Applying for Grants

Tips & Suggestions for Not For Profits

Grants are an important source of financial support for not-for-profit organizations.

Identifying an appropriate funding body and completing the application form for funding can be daunting. The following tips and suggestions have been compiled to assist you in writing your submission for funding.

1. Know the market place

Identify all sources of potential funding support

  • Funding is available from a variety of sources, government (local, state, national), charitable trusts, corporations and community organizations such as Rotary.
  • Assess which funding body is most appropriate to your project.
  • Determine if your group/organization and its intended project meets the funding guidelines and criteria.
  • Consider a joint project with a like-minded organization. Funding bodies view collaborative projects favourably.
2. Know your organization

Clearly state the purpose and objectives of your group/organization

  • What does your group/organization do?
  • How does it operate?
  • What services/activities do you offer?
  • Who do you provide these services/activities to?
  • Where do you provide your services?
3. Justify the need for the project

Demonstrate why the project is important

  • Document the problem as it is now
  • Is there supporting literature for your case, such as survey results, reports that identify gaps in services/activities?
  • Include your credentials and state why your organization is the most appropriate organization for funding.
  • Support your claims by providing Letters of Support from community and industry advocates
4. Developing your submission

Concisely and clearly answer each question on the application form

  • In the aim of the project clearly describe what the project will do, and who will benefit from the project.
  • In the objectives of the project identify the measurable outcomes of the project. List any tangible products that the project will produce such as a new brochure or a training program, as well as intangible results such as increased self esteem through skill acquisition.
  • Describe the project activities (project design) in detail, that is how you propose to implement the project and how it will be coordinated.
  • Describe the sequence and flow of the project, present the activities that will be accomplished in the time frame and who will be implementing them.
  • Give specific time-frames; discuss any risks and ways to minimize these.
  • Describe the planned staffing for the project.
  • State who your client population is and the method of client selection being used for the project.
  • Outline the cost/benefit ratio of your project.
5. Evaluation

Identify how you will determine the outcomes of your project

  • What is it that people will do differently after the project that they don’t do now?
  • Who will evaluate the project?
  • What criteria or measures are built into the project to help evaluate its outcomes?
  • What records will be kept to record the outcomes?
  • How will the success of the project be measured?
6. Sustainability

Will the project be able to continue at the completion of the funding period?

  • Will the activity/service ensure ongoing positive impact beyond the direct funding program?
  • Will the project make a lasting difference to the participants and/or the community?
  • What is the level of support from the community and stakeholders for the project to continue after the funding period?


7. Budget

Prepare a detailed budget outlining the costs associated with the project.

  • Identify what items the funding body will and will not fund.
  • A budget may include the costs of staff, equipment, supplies, travel, telephone, printing, postage, venue costs, marketing and promotion, insurance and audit costs.
  • Don’t over-estimate the costs. Obtain quotes for equipment.
  • Include in-kind donations that your organization can provide to the project such as office space or a venue for training or an administration assistant for 3 hours per week.
8. Attachments

Attachments can help authenticate your organization’s services and its credibility within the community

  • Auditor’s reports/statements
  • Organizational material such as brochures
  • Information on key personnel/board members
  • Letters of recommendation and endorsement
  • Architect drawings
9. Allocation of grant

If you are successful in receiving a grant, you will be required to sign a contract and submit progress reports to the funding body.

  • Once you receive a grant, acknowledge it by letter.
  • If you were not successful, find out why by asking for feedback from the funding body.
  • Publicise the funding received on your website & if possible through local media stories in newspapers, on radio or in a newsletter.
  • At appropriate stages of the project acknowledge the source of funding.

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