Due to the numerous responses to my articles concerning Government Grants and where to find them, I have decided to write this article on Grant Writing. A large share of the questions I was asked, concerned the writing of a grant request, once the person applying for the grant decided on which grant they wanted. In this article, I will write concerning the steps involved if the individual was writing the request personally without the help of a “Professional Grant Writing Service.”
I fielded some questions to a teacher friend of mine on the Triond.com web site and was able to get some really great advice as well as a common sense approach when applying for these grants. I decided to use the teacher’s insight in this particular article as she said it best when she stated:
“Most government grants relate to institutions such as, hospitals or colleges–at least in the United States. You might take a look at the National Arts Council–they may still do some individual grant work. Occasionally, corporations fund projects they find valuable or offer competitive prizes. Some religious organizations fund grants for missionary or similar projects. (At one time, I had pie-in-the-sky plans for a school that utilized alternative energy, hands on real-life type projects, and offered refuge for the young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who get kicked out of their homes. It didn’t fly, but I learned a lot in the process of investigating the options.)
The biggest piece of advice I can give, is go directly to the grantor for rules, regulations and deadlines. Don’t deal with a middle-man, unless you are able to afford a professional grant writer. Don’t bother with the “the government has your money, all you have to do is ask for it” scam artists. DO read the grant carefully from start to finish. Make sure that you have the available personnel to fulfill the requirements. Be accurate when you fill it out. Use good, clear grammar and word it the way they indicate it needs to be worded. Turn it in on time. Then pray–a lot! That’s about it…the competition for “free” money is extreme. You need to be really, really good and very innovative to catch the grantor’s attention.
This is just from my experience the few times I’ve helped with grant writing. Most of the ones I’ve worked on had to do with Reading Programs or acquiring library materials.
This information was based on Daisy Peasblossom’s personal experience as an individual and a professional working in our education system. She makes some very good points concerning the grant writing process and also warns us to use caution when dealing with those out there that say, “It’s free money” and “All you need to do is just ask for it.” There are no guarantees.
The individuals applying for the grants need to understand that even if they do everything right, there is no guarantee that he/she will get it. The competition for these grants is very high. If you hope to get a grant, you must follow the directions and the guidelines set by the grantor to the letter and not deviate from the set guidelines when requesting one.
So far we have been given a great deal of information that will indeed help us if and when we decide to apply for a grant, without the help of a professional grant writer. So at this time let us take a moment and recap what we have learned so far. This writer likes to put key information, which will be needed down on paper in bullet form for easy referencing as follows:
· Go directly to the grantor for rules, regulations and deadlines.
· Don’t deal with a middle-man, unless you are able to afford a professional grant writer.
. Don’t bother with the “the government has your money, all you have to do is ask for it” scam artist.
DO read the grant carefully from start to finish.
· Make sure that you have the available personnel to fulfill the requirements.
· Be accurate when you fill it out.
· Use good, clear grammar and word it the way they indicate it needs to be worded.
· Turn it in on time, (Very Important).
· You need to be really, really good and very innovative to catch the grantor’s attention.
· Don’t come off wimpy, Assert yourself in a positive way, so be upfront don’t beat around the bush and tell the grantor this is why I deserve to receive this grant.
In article two of this series on grant writing, I will be discussing using the services of Professional Grant writers, as an alternative to that of an individual applying on his or her own.