4Grants have produced this quick guide to help with grant applications.
READ the guidelines. If you don’t meet a funder’s eligibility criteria, don’t waste your time applying.
Do learn as much as you can about a funder before applying and tailor your application to fit. Generic “cut and paste” appeals for support are unlikely to impress.
Do remember that there may be restrictions on how funds can be spent. Ensure that you’re clear about all the terms and conditions to which a grant might be subject.
Do seek help if you need it. Most funding bodies will be happy to provide assistance if you’re unclear about an aspect of the application process, and many provide detailed guidance on how to apply on their websites or in other literature.
Do get someone unconnected with your organisation to read your application. If they can’t understand the case you’re making, you’ll need to think again.
Do keep a copy of your application and supporting materials. Not only is this essential if there’s a query or problem with your bid, it will save time when it comes to making your next application.
Do keep a file of “supporting evidence”: press cuttings, background research, comments from service users and so on. All can play a vital part in making your case.
Do learn from unsuccessful applications. Not all funding bodies will be able to provide feedback, it’s always worth asking.
Don’t send masses of documentation. You don’t want your case to be obscured by irrelevant material.
Don’t be greedy. While it may be tempting to ask for the largest permissible sum, it’s rarely advisable.
Funders may be wary if you ask for the maximum amount without showing how you arrived at that figure and precisely why it’s needed.
Don’t forget that processing an application takes time. If your project is time-sensitive, be realistic about how soon any funding might arrive.
Don’t play the numbers. Better a few very well targeted applications than blanket appeals.
4Grants – We are always here to provide all the support and help that your organisation requires.