Everyone has things to do that they keep on making excuses for. Such as cleaning out the closet or finishing a book they started reading a long time ago. You do not want to add to this list of excuses, submitting your grant application. Grants are great opportunities to help move projects forward, create momentum, and help implement change in the community. Yet, many people do not apply for US financial aid out of fear, not just limited resources and time. As you read on, you will learn of the common excuses that people use to avoid applying for grants and why it is important they overcome them.
1. Writing a grant proposal is too complicated
Most people create this excuse because they believe writing the application itself is not the challenge, but developing a plan for the proposal. The applications that the funders reject are those that the grant writers did not adhere to the funder’s guidelines. Yet, a great application is understanding what the funder wants and answering the questions in the cohesive narrative. Because of this, you must take your time thinking about the proposal, collect all the data and statistics that will help in supporting the activities and your arguments. Then, get people to help review your application before you submit it.
2. Only previous applicants or large organizations get awarded grants
The only reason an organization gets awarded grants continuously is that they have shown they can manage funds well and are good fiscal stewards. So, if your chances of getting the grant for the first time are low. Use the opportunity to develop relationships with the funders to make them aware of who you are when you try out next. Optionally, you can consider looking for grant projects that reward collaboration and use this opportunity to collaborate with organizations that have a better record at receiving grants. Also, you can consider your organization going for smaller, and less competitive grants to help you develop a track record of implementing projects and managing finances to impress large grant funders in the future.
3. There’s no money out there
This statement has some truth in it. But do not use it as an excuse not to apply for a grant. Sometimes grant funding is minimal due to certain factors. Such as organizational priorities, economy, and governmental policies. However, this should not make you feel that there are no grants to go after. There are always grant-making foundations giving out millions of dollars in grants. Therefore, the key is to be persistent in building relationships with funders, monitoring grant announcements, and getting creative with how your proposal aligns with your funder’s mission.
4. You need money to match the grant
Although some grants need a monetary match, especially those that distribute large amounts and many federal grants. If your community or organization lacks these funds, it is best to not apply for these grants. However, there are other grants you can seek that are smaller and easy to manage when you are awarded. So, begin with applying for grants with a volunteer in-kind match or that need no match at all. In this way, they will help build your confidence as you get used to the process. Take note of the grant funders that need a match for the grant, so that you can try again in the future for their next funding cycle.
5. I will apply next year
This is a common excuse for most grant seekers, and it will lead you to try none let alone winning one. Where you cannot put a well-thought-out grant application before you submit it. Avoid submitting it for the sake of it. However, if you have adequate time to plan and give out a grant submission, it is wise to try it. So, get started and in case you miss the deadline. For the next one, spend time planning and organizing to submit on time. Also, in case you get a chance to be on a grant review committee, do so. The grant reviewers are the best grant writers. So, start somewhere, do not create an excuse for trying the next year.