Here are five steps to help you ace your next grant application and get you ahead of the competition!
Grants are an excellent resource that can help improve your business and get those ambitious projects off the ground! However, grant programs can sometimes become quite competitive. With limited funding capacity, specific assessment criteria, and programs receiving hundreds, if not thousands of applications, it’s important to craft the best application you can!
Step 1: Find the Perfect Fit
With thousands of different funding opportunities available, pinpointing the right program that aligns with your project and business is important. Confirming that your project and business credentials meet the requirements to qualify for funding is the first step in ensuring your application gets approved. Almost all programs have an application guide that will outline the required and recommended eligibility criteria for qualified applicants. Judging your project against these criteria can help you gauge how successful your application will be! Check out our previous article, Decoding Grant Program Eligibility Requirements for more insight on how to navigate these program guides!
Step 2: Make a Compelling Case
Once you’ve confirmed that your business and project will be eligible for the grant, it’s time to start writing your application! Referencing the application guidelines throughout the writing process is a good practice to ensure your application stays aligned with the program’s interests. These guides will outline just what the program is looking for in a successful project, such as its goals, objectives, and assessment criteria.
Clearly highlighting in your project description how your project aligns with and advances the goals and expected outcomes of the program will help enhance your project’s credibility and appeal. Using key words that are emphasized throughout the program guidelines throughout your application can help strengthen your project’s case as well.
Here are some questions to think about when describing your project:
- How do my business values, mission, and interests align with the funding organization’s interests?
- How does my project correlate with the goals and objectives of the grant program?
- Does this program target a specific economic, environmental, or social objective/issue? How does my project support this objective or contribute to solving this issue?
Step 3: Get your Documents in Order
Many funding programs require you to submit additional documentation about your business or project in addition to the written application. This may include cost estimates or quotes, letters of support, a business plan, documents outlining your business’s financial history, or even confirmation that you have the capital to pay for the project. It can be helpful to keep a checklist of these additional requirements and to obtain all of them in time to meet the submission deadline.
Step 4: Edit and Review
After completing your application, it’s important to proofread it in order to ensure your writing flows well, correct any spelling or grammar mistakes, and that you’ve answered all of the required questions within the word or character count. Having an application that’s not only compelling but also polished, will help your project shine against other applicants!
A good tip is to evaluate your application based on the assessment criteria in the program guide if one is provided. This will help you assess where your application stands based on the program’s standards and if any parts of your application need some touching up.
Step 5: Ask an Expert
From informational webinars to program representatives, there are a lot of great resources that programs provide to help answer your application-based questions.
Similarly, if you’re unsure whether your project or business is eligible for a program, or need help writing a compelling application to make your project pop, GrantMatch is also here to help! We can assist you in finding the perfect grant, navigate the confusing application process, and highlight the amazing aspects of your project to stand out to the program!
Interested in signing up for ongoing, customized grant program matches? Consider the GrantMatch Hub.
To solve the challenges that many business owners face in determining which grant programs they may be eligible for, the GrantMatch team developed the GrantMatch Hub, a brand new, all-in-one platform that makes it easy to identify and apply for grants that fit your business. For as little as $25 per month (when you sign up for an annual subscription), you can access customized, continually updated program matches, clear program summaries, and more.
The sign-up process is simple:
Click here to create your account.
Start by filling out some basic information about your business (sector, number of employees, revenue range, etc.).
Choose between a monthly or annual subscription and complete checkout.
Explore what the platform has to offer and begin reviewing curated grant program matches for your business.
Receive new grant matches in your inbox as programs are introduced.
The GrantMatch Hub gives you the tools you need to succeed in securing funding.