For small business owners, applying for a grant can be an excellent way to obtain additional funding for your business. However, with only a limited amount of grant money available, the competition can be fierce. That's why it's crucial to know how to write a grant application that stands out from the crowd.
Writing an effective grant application can be a great way to acquire the resources necessary for success. With the right approach, your grant proposal could stand out from the rest and result in a successful outcome that will further propel your business forward. In this guide, we'll provide some tips and tricks for creating a grant application that catches the eye of those reviewing it.
The first step is to research and find grants that align with your business goals and needs. The best place to start is by checking out the grants offered by the government. Many other organizations, including private foundations and corporations, also offer business grants. Check eligibility criteria, deadlines, and requirements. You can ask other business owners, business incubators, accelerators, and professionals for recommendations.
Step #2. Evaluate The Eligibility Criteria
Once you identify the grants' criteria, review the eligibility conditions carefully. Verify the minimum and maximum size of the business; annual sales revenues, number of employees, industry, location, or any other relevant factors. Do not apply for a grant if you don't qualify under the terms and conditions. Understand the paperwork and documentation required to accompany your grant application.
Step #3. Make Your Executive Summary Short And Engaging
The executive summary serves as the gateway or introduction to your business. It gives an overview of your business, why you need the grant, and how you intend to use the funds.
Although this may seem like a lot of information to provide, remember you only have a few paragraphs. So put your best foot forward. Make your summary short, engaging, and cut to the chase. Your aim here is to encourage the grant reviewers to keep reading.
Step #4. Make Your Application Easy to Read
Grant reviewers sift through lots of applications daily, and they often have to do that on top of their other responsibilities. That means making it easy to read is critical to catch the reviewer's eye. Avoid long paragraphs and use bullet points, headings, and subheadings. Ensure that the language used in the grant application is clear and concise.
Step #5. Know Your Numbers When Creating Your Budget
You may have touched on your budget in your project description, but when writing the budget you want to provide the specifics. It should be detailed and realistic. Experts recommend keeping your numbers within the funding limits. And before submitting your budget and application, review your numbers multiple times. A simple discrepancy could disqualify an entire application.
Step #6. Highlight Your Business's Unique Traits
A key aspect of writing a grant application is to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Part of this includes accentuating your business's unique qualities. Remember that your grant proposal is a chance to pitch your business, be sure to highlight what separates you from the competition. By showcasing your business’s unique selling point, you will catch the attention of the reader, and they will be more inclined to pay attention to the details of your application.
Step #7. Review and Edit
Once you've written your grant application, take the time to revise and edit. This is the time to have someone read over your draft and offer feedback. This will help ensure that your grant application is free from grammatical errors and typos and is easy to read and understand. You can also seek professional help from people who have successful grant applications. There are many online resources available to help you with your grant proposal writing process.
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Start Searching for Business Grants
Applying for a grant can be time consuming, but by following these tips, you will be on your way to writing a successful grant application. Remember to research and tailor your application to the grant's objectives to make it stand out. Clarify your goals, provide realistic numbers, highlight your USP, make your application easy to read, and have someone revise and edit your application. With these steps, your application will have the best chance of getting the attention it deserves.