The Grantseeker Manual

The Grantseeker Manual contains some useful information around topics such as:

  1. Know your project: planning
  2. Understanding the grantmaker
  3. Understanding guidelines and asking 1uestions
  4. Maintaining the relationship
  5. Links and further reading

It contains useful tips on a range of topics. For example here are some general tips on writing an application:

  • Keep your submission short – less than five pages, unless a longer application is required by the grantmaker. You want to avoid repetition and unnecessary information, and to make it easy for the grantmaker to quickly grasp what your application is all about.
  • Avoid politics. This is important, even if you feel frustrated and impeded by something associated with that grantmaker. Remember that a grant application to a government body is not the right arena to be venting your frustration about a particular government regulation or decision; the people reading your application are not responsible for that particular decision, and they are unlikely to have any influence over policy changes you might want. You will only be frustrating the person reading the application, and wasting your own time.
  • Remember that the benefit to the community is the most important thing about your application.
  • Assume that the reviewer of this submission is an intelligent lay person familiar with your field only in broad terms. They won’t be an expert in everything you are an expert in. If you use particular jargon or abbreviations, you should explain them clearly in footnotes, endnotes or in brackets.
  • Use plain language, short paragraphs, and clear sentences. You can use headings and subheadings, and dot points, to make it easy for the person reading the application to skip to the part they need.
  • Make sure there is plenty of white space in your application, and don’t try to dazzle the grantmaker by printing each paragraph in a different colour, or by using pictures which are irrelevant to the application. Don’t include a picture from a stock photo library. Photos, if you use them, should actually convey information about your organisation and project – they should not be generic.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
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