Who needs a grant writing consultant?
Businesses that are applying for grant funding should consider outsourcing their proposal to a grant writing consultant. Grant writing can benefit all businesses from charities and large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprise. Almost all businesses can benefit from grant writing consultants as they can help strengthen their grant proposal.
You may need to hire a grant writing consultant if you lack:
You might have a lot on your plate at the time when the perfect grant funding opportunity goes live. It’s only natural and it happens all the time, you won’t always have the time to spare writing a proposal. If this is the case, hiring a consultant to help can be beneficial.
If your writing skills aren’t the best, then hiring someone to write your grant application can certainly be valuable. Grant writers can help you convey what you want to say in a way that’ll be attractive to the funder. Try and think of the core ingredients of what you are trying to say. Then, they can help convey it to the funder if you are lost for words.
They may also be able to help if you are a strong writer but are unfamiliar with the grant funding process. Grant writers often have a wealth of experience across a variety of industries. This knowledge can be beneficial in helping you understand what is needed and how to express it successfully.
Grant writers can help you if you’re lacking experience in the subject matter or don’t know the funder well. If you’re submitting a proposal of high value, hiring a grant writer with experience can carry a huge impact.
3 ways a grant writing consultant can benefit your business
They are experts in grant writing
Grant writing consultants are specialists in grant writing. Winning funding for their clients is what they excel in, even if they aren’t an expert in your specific field. They know what works, what doesn’t and what the funder is looking for. They know how to craft a winning grant proposal and understand the specific needs of each funder and funding opportunity.
Grant writing consultants have a wealth of experience
You likely only have one chance to impress a grant funder. Risking it on chance alone can leave you out in the cold. A professional grant writer has a wealth of experience. That combined with a good track record of success can improve your odds greatly.
They know how to plan and approach a proposal
Planning efficiently is essential when submitting any proposal. It’s best to be prepared as some grant funding opportunities may only open once a year. If this is the case, you want to make sure you’re readily prepared.
5 skills a grant writing consultant possesses
Grant applications take time and so having exceptional time management is a key attribute of any grant writing consultant. Strict deadlines need to be met in the run-up to submitting a proposal. Writing a proposal can be months in the making. Grant writers usually have multiple proposals on the go at any given time. As they often have inflexible deadlines, a grant writer’s organisational skills have to be flawless.
Whenever a grant consultant is conducting a proposal, they will need to do research. Research on the funder, research on the project and so on. Having first-rate research abilities is crucial. Such research skills can help them produce a winning funding proposal for your company.
Attention to detail
Great attention to detail is another skill that grant writing consultants possess. A business may employ them to simply do a proofread of their pre-written proposal. For this, and when writing a proposal for their clients, their attention to detail must be superior to their competitors. Great attention to detail enables a grant writing consultant to excel in demonstrating why their client deserves the funding.
They must be able to accurately convey why your business meets the funder’s long-term goals. Moreover, they must be excellent communicators. They’ll justify why your business is the one that should receive the grant funding over your competitors. In order for them to make a career out of this, excellent communication is a given. This is what keep clients coming back for continued use of their service and skills.
Create a strong narrative and be flexible
Being able to create a narrative is often a skill a grant consultant possesses. They need to be able to strongly convey an organisation’s plans in how they’ll delegate the funding appropriately. Flexibility allows you to adapt to changes that may occur at any given time. Funding agencies have a habit of changing the template for grant applications. Being flexible allows a grant writing consultant to stay on top of the game.
The role of the client
- Understand the proposal requirements. Reading the proposal requirements and deciding if the opportunity is right for your business is your decision. Make sure you’re eligible in the first place to apply for the funding. Read the guidance and eligibility criteria thoroughly and carefully. There’s no point appointing a grant writer if your organisation is ineligible. We don’t want anyone to be wasting their time applying for an inappropriate scheme.
- Assemble background materials in advance. It’s your job to know your organisation inside and out. We never claim to be an expert in any industry, only in grant writing proposals. What we do claim, is that we do our best to win funding. Prepare the materials that a writer will need in advance if possible. Building a base and bank of materials that will be required can save everyone time and stress.
- Provide technical input. As you are experts in your industry, we hope that you can explain the technical details and concepts of your business. Detailing why you need the finding, how this supports longevity and a funder’s goals are essential.
