This article gives you 3 tips on how create a successful grant application.
If you had the chance to make some free money, why wouldn’t you go for it? Grants are just that, a sum of money given out by the government or other organizations to give back to the community and help the economy flourish. There are many federal and provincial grants for all types of industries including research, arts, agriculture, technology, etc. So, if you’re ever unsure if there is something out there for your brilliant business idea, you can check out our previous article Financing Solutions for Start-ups: Part 6 – Grants which directs you to a current database of all the grants and funds available to starts-ups and small businesses. Even if your business has been around for a while but you’re still new to writing grants, do not fret! Here are 3 tips on how to approach the grant writing process.
1. Seek Grants that Apply to You
With so many grant options out there, it is imperative that you read the guidelines and application forms carefully to make sure that the program’s objective matches your own. This will make it much easier for you to explain why your business fills a specific need or plays a pivotal role in your community. Doing this is much more impactful than simply explaining how you will use the money. For example: “we need $20,000 for construction and renovations at our youth centre,” versus, “with $20,000 we will stop at least 20 at-risk youth from dropping out of school, [ensuring] they move to post-secondary education.”1 The second example paints a clearer picture about how this grant would create a significant impact on the neighbourhood.
2. Give Yourself Ample Time
Grant applications can be tedious, because while it starts with a rock-solid idea, there must be adequate research to back it up. That’s why it is so important to give yourself enough time to not only triple check your “budget and project timeline” but also “your dollars and dates.”2 Give yourself at least two months to write a concise, thoughtful application, because the last thing you want is to put in a ton of effort just to miss the deadline at the end.
3. Communicate with Others
Finally, don’t be afraid to communicate with others! Business owners who have previously applied for and received grants are an excellent source of information. They can help you create a realistic budget and give you “the real cost of activities services, materials, fees, and equipment.”3 Once you have a set foundation, you can garner some feedback on the written aspects of your application, as these business owners would have an idea about what funders are looking for. If there aren’t any opportunities to network with other businesses, try reaching out to the funders directly, because “contrary to popular belief, [they] want to hear from you.”1
As stressful and tedious as writing grant applications may be, at the end of the day it is worth the time and effort, so your business can make its mark on the community. Seeking grants that you’re applicable for both assures the funders that you are good match and makes it easier for you to state why your business deserves the investment.
Just make sure you give yourself a couple months’ head start so you can confirm all the logistics, as well as open yourself up to feedback from other business owners who were successful with their own applications. Following these 3 tips will be sure to set yourself up for triumph, so go ahead and follow that yellow brick road!
Download this resource 3 Tips for Grant Applications.
1 “Insider Insights: 5 Tips on How to Write a Winning Grant Application.” Imagine Canada. https://imaginecanada.ca/en/360/insider-insights-5-tips-how-write-winning-grant-application
2 “Tips for success: How to improve your funding application.” Library and Archives Canada. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/documentary-hertiage-communities-program/tips-success/Pages/tips-for-success.aspx
3 “Top Ten Grant Writing Tips: Best practices for creating a successful grant application.” Toronto Arts Council. https://torontoartscouncil.org/grant-programs/tips-and-resources/top-ten-grant-writing-tips