There are many factors which determine if you should be applying for a grant and if your grant writer should spend time on crafting a great submission. Grant writing is far more than filling out an application and explaining why you need that funding. The outstanding grant writer will adopt a very strategic and thorough approach and will not just apply for everything on a whim. Following is a list of issues to consider when applying for grants.
- Organisational Eligibility
All grants have eligibility criteria relating to the type of organisation Grants might be restricted to a business, an incorporated non profit, an organisation with DGR/PBI status for example. So before applying the grant writer will ensure that the organisation as an entity is eligible to apply for this grant.
Grants at times can be only available to organisations within a set geographic location or a project being delivered within a specific geographic location. Again the grant writer needs to make sure that the organisation and project is eligible.
The closing date for applications might be a consideration in applying because if you don’t have the time to craft a quality response then it is a waste of time applying.
The required completion date of your project also might impact on whether the grant writer should write an application or not. If your project wont be completed within the required completion date then again obviously you would not apply.
- Included/Excluded Expenditure
The grant writer must also consider what the grant will fund – what will it not fund – this is generally identified as excluded or included expenditure. For instance a grant program might exclude salary or wages or normal operational expenditure from inclusion in the grant request. This is actually the normality rather than the exception. Normally funding is available for equipment, facility upgrades, funding for program development/delivery but not for “people”.
- Project Management Experience
Generally for projects that involve construction or infrastructure redevelopment work the funding body will want to be certain that the organisation has the project management experience to effectively manage this project and deliver the project on time and within budget. If the organisation does not have this experience within the organisation or externally say with the building contractor then the organisation should seriously consider not applying.
Sometimes the reporting and acquittal requirements are so extensive that an organisation may decide not to apply due to this fact alone.
This is a critical consideration – if the funding program will only fund up to a certain amount let’s say $20k and your organisation needs to purchase a ride–on lawnmower worth $50k and you have no capacity to access the other $30k from another funding program, from donations/sponsorships or your own operational account – again it is a waste of time applying. You might however have another project that is more suitable and as such you should consider applying for funding for that project.
Overall there are many many considerations organisations need to assess before madly rushing out and having their grant writer madly complete a grant submission. Again as we have stated many times, grant writing is far more than writing the grant – there are specific strategies and techniques involved and that is the reason we are highly successful in this field.