Kristie Lorette reports:
"Applying for a small business grant is a competitive process. The grant money is supplied for specific types of businesses, and those responsible for dispensing the money must review what usually amounts to a litany of applications to select the business or businesses that will receive the money. The most important way to raise the chances of success in applying for a grant is to write a successful proposal. The proposal should detail the business’ mission and activities, future goals, reasons for requesting the grant money and plans for using the grant money...Review your business plan, and make a list of all information about your business’ mission and goals. The proposal committee wants information not only about the type of business you operate but also about your objectives for that business. Take the time to write out this information for yourself in advance...Research the grant program, its objectives and those who run it. In other words, complete some background work to see how you can tailor the proposal to meet the requirements of the grant program. Understanding where the proposal committee is coming from will help you in drafting an effective proposal...Make a list of all criteria for grant approval. The call for proposals should contain a clear statement of the evaluation criteria and how the grant committee will consider each proposal. Review these carefully before even drafting, and list them out to compare to your proposal...Explain your business and its objectives clearly and effectively. Focus on action words to describe business activities, and look for opportunities to indicate what sets your business apart from others...Discuss your target market and how you are reaching that market. Grant money should not remain stagnant, so the proposal committee needs to see how you will put the money to good use in expanding your business...Present your proposed budget for the grant money. Be as specific as possible, explaining how the money will be used and why. Offer charts and graphs to show allocation and expected growth...Provide clear headings and sub-heading for the reviewers to follow. Maintain consistency in font size and style throughout the document to ensure readability. The grant proposal should contain all of the required information and be easy to follow from start to finish...If you have any trouble understanding the stated criteria or other jargon from the call for proposals, be sure to call or email the contact person...Some grant proposals require a specific template, or a template is available to use. Where possible, use a template, as this provides consistency for the proposal committee...Review sample grant proposals online to see how other proposals are constructed."
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