If you are not using a checklist before you’re submitting your grant application, you could be shooting yourself in the foot! Too frequently, grant applications are often rejected for simple mistakes and missing items. Having a checklist should be an essential part of your process before you submit your grant proposal.
Use the checklist below to make sure your application is well written, contains all the necessary supporting documents, and meets the grant criteria. You will need to allocate enough time to thoroughly review your application, and if possible, seek feedback from your peers or supporters.
Grant Application Checklist
1. Guidelines and documents:
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have read all documents and know the aim of the grant program, eligibility criteria, and closing date and time.
2. Application form:
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have used the correct application form and followed the process outlined in the grant guidelines.
3. Checked my idea:
▢ YES ▢ NO – My proposal is strong and aligns with the aim of the grant.
4. Considered my audience:
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have written my grant application assuming the assessor knows nothing about my business or the project.
5. Language and tone:
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have used simple, positive business language (and included no jargon, vague, speculative, or negative wording).
▢ YES ▢ NO – My answers are concise and within the required word count.
7. Targeted answers:
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have not duplicated my answers and all sections have been completed.
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have outlined my project budget as required in the guidelines.
▢ YES ▢ NO – I’ve included useful headings so readers can skim the content.
▢ YES ▢ NO – I’ve included the same keywords used as in the grant guidelines and assessment criteria.
▢ YES ▢ NO – The consistent formatting applied and answers are in the same sequence as the application form (if applicable).
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have had my application thoroughly reviewed by 2 or more people.
▢ YES ▢ NO – I have had my application proofread by 2 or more people.
14. Final check:
▢ YES ▢ NO – All information has been provided to support the application as outlined in the guidelines.
See if you answer ‘YES’ to everything above. However, if you have answered ‘NO’ to any items, you should follow up on these missing items before submitting your application.
Once you’ve submitted your grant application, be patient while waiting to hear back from the funding source. If your proposal was rejected, this could be an opportunity to reapply at a later date. Any rejection, taken well, can lead to much better grant-seeking in the future.
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