One of the most important parts in a grant proposal is the needs statement in which you explain why you need the money. Any organization or private individual interested in offering a grant will be extremely curios to know how you are going to spend their hard-earned (or not) money.
To make sure you have this part covered you need to pay attention to some essential aspects like creating a great grant funding timeline. The timeline is basically a schedule for the activities and events that will take place when you get the grant. You will need to include the dates when they will start and when they will end and you have to give several details about them. Include the key tasks that must be completed in order to implement your program.
Make sure you make a realistic assessment of the time you need in order to push the project forward. How will you know when you have succeeded? Include some sort of evaluation methods in the chart and generally in your application. Let the investors know who will be in charge and who will supervise all the activity making sure that the tasks will be completed. A good project timeline will convince the investors that you know what you are doing and that in fact the only thing that stops you from starting right away is the money.
Almost anyone can apply for grants, but the reasons most of the people fail is because they do not take the time to prepare before applying. Creating a great proposal, making sure all the data is correct, finding the right grants, all these things are crucially important.
Before applying for a grant make sure follow these simple steps:
1. Research the types of grants. There are multiple types of grants and one can be better for you than another. The beauty about grants is that you don`t have to give the money back, but you do have to meet specific criteria and qualifications in order to get one. There are federal grants given by a government agency, private grants offered by a foundation or corporation, public charity grants, individual grants, non-profit grants and sponsorship grants. Private and individual grants are generally easier to get as there is less bureaucracy and you often have to convince just one or two people that you have something good in your hands.
2. Create a database of grant sources. You will soon see that actually finding excellent grants is a rather complicated process which requires some research so make sure you start building your database of grants or of websites that regularly publish grants.
3. Create a detailed plan on how you are going to spend the money you are asking for. You will have to match this plan with the expectations and requirements of the organization or individuals offering the grant, but it is better if you have something that you prepared beforehand and which just needs some modifications.