What to Consider Before Submitting a Grant Proposal
Michelle Marie Hernandez
September 20, 2013
What to Consider Before Submitting a Grant Proposal

Blank Papers on DeskIf you envision helping others, you probably know that financial support is vital to achieving your dream. Perhaps you desire to provide food for families in need or special educational programs for teens. If you are thinking about submitting a grant proposal for funding, here are seven things to consider.

1.     Have you established a 501(c)3 non-profit organization?

Most corporations and foundations give philanthropic grants only to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. If you have not established and registered a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, individuals may still provide funding in support of your project. However, they may be less likely to do so if their donation is not tax-deductible.

2.     Do you have a clear case for support?

You may understand the need for and value of your endeavor, but are those things clear to others?  A case for support will tell people why they should give to you.

3.     Do you have a relationship with the prospective donor?

Many donors give to individuals and organizations with which they are familiar. Think about who knows you and who has benefited from the services you offer. If you don’t have a relationship with the prospective donor, you might want to establish one first.

4.     Does your request for funding match the prospective donor’s interests?

Many donors prefer to support particular areas of interest to them. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort—and avoid unnecessary rejections—if you submit grant applications to donors who fund your type of project.

5.     Do you know the proposal guidelines?

Many corporations and foundations have specific guidelines for grant applications. Your application may need to follow a particular format, include supporting documentation, or be submitted online. Knowing and adhering to the proposal guidelines will enhance your chances of receiving consideration for funding.

6.     Do you have sufficient time to develop and submit a well-written grant proposal prior to the submission deadline?

Many grant applications have submission deadlines. Some individuals even request proposals within a certain timeframe. A well-written grant proposal takes time and effort to prepare. If you don’t have sufficient time to gather the information and have your proposal professionally written and edited, you may want to wait until next year to ensure you have the best chance of receiving funding. First impressions can be memorable.

7.     Are you aware of the factors that may affect the donor’s decision to fund your grant proposal?

Submitting a grant proposal is not a guaranteed way to receive funding. The donor may or may not respond favorably. Many factors affect a donor’s decision to fund your grant proposal, including the donor’s giving goals, the status of your relationship, and timing.

Considering what affects your chances of receiving funding will help you prepare the best grant proposal possible and submit it, even if your previous grant proposals have been declined. With all that goes into a successful grant proposal, you will surely want to celebrate when you do receive funding. So what worthy endeavors will you seek support for through a grant proposal?