When we think of grants, we automatically think of grants for nonprofit organizations seeking funding. There is also a whole world of grants available for small businesses!
A business generally generates its own revenue, but with many complications, the revenue generated may not be enough for their business to survive. Entrepreneurs require a constant flow of cash to pay for the expenses necessary for their business, such as rent, marketing, payroll, etc.
During Covid-19, many businesses were hit hard and are struggling to keep their doors open. Many for-profits were compelled to let go of numerous employees and programs. The lack of businesses and jobs tremendously impacted our economy.
Fortunately, businesses can turn to grants to gain funding lost due to the pandemic, and for their necessary costs to uphold their business.
How to find business grants
Businesses can find grants by using a grant search engine such as GrantWatch.com. This dynamic website is used by businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. You may select your location and a category of grants that you are interested in, ie. Health and Medical.
Check if you are eligible for the grants
When viewing the information of a grant, take notice of all the requirements of the funder. It may include a minimum time of existence of your company, a specific county, programs that you plan to provide for the target community, a minimum annual growth income, etc.
If you do not meet the eligibility requirements, do not submit the grant proposal for that grant. It is not worth your time, as your company may be overlooked by the funder.
Although, you may still consider the grant if you can meet the specifics eventually. Many businesses will create specific programs requested by the funder (as a requirement) in order to apply for a grant. It will definitely be worthwhile when the grant is awarded to your business.
Contact the Funding Source
If you have additional questions, regarding your eligibility, the turnaround time of the award, etc., the best thing to do is to contact the funding source directly. They may also give you more information as to what they are looking for in their applicants.
Moreover, it is best to introduce yourself to the funder to create a good first impression. When there is an existing relationship with the grantor, it may give your company a heads up, when dealing with a non-government funding source, over your competitors that are applying for the same grant.
How to write a winning business grant proposal
Here are some tips that will assist you in your grant writing process, and help you secure the proper funding for your business!
Research the funding source
It is extremely important and beneficial to research the funding source before beginning to write your grant proposal.
The first reason would be to make sure that you are eligible for the grant.
The second reason would be to understand how to best appeal to the funding source. You can do so by looking at the previous companies that were awarded the grant, and how much funding they have been awarded. Furthermore, visit the funder’s website and do as much research as you can on their interests and requests.
This is essential so that you understand what the grantor wants to see in your grant proposal. When including information regarding your company, make sure to align as best as possible with the funder’s interests.
Follow the grant guidelines
Grantors include a list of requirements for their grants. It is essential to heed to these guidelines. A simple oversight may land your grant proposal in the reject pile.
(For example, if a funder requests double spacing in your text- make sure to adhere to this!)
Additionally, if the grantor is requiring the promotion of economic research, make sure to highlight your company’s achievements and programs in this area.
Structure the grant correctly
The grant will generally include a structured outline that they want you to follow. But at the very least, make sure to include these sections in your grant:
- Cover letter
- Executive summary
- Statement of need/Problem statement
- Project Description
- Budget Information and Budget Narrative
- Evaluation of the Program’s Success
The Executive Summary Should Stand Out
The executive summary is the first part of the proposal that the funder will be reading. Therefore, it is essential to write an executive summary that is eye-catching, causing the reader to have an interest in reading the rest of your proposal. Make sure that your summary is an enjoyable read.
In this document, the goal is to convince the grantor that your proposed program is necessary. Explain the urgent need for the program, and the results you expect from it. You must also persuade the grant reviewer that your business has the expertise to carry out this program.
Include specifics in your summary and summarize the proposal’s main points.
Convey a Professional Image
Make certain to write clearly, so that your proposal is easily understood by the grantor. Your proposal must be written concisely, to ensure that each sentence has meaning and is essential to the proposal.
Use proper spelling and grammar, so that your proposal is written professionally and clearly. One simple mistake can throw the grantor off.
You must convey that your business is a professional setting and that you hold an educated persona. When addressing your business and the funding source – do it professionally.
Proofread and review your proposal, abide by all the grant’s requirements, and convey a professional image.
Hire a grant writer
It may seem like finding a grant is an easy task – although it is time-consuming and tedious. Grant Writing is a meticulous form of writing. Grants are extremely detail-oriented and must be well written. If these aspects are out of your skillset, consider hiring a grant writer.
A grant writer’s expertise and experience can increase your chances of being awarded the grant. A grant writer can also find the grant for you – as they can research what grants are the best fit for your business.
Adar Danan is a professional writer, social media manager, and customer service specialist. She is especially interested in grants, funding, crowdfunding, and grant writing.