Like those old superstitions and tales about vampires, ghosts, or any supernatural creatures that thrived back then, grant writing also has its own share of myths or false beliefs. There are half true or even false in nature. Know the grant writing basics now!
Here are some of the beliefs that most individuals have about grant and proposal writing:
Myth 1: Grant money is only for the “famous.”
Although some may think that big and prestigious entities usually get the funds because of their names and fame, this is not true. Yes, there are some institutions that receive huge amounts of money from the same funding source year after year. But this is because these institutions have already established their ability to handle such projects and have proven themselves as good stewards of grant money.
Also, due to the publicity that these big institutions receive, many people think that they don’t stand a chance in competing with these “giants.” The truth is, there are also a number of individuals and smaller organizations that receive funding from a certain funder. The thing is: they don’t receive the same publicity that “bigger” recipients get.
Myth 2: There is no more money left out there.
Assumptions that the “pot of gold” is already empty aren’t true. In fact, there are hundreds of millions of dollars out there waiting to be claimed by various grant seekers. You just have to know the right place to look for this free money and the kind of projects or programs that usually get the funds.
Myth 3: Grant money is given to those who are most in need of funding.
The need of each applicant varies and there is no exact yardstick that can be used to measure whether one needs much more than the other. Moreover, most grant donors are already sick and tired of hearing the cliché “we ask for a funding aid of…” or “we need this… and that” mantra of many grant seekers. Thus, don’t focus on your need, but you should highlight your strengths and qualifications and your capacity to meet the funder’s goals.
Myth 4: Deadline is not important.
Funding sources are strict when it comes to deadlines. Thus, they set schedules and expect applicants to follow them. If you fail to submit your proposal on time, you will need to wait for the next grant cycle or seek funds from other sources.
Myth 5: Two or more heads in writing a grant proposal is better than one.
Having two or more people working over a single proposal is more time consuming and costly than one can ever imagine. I’m not saying that collaborating or working with teams is that bad. It’s just that grant writing is much more like writing a book or a novel. When two or more individuals decided to work on a proposal, chances are, their writing style may ‘clash’ with one another. The same is true with grant proposals. There is a great possibility that parts of your proposal may not fit perfectly with one another. Mismatched and contradicting sections can eventually result to a messy and muddled proposal.
Grant Writing Basics
Believing in these myths may ruin your chance of writing a competent grant request. Here are some tips that you can use to ensure that you are on the right track when writing your proposal.
1. Make sure that your proposal is complete and contains all the needed sections.
2. Be straightforward, clear, and simple. Avoid using too many jargon and unfamiliar words in your proposal.
3. Establish how unique you are. There are many grant seekers applying in every agency. Some, if not most, of the proposal sound generic and redundant. These kinds of proposals usually don’t get funded since they sound like the other proposals. Incorporate details that can differentiate you from the rest of the applicants.
4. Exert effort to get your project funded every grant season. Don’t let the opportunity of securing a steady source of fund slip away. Collect pieces of evidences that can attest to the quality of your performance.
Knowing the grant writing basics will help you compose a good written request. If you can’t make one, seek help from expert grant writers.