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Grant application tips

Applying for a grant can be daunting – especially if you’ve never done it before! Here are a few tips to make the process of applying quick and easy. 

Get ready 

Every successful project needs a plan. Before starting your grant application, ensure you have as much information as possible. Most, if not all, funders will want to see the folllowing: 

  • The project plan. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to achieve? Who will benefit? A well-thought-out project plan will make it easier for you to tell your story.

  • A detailed budget. Make sure that you give a breakdown of costs and potential income. Remember to add contributions such as in-kind donations and volunteer hours as these will help to show the true scope of the undertaking. 

It’s also a good idea to have the following documents on-hand before you start: 

  • Entity registration (if applicable). If you are applying on behalf of a group, this could be a charity or incorporated society registration. 

  • Proof of bank account. In general, this needs to be less than 6 months old. 

  • Supporting documents. These can include letters of support from the community, studies you might have already undertaken, or any other information that will support your application. 

Find your funder 

There are many funders out there, each with their own criteria on what they can and can’t fund. This list has a range of funding options within our region that you might like to explore.

Once you believe you have found a suitable funder, make sure that you check the following: 

  • Funding criteria. Double-check that you are eligible for a grant based on the criteria the funder has outlined. If you aren’t sure whether you meet the criteria or not, contact the funder directly to clear up any confusion. 

Closing dates. In general, grants can’t be given retrospectively, i.e. grant money can’t be used to pay for something that’s already happened, so it is important to start the applications process as soon as possible. Bear in mind that grant applications aren’t quick to prepare and, once submitted, can take several weeks to go through the approval process. 

Write your application 

Once you have all your ducks in a row, you can start the application.  

  • Keep it clear and concise. Use plain language to bring your point across. The provider will want to be able to pick out the facts quickly and easily, so avoid purple prose. 

  • Be accurate. Ensure that the information you provide is up-to-date, honest, and correct. 

  • Do a language check. Spelling and grammar mistakes may distract from the application, especially if it clouds the intended meaning. Let someone else proofread the application or use an online grammar and spelling tool such as Grammarly to check your language. 

  • Provide all the required information. Go through the application again to ensure that all the required information has been provided. 

Keep track 

  • Keep it together. Collate all the information you have gathered in one spot for easy reference. This will save you from hunting for documents and rewriting key pieces of information when applying for other grants. 

  • Create a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet like the one below can help you keep track of applications and key funding dates.

Application tracking template
Download XLSX • 45KB


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