Upon knowing the availability of grants in your community or state, you readily grab the opportunity to apply. There is nothing wrong with that. When opportunity knocks, grab it. But the question is: are you ready? Sometimes, grant seekers must assess themselves (and their ideas) before applying for funding. You may still be unprepared. You may have hoped too much; thus, you might also fall too deep after the results of the grant application have been announced. It may be too late for you to realize your mistakes. You have already wasted your time and money.
Mistakes in Grant Writing to Avoid
If you are one of those who are very excited to apply for a grant, do not be drowned by your emotions. Be focused and think about your chances. To help you with the process, below are some of the common mistakes often committed by grant applicants, which you must avoid:
1. Too proud of their ideas.
Because the project’s ideas were their own, they get too thrilled that they were not able to notice that they failed to specify their programs or project activities. They did not even have their grant proposals reviewed by their peers or did not listen to the comments of other people. They thought that their good ideas were enough to capture the interest of the funding sources, with which they have submitted their grant proposals. They were wrong. But they only learned about it upon review of the critics. This is already too late, right?
2. Too ambitious.
They often say that some people reach the point of promising heaven and earth just to prove their position. But with grants, this cannot become possible. As project director, you must only do what you can. You must only propose a project in your and your organization’s capacity. You must not target the whole nation if you are only capable of helping the local community. You must not say that you will reduce the number of homeless people in the whole state, when you can only contribute to its reduction in the local setting.
3. Too greedy to hide.
Reviewers can ‘smell’ greediness through proposals. With their expertise, they can easily tell if the one asking for funding is only attempting to “get grants.” They can easily notice overpricing and inclusion of unnecessary items on the budget request. No one is clever enough to hide from the scrutiny of grant reviewers.
4. Acting out late.
Some grant seeker do mind deadlines, but what they do not mind is the importance of giving enough time for grant proposals to be written. One week is not enough to organize your thoughts and at the same time, have your written request. Two weeks is okay, but a month is better and much preferred. By doing so, you can still have one to two days to set aside what you have finished and then make the final review. This process or approach can help you find flaws in your ideas. So, the next time you see a funding notice, carefully evaluate if your group can meet the expected deadline, without sacrificing the time allotted for the writing of the proposal.
5. Use of generic or grant proposal templates.
This is the very mistake of every grant applicant. They use generic grant proposals; thus, they fail to address or even highlight the specific requirements of each foundation or institution. Remember, not all grant makers ask for the same content or look for the same substance in grant proposals. They have different needs and focus; hence, a proposal template will not fit. Each proposal must be customized for each funding institution.
These are only five of the many mistakes committed by grant seekers. If you are seriously seeking funding for your project, do not commit any of these mistakes, or else your project will most likely receive disapproval. It is better to work slowly, but surely; rather than thinking and working fast, not knowing that you are going to nowhere.
Want an effective written request? Seek help from expert grant writers.