Applying for grants can be an exercise in patience, as you have to fill out forms, submit them on time and then wait for the committee or organization responsible for approving your grant request to decide if you should receive the funding.
The key to successfully applying for grants is following the guidelines of the administrating authority. Nothing will get you removed from the grant consideration process than failing to follow the guidelines. Many times this will require the assistance of a grant-writer. With a simple online search, you should be able to find experienced grant-writers in your area that can assist you.
Check the eligibility requirements
Unless you fit perfectly in those requirements, do not apply for the grant. You do not get points for creativity; the grant committee or governing body will simply discard your application. Here are some sample criteria that a grant may use to determine eligibility:
Get in contact
Contact the organization responsible for administering the grant and get a copy of the application. Fill out the application completely. If the grant application asks for a resume, send it. If the application wants you to include a portfolio, then include the portfolio. Some organizations have a process for you to follow in your quest for funding. For example, if you are applying for financial aid for school, your first stop is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which sets the machinery in motion.
Submit the application on-time
While you are getting a copy of the grant application form, also ask about deadlines. If the application is a multi-part document, ask if each part has a separate deadline. If the grant process requires more than one set of paperwork, make sure that you know what the submission deadline is for each set of paperwork. You may also want to find out the exact definition of the deadline. Is the deadline the day the paperwork is postmarked or the day the application must be received? You need to know the answers to these questions so that your grant application will be considered.
Follow up on your application
Note the date that the grant award will be announced and how the announcement will be made. Some grants are announced on a company website, by email or through the standard mails. Mark the date down on your calendar and good luck.