Show me the money

December 7, 2016

Recently I was in Melbourne speaking at a conference for school managers. I was there to show them how to apply for and win grant funding.

Increasingly schools have to supplement their usual income by seeking out grants and submitting proposals which are then subject to a competitive process. It takes time and effort, and unless you know what you are doing it’s hard to know what you need to do to maximise your chances of success.

Putting in a funding application and waiting to see whether you win or not highlights what I said in the previous post – how difficult it is to predict the future. You simply can’t predict whether you will be successful, nor can you control it.

What you can do, however, is try to create a situation where the funding body will say “I like the look of this.”

With that in mind, the three fundamental building blocks are:

  • Write to create a clear picture of exactly how the project will work. Don’t make them have to guess.
  • Show them that they are getting value for money. Where possible, add even more value.
  • Show them that there is no risk in giving you the money. Nothing kills off your proposal quicker than a sense that there is some risk in how you intend to carry out the project.

From there you can add meat on the bones, and create the future.