- Work with the grant writing consultant. Make sure they have everything they need to write a winning proposal for you. If they ask for any additional information from you, ensure that you give it punctually. They often work to a strict deadline, so punctuality from the client’s end is key. Try your best to stick to agreed deadlines. Whether it’s providing materials, additional documents or a review of their response. If you miss a deadline, they may not be able to overcompensate.
The role of the grant writing consultant
- Do their best to write you a successful and winning proposal for grant funding.
- A grant writing consultant’s goals should be to clearly communicate ideas. Moreover, they should be tailoring the proposal to the guidelines and priorities of each funder.
- Work collaboratively with the client giving clear advice and guidance on what they need from you.
- Plan their time accordingly, writing a high-quality proposal that accurately conveys your organisation’s project. They should be persuading the funder that you are the best organisation for the job.
3 tips on submitting a grant proposal
Demonstrate sustainability, value for money and innovation
Grant-makers want to see how their money and your solution will have a lasting impact. They are looking to award funding to organisations that will help get to the route of an issue.
Proposals that demonstrate value for money will also be critical in any application for grant funding. In order to combat this, your proposal should include the beneficial social, economic and environmental factors of your proposal. Stating the proposed positive outcomes that their funding will have is a sign of a strong proposal. This is something in which grant writing consultants are experts, increasing your chances of success.
Innovation is another key aspect of a grant funding application. More often than not the winning proposal will have an innovative and original solution. Exciting, ground-breaking and exclusive solutions that lead the way are likely to catch a funders eye. Question if your organisation has a truly unique solution to an issue.
Include facts and stats
Evidence is key. If you make a statement, you should be backing up such facts with evidence. This can strengthen your result as funders are looking for statistics that can speak for you. Funders enjoy measurable outcomes and statistics can be a great way to demonstrate this. You should use a credible source where possible to drive your point home.
A useful way to do this to keep you on track is by using the P.E.E method:
Realistically evaluate the running costs and price your project right
Funders want to know that you aren’t going to spend money on unnecessary things. They will be expecting you to demonstrate that you have a sound methodology for financial management. You should realistically evaluate the running costs.
Including past examples of projects where you have managed cash flow successfully can demonstrate your capabilities. This can help reassure funders that their money is going to be in safe hands.
Running costs to consider:
- A business plan for the implementation of the project.
- A cash flow analysis for the use of money.
- A fully costed project.
- The financial controls and safeguards you have in place.
- The degree of financial skills and knowledge within your organisation.
- Previous annual report.
- Your organisation’s annual income and expenditure.
Want more tips on how to bid for funding? Read our 10 tips on how to bid for funding efficiently.
How to identify the right opportunities
Before submitting any proposal to a funder, you should consider if the funding opportunity is right for your organisation.
Identify the need for your service and how your solution meets the need. How will you engage with the intended audience? You should never try to tailor your organisation’s project to fit a funder. You should look for one that aligns with your own aims and proposed outcomes.
Every funder will require something different and have different needs and pre-requisites that should be met. There may be a certain qualification that you need to provide evidence of on page 30 that you don’t see. You don’t want to waste time and resources writing a response if you aren’t eligible to apply.
A good way to decide if the funding opportunity is right for you is by making a checklist. This checklist could include:
- Is this opportunity right for me?
- Can my organisation deliver the funder’s objectives?
- Are there any minimum eligibility criterion?
- Can I meet the specification documents?
- What format is the submission?
- Deadline of final submission – date and time.
- What additional documents need to be submitted – Are there any additional accreditations or qualifications required?
- Case studies – do they need to be provided? If so, how many are needed, and through what format?
- Hit as close to the word count as possible on every question
- Proof everything again.
Remember, funders will be expecting you to:
- Demonstrate you meet the criteria
- Have clear aims
- Deliver on time
- Show measurable long-term impact and sustainability.
Need help with writing your grant application?
Our Grant Writing Service is for businesses who want to start applying for grants, but don’t know where to begin. If you don’t have the resources or the time in-house to write a winning grant – we can help. Our Bid Writers have over 60 years of experience in bidding for funding and grants. They can take care of the whole thing for you – they’ll even submit it on your behalf.
Get in touch to find out how we can help your business grow!
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