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10 Tips For Writing A Successful Grant Proposal


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Generally, clients will ask us to complete Grant Proposals on their behalf, but occasionally some clients will choose to write their own proposals. Time is often the critical factor as most clients are simply too busy to spend the time to write proposals to a level which is accepted by the funder and the proposal accepted. In this case clients have generally used our Grant Finder Report to identify what fund to apply for and decided to complete the proposal themselves.

We therefore thought we would write this article to help with what we consider 10 top tips when applying yourself.

  1. Read the eligibility criteria – Before you spend hours of time in completing a proposal make sure you fit the eligibility criteria, or you will fail at the first hurdle. There is usually a range of criteria you must meet in order from qualify, this will be clearly outlined by the funder.
  2. Make sure you have all the supporting documentation – Most proposal will require some sort of supporting documentation or give you the opportunity to upload documents to support your application. This can range from past accounts, financial forecasts, quotes from suppliers, Promotional PDF’s etc. Often this will take time to get together it is advisable not to leave this too late, or you will not be able to complete the proposal on time.
  3. Start in good time to finish on time – Don’t rush or you could miss valuable detail that could make the difference between success and failure. Quite often we are approached just hours before a deadline and are expected to write a successful proposal, we will usually decline. It takes time to write a detailed proposal and pull together the appropriate supporting documentation, so be aware of deadlines and plan your time appropriately.
  4. Answer the questions you are asked to answer, not what you want to answer – Sounds silly but do read the questions and provide the information the funder requires and not the information you want to tell them. You will usually find this information in the guidance supplied by the funder. It’s all to easy to get carried away and write what you feel a funder wants to hear, rather than what the actually do want to hear, especially when it’s your own business.
  5. Lay out your application before you start – This will make the process far easier when you come to write when you have collected all the information. Planning will make sure you cover all the required points the funder requires and do so in a logical order making sure your proposal flows and you don’t repeat yourself.
  6. Write in a manor that the funder will understand – Be careful not to use language and jargon that a funder might not understand. If they can’t understand what you are describing they will be less likely to approve you proposal and you will not be successful.
  7. Do not exceed the word count – You are often given a word count for a reason, so be careful not to exceed what is required. Sometimes if the proposal is uploaded to a portal, excess words might be cut off, so be careful, if you draft in a word processing package first, then copy & paste, make sure all your words are uploaded. If not, your answer might be cut short and not make sense.
  8. When appropriate back up your application with true facts – Especially if you are making a factual statement such as Unemployment Figures, make sure your facts are correct and reference where you got the figures from. Otherwise, how will the funder know you are actually making comparisons with what is fact, especially when you are asking for funds to solve a problem in society or make a difference to an industry sector.
  9. Proofread Your Proposal – Don’t just submit your first draft, leave it, read, improve and repeat until you are satisfied that the grammar and the proposal is the best you can do. Remember these funds are usually oversubscribed, so your proposal needs to be better than the competition. If possible, ask a third party to proofread on your behalf, often they will spot errors you don’t as you are often too engrossed in your own proposal.
  10. Answer further questions promptly – Once your proposal is submitted, a funder could come back to you for further clarification on some of the detail you have written. Make sure you respond to this in a prompt and proper manner, even if you feel the questions are trivial or have already been stated in your proposal. Responding promptly will keep the process flowing build a relationship with the funder.

We do hope you have found these tips of use when writing your own proposal and we wish you every success. It’s generally not a quick process and to complete properly will take time.

If you do find you are just too busy to complete your own proposal, then don’t worry, you are not alone. For most of our clients, time is an issue and that’s where we come in. Afterall it is not always possible to do everything.

Remember we can take this burden away and leave you to do what you do best and run your business, while we write a proposal on your behalf.

To find out more, CLICK HERE to find out how our Grant Writing Service works or….

For further details…


call us on 0121 389 5053 

Book an online Appointment HERE

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