General Guidelines for Grant Proposals

Below are some general guidelines to keep in mind when applying for a grant.

– Most grant makers are inundated with applications and therefore have established application procedures.  It is very important that you follow the directions from the grant maker when applying for a grant.

– If you do not submit the proper paperwork and meet the deadlines, your proposal will not be considered.  Some grantmakers require online applications only.

– It is often the case that foundations and corporations prefer an initial letter of inquiry from grant seekers.  If they are interested in learning more about your organization they will invite you to submit a full grant proposal.

– Do not apply for a grant that does not fit with your organization’s mission.  You will most likely be turned down.

– Call the grantmaker and ask for current guidelines as well as request copies of successful applications from prior years.

– It is a good idea to have only one point of contact from your organization who will be in charge of communicating with the grant maker.  Make sure that notes are taken of each communication.

– Your grant proposal should be well organized, fully explanatory, and no longer than necessary.  Do not include things such as CD’s, brochures and the like unless they are asked for.

– Usually you will be asked to submit several copies because more than one person will be reviewing the proposal.   Do not use binders, folders or staples.  Simply submit the document with the pages paper-clipped together.

– Make sure it will be received by the deadline.  If you are mailing the proposal, either ask for a signature upon receipt or enclose a signed and self-addressed postcard so you will know that it was received.

– After you have submitted your grant proposal you should wait to hear from the grantmaker  Do not call them before the period that they have specified.

– If you have been awarded the grant, then you will have the job of managing it according to the terms.  If you have not been awarded a grant you may ask the grantmaker why you were not successful and when you can apply again.

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