7 Tips for Getting Grant Applications Approved
Funding is an important aspect that can make a business stand out in the ever-changing competitive business environment. Grants are some of the ways businesses, especially those owned by women, can get financial support. However, applying for a grant and getting it approved are two entirely different things. For instance, you expect the donors to receive a couple of other applications too, and given they have a limited amount of funds, only a few can be approved.
So, what will make yours stand out through the rigorous vetting process of determining the rightful winner(s)? Check out the following tips for getting your grant application approved.
If you're not sure of the different grants available to women-owned businesses, be sure to check these 6 business grants for women.
1. The Project Title is Key
First impressions matter! And your proposed project title is at the center of this. Make it precise, self-explanatory, and catchy. Something the donors can remember easily. It should contain the who, what, and where of the proposed project.
2. Executive Summary Addressing the Donor
Before minding reading the whole application, you want the grant officer or committee to fully grasp why and what you aim to do with the funding if it's granted. And nowhere else can you capture this more precisely than in the executive summary page. This is the place you want to highlight the donor's specific requirements and give them a roadmap of the whole project idea. For example, if the grant is exclusively for women businesses only or a particular geographical area, capture this requirement right at the core of the executive summary.
3. Double Check Grant Requirements
Different grants have their specific requirements, though most of them are similar. Leaving any application requirements blank or unclear might display you as an unserious contender. For instance, don't assume all women business grants require the same qualifications; carefully access each independently. It doesn't also hurt to dig deeper to know areas the funders focus on when funding and then tailor your application appropriately.
4. Carry Your Brand Along
The business brand might not be as important to funders as customers, but understand that it represents the business everywhere. The last thing the donor wants to see is an application without a unique business identifier. This may be a sign of poor business strategy, and no one wants to fund such. The cover page should include the logo, image, and website. Throughout the proposal, use consistent themes and perks such as previously completed project pictures.
5. Consistent Content and Formatting
The application paper should flow logically, each section building on the previous one. For example, it can be awkward to have two sets of information that contradict each other or have mathematical errors spread out in two or more sections. Take a careful note of the text format too, Heading, font size, color, spacing, and margin should be standardized. In case the application requires you to use a pre-specified form, you'd want to forego your preferred format for the one requested.
6. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Though it is hard to avoid errors entirely, too many or repeated errors can be a single reason for your application to be thrown overboard. They indicate unprofessionalism and haste decision while implying poor communication. Triple check the paper before submitting it, and we recommend having a third party review the application to identify unnoticed mistakes quickly. If you're re-using any section from a previous application, ensure that the references and identifiers are double-checked to rhyme with the current one.
7. Contact Information and Budget
Adding contact details for donors to reach you back is crucial, but too many details can make it look shaggy. Include only the contacts you know are regularly checked. For the case of the budget, triple check the units and amounts no matter the faith you've in the application used to prepare it.
Which Network are You In?
As a woman, embracing women's business networking is the key to achieving your entrepreneur goals. Joining women's entrepreneur networks will station you on the right path to getting information and resources to catapult you to the next level. For example, knowing when and how to apply for grants. Pailor is a fast-thriving free online
community whose main focus is to grow women-owned businesses across the United States. Join our network today.