We have all (hopefully) been there…that moment you find the perfect grant to fund your innovative project or important program. You read the Request for Proposals and envision how you are going to spend the money…how this grant is going to support you in achieving your goals in monetary terms. Because that is the most important aspect of getting a grant…correct? The funding is the most imperative part of receiving a grant…right?
Having written millions of dollars in successful grant applications over the last two decades, I have found that there is a potentially greater benefit to developing a grant proposal than the money gained: critical project Ddvelopment.
Developing a grant application – especially one that has the potential for a large amount of funding – opens the opportunity to develop a great project or program beyond what you thought to begin with.
Applying for a grant helps you to “think outside the box” so to speak. Large state and federal grant applications often require you to input a lot of information that typically you wouldn’t think about prior to developing a proposal. As you begin to formulate the how and when and where portions of your application, ideas begin to come to light on how to make your great project or program even better, in a shorter timeframe, and with a more refined focus area.
Developing a grant application gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your project/program team as well. There will be individuals who add value to your application that probably weren’t even considered prior to the solicitation. In addition to developing your team, you will also begin thinking of important project partners that will enhance the important work you are doing.
And let’s talk about those letters of support. These letters from elected officials, agencies, organizations, and individuals voice the importance of what you are doing. They also expand your audience and increase potential additions to the project or program you are working on and other revenue streams that could contribute to your success.
The next time you sit down to start your next grant application…think of it as a strategic development process. Doing this will open up possibilities and opportunities that you didn’t think about before the grant solicitation was announced. You are on your way to success when you look at the bigger picture. As always, good luck in developing both grant strategy and applications to move society forward.