5 Reasons to get an outside review of your grant proposal before you submit

5 reasons to get an outside review of your grant proposal
The Idea Tree Consulting
September 2014

You spend hours putting together grant proposals for the funding that will make your work happen. It’s a crucial part of environmental work, and you’re competing for limited resources amongst many worthy causes. So to give your proposal the best possible chance of being awarded the funds you’re seeking, have someone who is familiar with the issues but has a fresh perspective have a look before you send it off. Here are 5 reasons why it’s a great idea;

  1. Compelling

You believe in the work you do and have a clear vision of how you’re going to make a difference to the issue you’re focusing on. But you still have to convince your evaluator that the project is going to have the most real-world impact out of all the other applications coming in. The funds you may receive is an investment and a funder needs to know they are going to get their money’s worth in return. Having an impartial outsider read the application to see if you’ve made the case for the problem and how you’re going to address it effectively can help make sure you go to the top of the pile.

  1. 5 Tips when Filling Out a Winning Government Grant ApplicationClear

You know your cause and project inside and out. But the person reviewing your application does not. You need to make sure it makes sense to someone who isn’t familiar with your work, and possibly even with the issue you’re addressing. If you’ve missed something in explaining how the project will work, or you have an extra piece that just doesn’t fit, someone who is independent of the project has a better chance of seeing it.

3. Complete

A person reading your application for the first time can ask the questions your reviewers will ask, especially questions that start with “but how will you…?” or “great idea, but you haven’t addressed….” Let someone else ask these questions before your potential funders do, so you can have a chance to fill in those details and strengthen your application.

  1. Concise

Potential funders have a lot of applications to read through and evaluate, and slogging through a wordy application isn’t going to help them feel sympathetic to your cause. After working for hours, maybe even days, weeks or months on an application, you can get attached to certain parts of your work, and while you may feel detail is necessary to making your case, it  also may give the impression that your project isn’t logical, won’t work smoothly or is difficult to present. An outsider can trim it down and make it more concise while still giving the details, arguments and research you need to impress.

  1. Correct

This is an audition. A well-researched, well-worded application free of grammar and spelling mistakes or typos is key to showing your team is capable and professional. And let’s face it, after hours of looking at the same document, tiny errors and a poorly worded sentence can be hard to spot, and the extra step of another read through or another round of edits may be the last thing you want to do.

The Idea Tree provides many services for environmental groups for groups of all sizes, including the review of grant proposals. Learn more about what we can do for you here and contact us at hello@theideatree.ca.