Startups are difficult business entities to get off the ground, let alone get funding for development via grants. Grants are free funding opportunities for businesses and noprofits that are typically given by governments and private organizations. The grants are authored as proposals by those wishing to get funding and they generally entail the business owner’s objectives, a plan as well as a reasonable budget. But this is not all that should be entailed during grant writing. A good grant proposal should consider the following:
1. Know the Mission of the Proposal
Startups normally have a mission and when they seek funding they look for organizations that go for the same mission. It is not advisable to tailor-fit your startup to the funding body in order to get the grant. The main objective of grant writing should be to get financial support from entities with the same vision as yours. It might take a little more time to find a great match, but having more in common with the grantor can significantly increase your odds of getting funding.
2. Do Extensive Research
Before engaging in grant writing, it is important to carry out extensive research on state agencies, private foundations and other organizations that give grants to startups. Look into the organizations that have been funded by the same funders and try and relate them to your startup.
3. Determine a Strategic Way of Approach
The best way to determine a way of approach is by establishing contact with potential funders through telephone calls, email or a physical office visit. Establishing contact helps in cultivating a relationship with the potential funders. Through the relationship, one could tell whether the funder is interested in the startup and what they would like to see as the initial document of entry for a proposal. Some organizations prefer a letter of inquiry while others prefer a concept paper before the actual proposal.
4. Get to Know the Funder
While grant writing, the proposal should be prescriptive of what the funder wants. It is difficult to write a grant if you do not know what the funder wants. It would be wrong to write a proposal then go looking for a grant.
5. Follow Instructions of the RFP
Request for Proposals (RFP) normally come with guidelines that assist in grant writing. The instructions are geared towards helping startups give full information of what the funders want as well as the format in which the information should be presented. The requirements should be followed to the letter.