A grant application can be the determining factor in whether you receive a business grant. Sloppy, inaccurate and incomplete applications are likely discarded immediately. Granters receives thousands of applications and they won’t waste their time tracking down submitters who did not follow directions. Think of a grant application as the embodiment of your business on paper. You want it to be as complete, accurate and unique as possible to draw granters to your business proposal.
Each grant has a specific application process that must be followed. Always read the directions provided, and if you need further instruction, contact the granter or representative provided for more information. You don’t want to ask questions just to contact the granter – that would be wasting your time and their time. Instead, formulate your questions ahead of time, look for possible answers, and if you are still unsure, then contact the granter.
Tips for a successful grant application
Successful grant applications include accurate and pertinent information about your business, the proposal, your goals and the funding required to meet those goals. While you want your business to stand out among the others, you should not lie or embellish your company’s achievements or standards. If the grant is for the betterment of your company, be honest and show how important the funding is to improving the local community through your business. You should also know everything about your company. Don’t assign as intern to complete the application process. For a successful grant application, the person applying should know the history of the business and have a clear vision for the future of the company.
You will need additional funding sources for your application and business proposal to be taken seriously. If you cannot find outside support, why would a granter want to risk their money on your business? Turn to community leaders, foundations, businesses with shared interests, universities and state agencies to request funding or form a partnership in interest of the grant.
A successful grant application goes beyond the business’s needs and looks to fulfill a need for the community, state, country or environment. If you have a viable idea, find ways to make it environmentally friendly or show how it can be used to further the evolution of technology. Federal grants are often given to those who can improve or impact commercialization.
You should consider contacting the granter at least once throughout the application process so that you can adjust your business proposal to appeal to the awarding panel. This will also ensure that your goals align with the granter’s interests and it will give you an opportunity to get to know your panel. You may also need to seek advice from outside sources. Talk to a consultant, financial adviser, accountant, industry expert or your business’s attorney as they can be viable resources in preparing your application and proposal.
Increase your chances of getting a grant
You may have found the perfect grant for your business, but don’t stop at applying for just one grant. The competition for each grant is tough and you may be turned down several times before you find a granter willing to invest in your business proposal.