Basic Principles of Grant Writing: Be Smart and Successful with Us
What does grant writing mean? It is, actually, the same as developing grant proposals to get funding for a future project or a current activity. There are certain basic principles of grant writing, although it can be referred to as an art. Only if a grant is easy to read, concise, and marketable, it can be successful.
It is a must for a grant writer to get experience in technical writing and a solid background in the field of the project. There are numerous courses at the educational institutions devoted to effective grant writing; however, it is not a certification that makes a grant writer excellent. Currently, there are no standards in educating the grant writing experts. The experienced grant writers are typically employed as research writers for a particular proposal, plan, or research.
The process of grant-writing starts with an internal request to get a RFP, which requires approval to be worked on. It is typically one of the most tedious stages; however, an RFP can be merely an application that demands approval. The principles of grant writing say that the backers of the projects should obtain not only the approval, but also the support of the community, and then to demonstrate the sources of funding to the prospective grantor with special requirements.
The federal government can have the requirements that are absolutely different from those of a private organization. Nevertheless, all of them should adhere to special guidelines.
The following step implies collection of the data to be used by the grant writer. The process of grant writing involves taking a lot of notes and gathering various important details. The writer gets a system of documentation and evolves important ideas for the grant project.
Components of a Grant Proposal
- Summary: Several paragraphs which present the main aspects of a grant application. The main aim is to get the grantors interested in reading further.
- Introduction: Description of the organization that requires grants and explanation why it is a credible applicant to get the grant funds.
- Statement of Purpose: It explains the purpose of the project and the reasons why funding is needed.
- Goals: It specifies the objectives of the project and the key goals set.
- Plan of Action: It presents the methods of achieving the set project objectives and goals. It should be easy to read, evaluate, and measure.
- Evaluation: It gives a list of criteria for the organization to make the evaluation of the success in a certain project.
- Long-Term Planning of the Project: It explains the principles of further planning in terms of funding in case the funds are not sufficient.
- Budget: It presents indirect and direct costs in a specific and accurate manner.
It is important to prepare all the presented elements to enable the grantor to understand what the vision of the project is, what specific needs the organization has, and what follow-through plan is prepared.
Tips on Successful Grant Writing
It can be a really intimidating process to make a grant successful. It is especially difficult if it is done for the first time ever. Have a look at the advice on making the grant excellent and putting all the necessary ideas together.
- Learn the basic principles of grant writing and follow all the regulations of the Call for Proposals. It is wrong to include any other elements, not mentioned in the Call for Proposals. The font size to be used is 12 point.
- Set clear goals. No matter what project you are working on, you have to make sure that the set goals are clearly understandable and simple. The reviewers should not wonder what you aim at. They should have a look at your application and gain understanding of what you want to achieve.
- Plan. All the details should be specified prior proposal writing. Check whether the experimental design can yield the expected results. Think which party could be your cooperator, in case you will need assistance.
- Make your results measurable. No matter what the expected results are: content of milk protein, crops, and growth in the market share, or any other values, check if they can be measured easily. You have to give all the details at the end of the project to show if the objectives are accomplished. Analyze the samples that you take and check if they can represent the entire project.
- Check on the proper timing. One of the basic principles of grant writing is that the reviewers should know exactly when the results you expect will be obtained. Develop a detailed schedule and analyze if you can cope with the tasks timely.
- Be selective in getting the cooperators. Check of the people you want to work with have sufficient experience and good skills. You have to make the project as successful as possible and you cannot disregard any of the aspects. You need high chances that you will receive the grant you need.
- Make your outreach plan clear. Share what the project gives to you with the others. Mention all the publications, field days, and other sustainable activities.
- Check if your budget is realistic. Make the budget worksheet expenses carefully itemized. Analyze the requested funds for every year. Study good sample budgets to see which features you may have omitted or confused. It is recommended to round the cents to dollars.