Thinking About Going After Government Grants? Think Carefully.

Many organizations often ask me whether it’s easy to get government money. You just fill in some forms, send them in and you get a cheque in the mail for that great new program. Is it that simple? Not quite so.

It’s becoming increasingly harder for non-profit organizations to get grant money from any level of government. More organizations are competing for limited funds. Organizations have to be very clear in articulating their reasons in their grant application for needing funds. Why should the government pick your organization to fund over the one down the street offering similar programs?

Funders want to see big, lasting impacts on the community. Can your application demonstrate clear outcomes and performance indicators? How will they be measured? Your application, including your project workplans and performance measures must be bullet-proof.

Funders also want to see collaborative efforts with other stakeholders – members of the community that your organization serves, and any partner organizations. Working together with community partners gives the funder confidence in the long-term success of your proposed initiative – confidence that your project is for the common benefit of the community.

Understand the funder. Take some time to review and understand their funding priorities, application guidelines, procedures and deadlines. Meet with the funder well-before the application deadline. The biggest mistake many organizations make is writing their application without ever having had a conversation with the funder – and then they ask me what happened. Get to know the funder and whether your financial “ask” is realistic.

So, writing a winning grant application is a lot more work than just filling out some forms. It’s highly competitive. And it’s not an easy process to navigate. A skilled grant writer can offer value at every step – from helping your organization understand the funder’s requirements, developing your proposal idea, writing the proposal and submitting it.

Let us know how we can help you write that winning proposal.


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