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How to get funded with grant applications.

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

It’s important to keep in mind that the decision makers read many grant applications.

Make it easy for them to select yours.

The following are common mistakes charities make when submitting grant applications. So, let's go over ways to improve the process and get you funded.

Answer the Question:

A hurdle which is more common than you think answering the desired question/outcomes of the application. This is one of the key elements to get accepted.

Grant funders want to be confidence that you have read and understood their criteria. Different funders will look to achieve this through various outcomes, globally/locally. Your job is to tailor your response to the specific outcomes presented within the application.

Let decision makers know that you have not only considered their questions. But that you have thought about effective ways to satisfy the outcomes. Dependant on the application the level of detail will vary but be sure to stick to the word count provided.

Your answers will be compelling if you can clearly demonstrate that you understand the requirements.

Put simply make sure you answer the question being asked.

Maintain the criteria at the forefront when completing the funding application. It is important to speak the same language as funders to win their attention and show their confidence in your project.

Simple, Consistent + Clear:

An overuse of technical language is a common weakness seen in grant applications. Now I know you're eager to impress the grant provider. Showing your competency and understanding of the funders' desired outcomes is nothing to be ashamed of.

However, be mindful of the funders' background. Are they technically minded or will this present a stumbling block. Sometimes, technical language can be both confusing and distracting simultaneously.

Make sure you pay attention to the set criteria, which often gives you a clear understanding of the preferred language and the questions that must be answered. It is ideal to keep your message short and punchy, but be sure to adhere to the word count and to answer the specific question.

A simple sentence structure and everyday language are fine to drive home key details. Funders look for evidence that you understand their objectives and have clearly outlined a plan for achieving them.

A clear financial story is a powerful tool that can be used in the process. It also includes providing financial documents that demonstrate your history of fund applications. In this area, make sure you follow the funder's requirements. For example, an annual budget for the organisation may be required from all applicants.

Follow the Format:

Grants and tenders have a strict structure that ensures that all related submissions can be fairly assessed and compared. And with relative ease for the reader”. (


Whether or not a grant application is accepted will depend on its formatting instructions. Consider the sheer number of applicants who are screened during the application process.

All of these individuals are passionate and dedicated to making a difference in their communities. As they strive to survive the year, they need funding to help them achieve their goals.

Formatting your application should consider the following factors:

  • If you are applying online, text boxes might have notes regarding strict word limitations. Be guided here by the instructions – not every questionnaire is set up to automatically limit your word-count.

  • If there are no such restrictions, use clear numbering, spacing and subheadings to name each specific item and then address it clearly in your response.

  • Check whether your response requires a separate cover letter or a summary statement.

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