Did you know you can strengthen the Needs Section of your proposal by avoiding the use of these words: very, many, great, greatly, large, and small? Grant makers want the need documented by numbers, statistics, and factual information. So instead of writing, “We have a large waiting list for services,” be more specific and write, “Our waiting list averages 55 clients per month.”
Thinking about applying for a federal grant?
If you’re thinking about applying for a federal grant, visit the website of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives at www.fbci.gov. It’s a good source for learning about grant opportunities and how to write a federal grant. The website even provides a sample copy of an applicant’s narrative presentation of a federal grant application. Also, visit the official website of the government, GRANTS.GOV at www.grants.gov so you can register to apply online. Many, but not all, of the government agencies are requiring that applications be submitted through this website. You must follow a registration process and the reality is it can take several days, even up to a week, to complete the process. Register early so you’re prepared when you want to apply for a grant.
Submitting more and more foundation applications online?
It’s becoming more important to prepare concise responses so they fit into the space provided in the online application forms of foundations. Often, agency and project descriptions are limited to 3,000 characters in online applications. As a grant reviewer, I understand why it’s important to keep proposals short and to the point. These online application forms force us to do so and are the foundations’ way of telling us that a brief response is all the information they want. In order to save time, I write a standard “generic” proposal that includes the information required by all foundations. I limit it to three pages, plus a cover letter. I then use that same proposal and adapt it to the various specifications and guidelines of the foundations, including online versions. If you’d like some help to do this, too, consider purchasing a copy of Let’s Write a Grant.
Watching for federal grant opportunities?
Don’t miss out on an opportunity by watching for grant announcements solely on the GRANTS.GOV website. The goal is for all federal agencies to post their grant announcements through this website, but not of all them are doing so just yet. Be sure to check the Federal Register, GRANTS.GOV, and individual department websites for grant announcements.