As we discussed in Part I and Part II of our blog series entitled “5 Overlooked Grant Basics,” reviewers want proposals with well-planned, specific projects backed by solid numerical data. But what else are grant funders really looking for? These additional tips can further help you look at your proposal through the eyes of the reviewer.
One of the “hidden” aspects of writing a successful grant application is providing strong letters of support in your application. Letters of support are typically required from partners if the proposal includes them. Optional letters may be from other parties who may or may not be directly involved in the project, but who can vouch for the value of proposed work and the qualifications of the applicant.
Grant applications with multiple collaborators and supporters tend to fare better than solitary applications. Funders like agencies that leverage, rather than duplicate, existing resources. Funders also like groups that are aware enough to understand the local support ecosystem and can operate efficiently with others in their space. Furthermore, funders respond favorably knowing their dollars are stretched further by assistance from other partners.Strong partners will not only appeal to the funder, but they can also participate in developing the proposal. Often they can provide additional data to support need and potential impact. They’ll frequently review proposal drafts and provide useful suggestions and criticisms to strengthen the content.