5 Steps to Start Your Grant Application
The grant opportunity has been announced. You have prepared for this! You have a project plan, you have partners lined up, you have all of your registrations and policies and procedures in place – you are grant ready. What is your next step in the grant application process? We all have our own rituals and processes to get started on the first draft of the grant application. Here is what has worked for me on my federal grants.
Read & Rip
- Read! Download and read everything you can – ALL of the guidelines, regulations, general sections, NOFA/RFP, addendums, and anything else the funder mentions within the announcement and their website.
- Read! Read it all, again!
- Rip it apart! I go header-by-header, bullet point by bullet point and create an application outline.
- Score it! I create a scoring matrix. The matrix allows us, and our reviewers, to score the full application before we submit it.
- File it! I create shared draft folders and final version folders. The final folders are shared with a select few.
Once the grant opportunity is announced, you usually have between 30 to 45 days to complete your application. Grants are highly competitive. Take the time you need to create your grant application framework, it will serve you well throughout the chaos of grant application development through the day you submit your grant.
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