Grant Writing Basics: 3 Tips to Avoid Last Minute Problems

Applying for a federal grant can be a lot of work involving many moving parts. On top of strategizing, conducting meetings, and writing a compelling proposal, there are other little-but-necessary tasks on the path to successfully submitting your application that you should do well before the closing date.

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Here are 3 tips to avoid some of those last minute problems:

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Grant Writing Basics: Look for the Little Details

Planning and completing a grant application is a lot of work, so in the rush to meet the application deadline it can be easy to overlook little details. That is why it is important to identify all requirements listed in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) near the beginning of the process (even if it does not seem like a big deal).

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Examples of “Little” Details (that are actually important)

These are specific examples of requirements for certain FOAs—these are NOT requirements for all grant applications.

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Grant Writing Basics: Ensure Mission Alignment before Applying

The mission of a public, private, or nonprofit sector organization is the ultimate driver of their actions. To translate often lofty and theoretical missions into specific actions, organizations set goals to direct their organization’s activities toward accomplishing the mission.

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When it comes to federal grants, no one works alone. Government grants involve at least two parties—the federal awarding agency and the award recipient. So, to promote the public good and to accomplish the goal of the grant program, it is critical that the award recipient and federal agency share the same mission and goals.

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Grant Writing Basics: Make Sure You Are Eligible before Writing

Welcome to the Grant Writing Basics series, in which we will provide you with tips and advice for writing grant applications on Grants.gov. Our goal is to provide the essential info—the basics to begin building (i.e., writing) on a solid foundation.

The first grant writing tip? Save yourself time by confirming you are eligible to apply for the grant before you begin strategizing or writing the application.

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This may seem, well, basic, but we want to avoid assumptions. If you (i.e., the organization you are applying on behalf of) do not meet the specific eligibility requirements, then you cannot receive the grant funds.

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