- Do your research. Make sure your sponsoring electric cooperative offers grants for the type of project you are proposing.
- Gather your facts. Grants are not awarded on goodwill alone. Justify your needs and the strength of your proposed project through data and research citations whenever possible.
- Prepare your application answers. Use this sample Bright Ideas Application to view questions and plan your answers in advance before you fill out the online application.
- Get the necessary approvals. Make sure your principal or supervisor is aware of your application, approves of the project and will provide support as needed.
- Only request the amount you need to successfully administer your project. Applications must include accurate estimated costs for the project and show exactly how money will be spent in the budget portion of the application.
- Avoid jargon. Always spell out acronyms and explain terms that non-educators may not understand.
- Be compelling, but don’t overstate your case. Make sure the reader understands your needs and your ability to address those needs through the proposed project.
- Keep it simple. Grant reviewers usually read stacks of proposals in a short amount of time. Don’t overwhelm them with confusing text or graphics.
- Draft, edit, revise, repeat. Know that your first draft will not be the last. Take the time to develop the idea into a comprehensive project plan.
- Have a friend proof your work. Even if you cannot put together a formal grant writing team, find a colleague to review your work and provide suggestions.
- Review guidelines. Make sure you follow the recommended guidelines exactly (format, page limits, budget information).
- Good grant writing = Good writing. Writing for grants is very similar to writing any project plan. With the appropriate time and effort, you can be successful!
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