Instead of applying for the next available grant, or not applying because you don’t think you’ll be successful, what if you could work with a grant writer that not only knows what you do, but also works with you to be more strategic about what you apply for, with an eye on your dream goal?
Grant writing isn’t just about putting together a funding submission for your business or community project. Grant writing can be a creative way to help bring about sustainable change.
This is how I work with the clients I write grants for. I prefer not to write one-off grant applications. Instead, I work with the client to develop a 2-3 year strategy, with a plan of projects and activities that we can map to funding opportunities. By using this approach, we are proposing a group of planned projects, linked to an overarching strategy for sustained change. This can apply to business as well as community change.
Not all grant applications are successful, but other grant opportunities open up if you think bigger picture both in scope and in timeframe. It is also possible to apply for multiple grants to contribute to projects, a strategy that some funding bodies favour. In these instances, it takes time and synchronicity to get multi-source funded projects off the ground.
Being strategic about funding allows you to identify a mix of grants: project specific, organisational capacity building, purchase of equipment and long-term programs. You can plan the resources that can be leveraged from one project to another. You can also plan to gather evidence of need, delivery and success that will help with the larger grants.
Here are five ways a grant writer can help you to use grants strategically to get what you want:
- Work on the Vision. You could have an idea which may in truth be part of a bigger picture – you just haven’t thought about it or don’t think you can achieve the dream. A clear vision builds on single ideas by reaching out into bigger projects. A grant writer will work with you to build the grants portfolio with your Vision in mind.
- Foster organisational thinking as you grow. It may take two to three years to build up a portfolio of grants to have enough experience and evidence to apply successfully for a large grant. Each successful grant will increase your organisation’s experience. The higher the grant, the greater the need for policies, procedures and systems for managing resources and staff. Without proper control, a large project could take over the resources and activities of your organisation. An experienced grant writer will be aware of the implications and be able to advise you of the implications and strategies to grow safely.
- Reset the mindset. This is particularly true if you don’t have the resources or the confidence to apply for grants. Have you been knocked back with a previous grant application? A good grant writer will develop trust and work with you to build your case and confidence to take a chance on applying for those elusive grants. This will involve taking you out of your comfort zone but could yield successful results sooner than you think.
- Stimulate creative thinking. A grant submission that stands out has a unique proposition backed up by evidence and confidence to deliver. Getting clients to think creatively means getting them out of their comfort zones. The role of the grant writer is to assist you in brainstorming: what could be; how it might happen; who will be involved; how to reach the target audience; what risks might be and how to overcome them; and what success feels like. It does not stop with the one project. Where will the project lead and what opportunities are out there to take it to the next stage? A well thought out project idea makes it easier for the grant writer to put things in writing with passion that become infectious to the reader. These are the ideas that will catch the eye of the funder.
- Mix it up. Whether you are a business, club or community organisation, there is a diverse range of grant options available. There are grants that focus on business planning and capacity building. Some pay for equipment and capital works. What about travel grants? A grant writer will help you combine these with grants that focus on innovation or change to get a well-balanced portfolio.
A good grant writer will get to know you, your strengths, needs and goals. They will work with you to seek out opportunities and work with you to be in a position to apply for and manage projects without risking the integrity of your client’s business. They will help you realise your dreams.
We offer a range of grant writing services including:
- done with you funding applications and grants strategy
- grant writing workshops
- a self-paced grant writing training program
- a coaching program for aspiring grant writers
Find out more by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call on +61390055889 (Skype – thecommunityentrepreneur).
Alternatively go to www.getthatgrant.com