How do I get my grant application to stand out?

One of the most important things you need to do when applying for grant funding is to make sure your application stands out. While there are a lot of criteria that funding sources look at, making sure your proposal looks professional and well thought-out can be just as important as having all the right qualifications. Here are a few tips to help ensure your nonprofit organization stands out when applying for funding:

  1. Contact the funder before you get to writing. Ask them what makes a great grant application stand out.
  2. Prioritize quality over quantity. It’s best to focus on a few key points and make sure they’re well-developed, rather than throwing in too many incomplete details. Make sure your application is clear and concise and if possible, use organizational data to support your key points.
  3. Draft an effective summary or letter of interest (LOI) to support your proposal. Many funding sources will only read a full application if their LOI or Executive Summary is well-written and clearly aligns with funder priorities.
  4. Follow instructions carefully. Make sure you read all of the funding source’s guidelines thoroughly and follow them to a T. If they ask for something specific, make sure it’s included.
  5. Showcase your organization’s accomplishments and successes when it makes sense. Funding sources want to know more about what you have done in the past, so be sure to include stories of success that showcase the impact you’ve had.
  6. Include a sustainability plan. Make sure it’s a real plan and not just one you through together for the sake of the application. Many funders won’t fund a project or program if they think you won’t be able to sustain your program or project long-term.

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