Grant Writing Tips
The most important thing for grant-writers to remember
is that they might submit a perfect application and still receive a
rejection. Most foundations have limited resources with which to fund
projects. Do not get discouraged if you get a rejection from a
possible funding source.
READ the grantor's guidelines and instructions
carefully. Do not try to make the grantor's program fit what you
want to do - your program must be in line with the funding agency's
Ideas should be innovative, creative and educational.
Grantors will rarely fund operating expenses - they usually invest in
supplemental programs. Private foundations often seek creative solutions
to problems/needs, but they usually do not wish to fund risky projects.
Try proposing a project that puts a fresh spin on an existing idea.
Keep your goals realistic! It is important to have an
evaluation plan. Grantors want to know if the projects they fund are
successful--that your project is meeting its goals.
Is your project replicable? If so, tell the
grantor how you plan to extend the project to other grades or
Have a reasonable, detailed budget. Do your
homework on costs prior to submitting your application and be sure to
explain your budget even if there are no requirements to do so.
If possible, cite research that supports the program for
which you are requesting funding. SchoolGrants provides links
to a number of helpful resources where you will find surveys and research
to support various projects. (Those who have purchased the
SchoolGrants Let's Write a Grant interactive CD have
access to links to an
assortment of research reports that will assist them in their grant-writing
efforts. Information for accessing these reports is on the CD.)
Clarity in communicating your ideas is very important.
Have someone who is not involved in the project in any way read and
critique your draft application. (Checklists are included on the Let's
Write a Grant CD to facilitate this review.)
Proofread! Spelling and grammar errors do not
convey a positive image.
Follow the grantor's instructions to the letter.
Applications are turned away when they do not exactly meet the funding
If your project is rejected, ask the grantor for
reviewer comments. The comments can offer invaluable tips for
improving your future grant applications. Never forget to write thank-you
notes - even if your project is not funded initially!