I am passionate about seeing great community projects get funded. In this next series of posts, I am going to share with you my top 10 tips for attracting funds to YOUR great community project.
I have spent the last 10 years writing grant applications and helping others to attract government and philanthropic funding to their projects. I have also been on the other side of the fence, designing grant programs and assessing grant applications with a view to providing funds for projects.
In a nut shell, attracting funds from any type of funding organisation (or grant maker) is all about the story you tell. And you might be surprised at just what grant makers are looking for in an excellent application. I am going to share those secrets with you and hopefully lift your grant seeking skills to a whole new level.
So lets get started
Grant writing and project planning are not the same thing!
One of the most common mistakes grant seekers make is not putting enough effort into planning their project.
A good, well planned project will almost always get funded.
Good, not so well planned projects often miss out on funding and often reflects poorly on the organisation or group that is applying for funds. This raises a question mark for the grant maker about your organisations capacity to deliver the project and alarm bells sound! Risk. This is the one thing that all grant makers are seeking to minimise. Will your project be risky for my organisation? Will you be able to deliver what you say you are going to do or will our money be wasted? Will your project be good for the image and reputation of my organisation or does it present a risk?
A well planned project demonstrates organisational capacity.
Plan your project to the point that you could deliver the project based on that plan. Identify what permissions and permits might be needed to allow the project to proceed. You don’t necessarily need to apply for the permits but make enquiries and ensure that there are no barriers to your project proceeding should it receive funding. Remember? Reducing risk- the risk to the funder that they make a grand announcement about your project then find it cant go ahead! Embarrassing and damaging to the reputation of the funding body.
A well planned project is demonstrated by a comprehensive (or simple) project plan
Develop a project plan
There are plenty of templates available help you with this. Or make your own! A project plan is a stepwise approach to how you are going to undertake your project. So your column headings should be something like this: Action or outcome, Steps involved, who is going to do them, and by when (an estimate based on an estimated start and end date for the project)
Next time we will look at
The language of telling your grant story.
See you soon,
P.S. I offer workshops to community groups and organisations to maximise grant seeking success. I also assist small organisations to establish grant programs. Contact me if you are interesting in attracting funds to your organisation or group.
P.S.S. Share with me your experience with planning projects in the comments section.