development and experience etc.
Maintaining their certifications will require grant professional to uphold a minimum set of requirements in their education, experience, professional development and community involvement.