Funding your dreams: Winning government grant applications
With Caitlin Boucher, Grant and Tender Writer
For most people, writing a grant application is time-consuming and frustrating, especially when it often feels like the odds are stacked against you.
Without the experience of a professional grant writer, it’s difficult at times to understand how to structure grant applications or have the time to look into what each application requires.
But government grants can be an important source of funding to support your business in the early stages when you might be bootstrapping, developing your reputation or seeking to prove a concept.
How do you develop a winning application?
Developing a successful application is never guaranteed, however, here are some tips to help you develop a government grant application with the best chance of being successful.
1. Don’t shoehorn your project into grant funding for the sake of it.
Look for grants that align with the goals and mission of your project or organisation. Most grants have industries they are targeting, or outcomes they want to achieve.
2. Pay close attention to any eligibility requirements, check the guidelines and check for required documents.
Make sure you follow all of the guidelines for the grant application, including any additional documents that need to be provided, formatting or word count requirements. Some government grants require you to complete specific templates for budgets or project plans, so use these if required by the grantor.
3. Write for someone who doesn’t know anything about you or your business.
This one sounds like a given, but it’s important to remember that the assessors looking at your government grant application don’t know anything about you. Be clear about why you, why now and what impact the funding will have on your organisation or project.
4. Proofread your application.
This one is a given, but my personal tip is to walk away from it for a day (at least) and come back with fresh eyes. This is what I do even with client applications. Helps with grammar, and spelling and to make sentences more concise and clear that you may have thought made sense before.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Grant managers aren’t scary people. If you are unsure about any aspect of the government grant application process, don’t hesitate to send off an email to the contact person. They want you to succeed, can offer valuable insights and help ensure that your application is as strong as it can be.
6. Hiring an expert
Of course, to give yourself the best chance at a successful application, hire an expert grant and tender writer.
Grant and tender writers will have specific knowledge or expertise in the area for which the government grant is being sought, which can be valuable when it comes to crafting a compelling application.
They also, surprise surprise, have strong writing skills! The ability to present information in a clear and persuasive manner is extremely important when it comes to convincing a grantor to fund a project.
Grant writers also give you time. Writing a grant or tender can be time-consuming and labour-intensive, and some people may not have the time or resources to devote to it.
By hiring someone you can give yourself time, expertise and support to give you the best chance at success.
Hire me (an expert)!
I’ve managed grants on the inside and applied for grants on the outside for over six years. Before that, my career as a Communications Manager helped my transition to grant writing, because successful grant writers are excellent communicators.
You can book a discovery call with me to talk about your options. Whether you have a specific grant in mind or need assistance in finding the right fit, I am here to help!
About the author
Caitlin is an experienced grant writer in both managing and assessing grants from inside the government, as well as writing government grant applications from the outside.
She has spent much of her career working in innovation hubs and with startups – including as Board Director of Split Spaces in Mackay, Program Manager of the Queensland AI Hub, Community Partnerships Coordinator at UQ Ventures and Community Manager at sqhub.
Caitlin is also part of the AirTree Explorers program with experience in investment and a strong understanding of startup funding. Connect with Caitlin on the Talent Board now.