By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on August 26, 2020
Filed under: Economic Development, Guest Blog

3 Tips for Writing a Strong Grant Proposal

At Platinum PR, we’re happy to be collaborating with Nichola Ostrander of Ostrander’s Consulting to provide grant writing support for our clients. We’ve invited Nichola to share a few tips with you today about how to write a strong grant proposal. Here’s Nichola:

Right now, there are so many opportunities to get funding for communities. Since the CARES Act was signed into effect, there have been multiple programs created to help small businesses during COVID.

The Federal program consists of the Payment Protection Plan, SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Several state and local municipalities have also added grant programs for small businesses, and the number of grant opportunities is growing by the day.

These grants have resulted from businesses being affected in multiple ways by the COVID-19 Pandemic. For instance, some small businesses have needed assistance while they have had to close, pay employees, or alter their business model when possible in order to operate – even at a lesser capacity.

Small businesses and municipalities have all been economically affected by the closures and changes in doing business during the pandemic, which has resulted in a higher number than usual of grant applicants for every opportunity for funding.

This is why having a strong grant proposal is so important! Read below for tips on writing a strong grant proposal.

Tip #1: Make sure you have all the components to develop a strong need statement or problem statement. These components consist of data that shows the extent of the problem, proof that the target population is eligible for funding under the funding guidelines, and an explanation of why the new project is requiring grant funding to be a successful project.

Tip #2: Do not scrimp on the project development phase of the proposal process. Use kickoff and planning meetings to flesh out the elements and to review and attend to the potential obstacles in order to achieve the project objectives. This plan should address everything that will occur from the grant award to the end of the funding period. A timeline, even if estimated, is fundamental for success in securing your grant funds.

Tip #3:  When developing the budget, make sure you are able to answer three key questions: 

  1. Is the amount of money I am requesting sufficient to achieve the objectives I have proposed?
  2. Is the amount of money reasonable or outlandish or somewhere in between for what I want to do?
  3. Did I make sure I accounted for all staff working on the project?

These are the most vital questions to answer when creating a budget. You should also make sure that you are taking the time to gather the proper figures for all aspects as they relate to your overall budget.

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A note from Sandy:

Thank you for sharing your expertise, Nichola!

Within Economic Development, there are a lot of activities you cannot contract out – like business retention efforts or day-to-day support. Perhaps grant writing is one activity you can get outside support with from experienced professionals.

As always, Platinum PR is a team that thrives in supporting our Economic Development community. If you want to apply for grants, but don’t have the bandwidth to create the proposals, think of us as an extension of your team.

PPR is collaborating with Nichola Ostrander of Ostrander’s Consulting to provide our clients with grant writing support. In addition to Nichola’s Bachelors of Science in Organizational Management and Masters of Art in Community Development, she has six years of successful experience writing state, federal, and private grant applications to benefit businesses, non-profits, and municipalities. Nichola has effectively secured over 2 million dollars to date in grant funding for multiple projects through New York State. She has experience in commercial developments, façade and infrastructure improvement programs, housing rehabilitation, playground upgrades, and so much more.

We’d be thrilled to help you pursue outside funding so you can next-level your community and provide even greater support for your local businesses.

Leave a comment below to start a conversation.

‘Til next time,
Sandy

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