These applications can seem either simple or complex depending on several factors. The largest factor that determines the complexity of grant applications is the source of the potential funding. Often, foundation grant applications or local sources of grant funding have relatively simple forms. On the other hand, government grant application forms are lengthier and require additional data and information from the potential recipient. However, it is important to note that successfully obtaining government grant funds typically means a larger sum of money, which is often a recurring source of funds for years to come.
Regardless of the type of grant application you are completing, you must remember one very important thing: complete every section of the grant application in its entirety. Make sure that you comply with all grant application instructions, including the attachment of all requested documents. The second most important thing to remember is to strictly adhere to the grant application deadlines listed in the request for proposal (RFP). Many potential funders review and rate grant applications for open solicitations prior to the closing date listed in the RFP, so it is good practice to submit your grant application well in advance of the deadline. Additionally, you would certainly not want to put a whole lot of time and effort into the completion of your applications for grants and risk them not reaching potential funders due to missing the deadlines.
As you complete the grant application remember to be consistent and organized. Make sure that all of your fonts match within all documents and make sure that all sections of the grant application are completed in either the first or third person. Additionally, make sure that you label each individual document with your name, the name of your organization, or the name of your business. Lastly, ensure that you deliver your application documents in the order specified in the announcement.
You will certainly want to consider intertwining as many accomplishments into your applications for grants as you can. Remember that you are selling yourself, your project, or your business to each funder. You will want them to know who you are, what you have done thus far, and how much more you can achieve with their assistance. If the announcement allows for you to send business plans, strategic plans, or annual reports; you should definitely include them. If the announcement does not allow for the submission of these documents, it is okay to go ahead and mention them in your grant application. If the potential funder is interested in you they will likely want to see these documents in the future.