Avoid These Six Mistakes in Grant Proposals
Know what the funder wants and give to them.
Avoid these six mistakes in a grant proposal to give you a better chance of a grant award.
You’ve found the right funder for your project. Now it’s time to sit down and start writing. But wait. Before you put pen to paper, let’s take a look at some common mistakes to avoid when writing your grant proposal.
- Not following guidelines in the request for proposal (RFP) is a common mistake for the grant writer. Remember last week I talked about how important is is to give the funder what they want. There is a method to their madness. So, follow the guidelines to the letter.
- Missing deadlines. Believe it or not, grant writers miss deadlines. Check the date the proposal needs to be received or postmarked. Write it down on a calendar. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare the proposal. When sending your package via the postal service, allow a couple of extra days so it can arrive on time. If you are emailing or submitting online, don’t wait until the last minute. Computers have a way of crashing when you least expect it.
- The budget appears to be padded. This is a real NO, NO! Make sure you request the amount you need to complete the project, but no more.
- Too many mistakes, e.g., grammatical errors and typos. If you are careless with your proposal, the reader may think you’ll be careless with your program/project.
- There was no proof of sustainability for the program when funding period ended.
- The writing wasn’t clear, concise and compelling, making it difficult for the readers to understand the project. Remember to write for the readers.
All of these mistakes can be prevented by paying attention to the guidelines, the writing, and the deadlines.
After you complete your proposal, go over it a second and third time to make sure you haven’t missed anything. The extra time you take in reviewing your grant package might make the difference between a proposal that is awarded or one that is denied.
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