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Tips on How to Get a “YES!” to Your (Grant) Proposal


Luckily, securing a “yes” to your grant proposal doesn’t require a diamond ring and carefully planned evening. It does, however, require a carefully planned application or grant proposal.

Here are three tips to consider when writing a grant proposal of your own that you won’t find in a quick “How To Write a Grant Proposal” Google search:

1. Enjoy writing it!

This is an opportunity to talk about what your department, organization, etc. does everyday and convey the positive impact you have on your community. If you set out on this task of writing a proposal to an external party with the mindset that it’s an administrative chore, that’s going to show in your application. Utilize the process as an opportunity to reflecting on your ideals, past accomplishments, and goals for the future. Never be too shy to show some pride!

2. Follow any and all submission guidelines, but don’t be afraid to throw in a little humor or creativity.

Unlike a job application sent to a major company, you can be pretty confident that your grant proposal will come across the desk of a thinking, feeling human being. Reading grant proposal after grant proposal probably isn’t something they’d rank highly on their list of things to do in their free time, so don’t underestimate the power of a clever quip or original approach in order to foster a little extra attention from them. Keeping it professional and adhering to specifications is still important, because while it won’t be screened for keywords by a computer, it will be screened by the grantor for these basic requirements, especially if there are a lot of grant proposals and not a lot of money to grant.

3. Only apply for grants that you truly think will benefit your general functioning, and then focus all your energy on the ones that make that grade.

You should ask yourself, “If we get this grant, will our use of it make the grantor happy that they chose us?” Not only does this cut out wasted efforts applying for grants outside the scope of your operations, but it has the added bonus of potentially becoming a recurring grant if the answer to that question is a confident “yes.”

Here are some words from a grantor in San Francisco whom we spoke with: “A grantor will want to find a project they care about and will most likely continue to support a grantee in the future if that’s the case.”

First responders are some of the most deserving people—and most in need—of grants. Be open, frank, and passionate. Don’t sell yourselves short simply because the scope of your work isn’t easy to confine to the words in a document; set yourself to it and find a way.

Much like you can stand out in the rain without sacrificing comfort, (assuming you have a Bumperchute canopy overhead), you can stand out amongst a pile of grant proposals without sacrificing a respectful, professional tone. Because if they like it, they’ll put a ring on it.

Have you had a grant proposal success? If so, we want to know! Give us a call, we’d love to learn about your best grant proposal strategies – perhaps getting a Bumperchute could be next…

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