Writing grant applications

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Applying for a grant? Use this as a guide to avoid your application going into the wastepaper bin.


  • 1. Avoiding the waste paper basket A practical guide

2. Use the correct name and address of the organisation and indivudual you are applying to Sign the letter! 3. LASA, LVBS, LABS, GLAAS Means? State how much money you need Describe the project and its cost Give numbers! How many people use your service? Dont give a shopping list of needs which the trust has to choose from. If necessary a phone call would be better. 4. Tugging at the heartstrings does not make your application more effective. They are not assessed according to the number of tears they produce! Emergency or urgent appeals may seem powerful, but assessment is more difficult and timetables too tight. 5. A good proposal can be made in two or at most three sides of A4. Exciting applications come in short sharp packages. Too many words and the aims can become unclear. 6. Read the section which lists what will not be funded Deadlines are deadlines Putting in applications at the last minute, take into consideration prior meetings and assessment. Dont assume trust wont fund things! Read the guidelines carefully. 7. Unique (how do you know?) We work in a deprived are (this says nothing about the quality of the charities work) You will, Im sure, be familiar with the problems of homelessness. (Lazy, use evidence) Any help you can give us, however small would be appreciated (would $100 from a company giving out $5 million be really appreciated?) 8. Have someone critically evaluate the application Which are the most interesting and positive aspects? Bad wording and missing the closing date? need not apply Keep the trust informed of any changes after your application; any success with other funders, termination of leases, resignation of directors. 9. Do not jeopardise a new relationship Meet the acknowledgement deadline Give accounts and annual reports when requested Acknowledge a trusts grant in your annual report. 10. Know why you are applying Read guidelines Check the name and address Name of trust corresponds with the name in the letter Check you are within the trusts priorities and area of benefit Sign the letter Have a system for knowing who has written to which trusts Enclose necessary documents 2 sides of A4 Meet the deadline Be specific, how much money is required? Be specific about your activities and who uses them Proof read your application Have a clear organisational policy on writing to trusts If in doubt, phone the trust to check 11. Make emotional appeals Ask vaguely for assistance Present shopping lists of needs Write a brief letter referring to other papers Use initials of organisations Lose the files referring to the applications Write over long applications then apologise 12. Total sum required:$6,878 in each of three years $20,634 in all What is the organisation and what does it do? When was it founded, what does it do, give numbers! How many people work for it, how much money does it have and pay out A review of its work, reports of its service 13. The name of the project to be funded What the money will fund and how this will develop within the organisation. Why apply to this trust? What partnerships exist? What other funding has been received? What will happen if the bid for funding is successful? Will you employ anyone? 14. How will this benefit the users? What is the problem, how is this organisation doing anything different? What are the finer details of the programme? The cost A breakdown of the costs involved 15. Brief introduction and why youre writing Who we are Legal structure, aim, current staff, association and affiliation What we do How long in operation, details of work and users, other activities What our project isThe smaller details e.g. Medical centre, education centre, What this does for the user: how useful is it? How it is funded Any other means of funding? Why are you asking this organisation? How much it will cost When are you looking to do this by? Enclose plans/bills etc. Thank the organisation