by Jini Stolk
Most of us are using the summer months to research new funding prospects and prepare grant applications. It’s a task filled with hope, but let’s admit it: it’s not easy. However, it’s a whole lot easier to do it right and get funded than do it wrong and get rejected.
I’ve found Imagine Canada’s Grantseeker Monthly (the enewsletter for Grant Connect, the best fundraising research tool in Canada) to be really helpful. This recent post on Five Common (and Avoidable) Grantwriting Mistakes could save you time and heartache, and the links alone are worth the read.
What are the mistakes to avoid? 1) Not doing your research, i.e. applying to funders whose priorities don’t match your project, 2) Focusing on your need rather than the impact of your work, 3) Sending out a “cookie cutter” request rather than tailoring your proposal to each funder’s specific needs, 4) Ignoring the application guidelines and procedures, which is really just asking for immediate rejection, 5) Not taking the time to ask for feedback – often key to establishing a successful ongoing relationship.
And on a more positive note, use what you know about art when writing a proposal: “…fewer, well-chosen words can be the most powerful way to convey an idea or information” according to this lovely piece from Grantworthy on using the lessons from songwriting in grantwriting. (Thanks to Scott Cargle’s blog for the tip.)
If you’ve ever sat on a grants jury, you know this one is right.