Below you will find a list of basic steps that will assist you in applying for grants. This is not a check list, but rather a place to get started.
- Concept paper – A way to outline and discuss the scope of your project. This is also a good format to share your project with other people. Use this paper to address the following questions: What is the project? What area of need are you trying to address? What are your goals? etc. Be sure to discuss your project concept paper with and get feedback from your community and/or council.
- Identify your funder – Begin by searching for funders that match your project goals. Make sure that your project is relevant to the funder as well as to your community. Learn as much as you can about the funder. What is the range of grants awarded? Has the funder given money to similar projects before? Has the funder given money to others in your region? Read through any published materials by the organization to make sure they match your project and objectives.
- Contact the preferred funder – To get more information, contact the funder that matches your project and objectives most closely. Be sure to contact them in the manner in which they indicate; follow the funders’ guidelines exactly. They will usually let you know how they want to be contacted and how the process of applying will begin. Be sure to read through any information that mentions ‘guidelines’ ‘how to apply’ ‘helpful hints’ etc.
- Once it is appropriate to contact the funder, make sure you are completely prepared to answer and ask questions. Take this time to introduce your project and organization. Find out if they are interested in your project, how much you can request, and steps you should take to apply for funding.
- Submit a letter of request or complete proposal package. If the funder invites you to apply, submit a letter of request or a complete proposal package; the funder will let you know which they require. Be sure to follow their guidelines for the letter of request or proposal package exactly. See Helpful Hints for more information.
- Hear from your funder – If your proposal was declined, be sure to call your funder to find out why. Ask for suggestions when applying for future grants and thank them for their consideration. Whether your project is funded or not, follow up with a phone call or thank you letter.
- Final report – Depending on the funder, a final report may be requested after the completion of your project.