Grants can be an excellent source of funding for scientists, students, and others engaged in long-term research projects. However, writing an effective grant proposal requires a unique set of skills that can take years to develop. University of Phoenix has developed a program to help individuals and teams in need of financial resources learn these skills over the course of a few months. Grant applicants can consider four key starting factors when writing a grant to position it for success.
Find a Receptive Audience
The quality of writing in a grant application will have no bearing if submitted to an audience disinterested in the goals of the funding request. Grant writers should tailor proposals to the needs of the school, foundation, organization, or government agency that will be awarding the grant. The topics and objectives for the project should align with those of the funding organization. Grant writers should also confirm that they meet all of the qualifications to receive a particular grant before submitting a proposal. Otherwise, the proposal will likely not be considered.
Develop a Relationship With the Person Issuing the Grant
Typically, an entity awarding a grant hires an individual to review proposals and disburse funds to the most deserving applicant. Grant writers can benefit from developing a rapport with the person who will ultimately decide whether a proposal will be accepted. Consider reaching out and introducing yourself to the grant administrator and taking the time to ask questions about the application process and goals of the funding organization. Presenting as an engaged, proactive writer representing an initiative may position the proposal in a more favorable light. Furthermore, the grant administrator may offer specific advice regarding how to structure a proposal for success.
Build Quality Writing Skills
A grant proposal should not have any spelling, grammar, or content issues that will make it difficult to read. The request documents should explain who the applicants are, how the funds will be used to support specific goals, and how project objectives align with the donor’s mission. All information should be presented clearly and with adequate detail. The application should also explain how grantees will leverage their names, institutions, credentials, or overall experience to make the most of any allocated funds.
Pay Attention to Details
Calls for grant proposals will likely come with specific instructions that must be followed exactly in order for an application to qualify. Applicants may be asked to contact a donor using specific methods or to prepare documents in precise formats. Donors may also ask that proposals be submitted by a certain date to be eligible for consideration. Failure to follow instructions may be seen as an indication that an applicant is not suitable, and many grantors are strict when it comes to having applicants adhere to their guidelines.
Success in the classroom or boardroom does not guarantee success when it comes to grant writing. Many prospective grant applicants benefit from mentoring and classes like those offered by University of Phoenix to learn the skills necessary to obtain funding for their projects.
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