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July 2024 Economic Development Update:

Writing a grant application can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can greatly increase your chances of securing funds for your project. Whether you are applying to build a multi-million-dollar capital project or purchase a new lawn mower the principles of writing a compelling grant application remain largely the same. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the process.

1. Understand the Grant Requirements. Before you start writing, thoroughly review the grant guidelines. Pay close attention to the objectives of the funding body, eligibility requirements, submission deadlines, and any specific instructions for the application format. If you have an opportunity to speak to someone at the funding body about your project, take it.

2. Develop a Clear Project Plan. Define your project goals, objectives and expected outcomes. Outline the activities you plan to undertake and how they will achieve the desired results. Clearly articulate the significance and relevance of your project to the funder’s mission and priorities.

3. Craft a Compelling Narrative. Include a strong introduction that captures the reviewer’s attention. Clearly explain the problem or issue your project addresses, why it’s important, and how your approach is innovative. Use clear language to communicate your ideas, avoiding technical terms that may not be familiar to reviewers.

4. Provide Detailed Budget Justification. Create a detailed budget that aligns with your project plan. Clearly justify each expense item and explain how funds will be allocated. Ensure your budget is realistic and appropriate for the scope of your project.

5. Include Supporting Documents. Attach any required documentation, such as letters of support, resumes of key personnel, or contractor quotes. Ensure all supplementary materials are formatted according to the funder’s specifications.

6. Review and Revise. Proofread your grant application carefully to eliminate errors in grammar, punctuation and formatting. Ask colleagues or mentors to review your proposal for clarity and coherence. Incorporate their feedback to strengthen your application.

7. Submit on Time. Ensure you submit your grant application before the deadline. Late submissions are typically not accepted, so plan your time wisely to avoid last-minute rushes or to deal with any technical issues that can happen with online submission portals.

If you would like to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming grant application for your non-profit or community group or would like an impartial review of your draft application, please contact me.

Monique Chenier