This semester I’m taking a grant writing class. I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between grant writing and submissions for publications. There are similar tips like:
· Follow the directions exactly
· Be concise and polite
· Expect to be rejected
I’m thoroughly enjoying this class as I feel like there are a lot of practical applications I can use it for. In class, I’m working with a client who is hoping to have a successful grant completion to bring in money for her business. She is a small business owner in a non-traditional area for women. The grant will be exceedingly involved and take longer to write than the course will take. However, through the course I’m hoping to get a base of material that will give us a jumping off point writing her grant.
There are a few websites that are particularly useful:
· Government department that applies to your area
o Make sure you check out local, county, state, and federal levels
These are just a few of the resources you can find for grants and loans.
First you have to do a lot of research. Then you have to do more research. Be aware you are going to be unsuccessful at finding grants; you will follow a lot of dead ends that initially look promising.
Be persistent. Grants requests are often rejected, repeatedly. Keep trying, edit and redo your grant to fit the place you are applying to. Keep moving forward and keep trying. Like getting published, what appeals to the evaluators this year may not appeal next year, which would then open the door to your project (hopefully).
Be clear on what your project is, what the goals and objectives are, and how this fits with the grantor. Write the grant like you are the grantor – what matters to them is how it benefits them not what it does for you or your organization.
The book I am using in class is Winning Grants Step by Step written by Mim Carlson and Tori O’Neal-McElrath and is quite good at outlining the different steps. Even with it, though, you have to be a strong writer and be very determined.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that the grant I’m working on will help the small business owner and give me some great experience writing.