Gaining Grants for Your Partnership –
A Dozen Steps to Grant Application Success

Gaining a grant can make a huge difference to your community business partnership and its activities, and many groups and partnerships are now becoming more and more aware of the grant opportunities that are out there.

And grantmakers are becoming more encouraging of community organisations that have partnered with business to complete a community project. It is often seen as a sign of strength and also a sign that the community organisation has local support for its activities.

But when it comes to applying for those grants, many groups still have difficulty in properly putting together a grant application, or filling out the necessary application forms.

One of the key complaints of grant makers is when groups seeking money ignore the grant's guidelines or criteria, or don't include everything asked of them in their grant application.

And while some grant makers are happy to contact applicants to chase up missing information or give them a chance to re-submit, many are not - meaning your great partnership idea or project could be lost before it even gets off the ground.

You may have already gained some help from the Help Sheets Gaining Grants for your Partnership - The Basic Components of Writing a Grant Proposal , Gaining Grants for your Partnership - What Grant Makers Would Like to Know and Gaining Grants for your Partnership - Finding the Right Grant Program for Your Partnership, available at the Community Business Partnership Brokerage Service section of the Our Community website.

With that in mind, this Help Sheet provides your partnership with a dozen quick tips to boost your chances of successfully applying for a grant.

  1. Read the guidelines carefully. In doing so, make a list of all the main aims of the grants program and how your project achieves them.
  2. Research the funding body. Find out the types of projects they have previously funded and their main priorities and mission. Do these complement your partnership's goals?
  3. Prepare a list of all the supporting documents the grant maker has asked for. Then, compile the material.
  4. Check the due date for the grant applications. In doing so, aim to have your application in at least five to seven days before the closing date.
  5. Don't try putting in an old grants application with just the name of the funding body changed. It is a waste of time. Each application should be tailored to the specific aims and priorities of the funding body.
  6. Answer every single question on the application. Even if you have to write "not applicable" or "As above", fill in every space you're asked to.
  7. Stick to the guidelines and provide the proposal in the format they want. "Following the guidelines" doesn't mean doing what is easiest for your group.
  8. Check your signatures. If you need people to sign off on the application, check that you have the signature you need well before the due date.
  9. Proofread your application for spelling and grammar.
  10. Check that your budget for the project adds up. Check that it is also consistent throughout the application.
  11. Demonstrate you are fiscally-responsible. Make sure the grant makers know you are fiscally-responsible and that your partnership will spend the money you are granted wisely and well. Use past projects or other evidence to make your case.
  12. Get a second opinion. Have someone read through your application to see if you have made the case for funding. If not, go back to the drawing board.