9 Mistakes to Avoid when Applying for Personal Grants

Jamie O'Hara
Published Nov 14, 2023

9 Mistakes to Avoid when Applying for Personal Grants


If you have decided to apply for a grant, you’ll need enough time to research a funding opportunity and find one that suits your needs. Then, you’ll need more time, energy, and effort to complete the application forms and gather all the required documents. However, you must ensure you’ve done the right thing to avoid disqualification by the short-listing panel. If this is your current situation, or have gone through it before, here are five mistakes that could hinder your grant funding success:
 

1. Failure to Follow Instructions


While failure to follow instructions might seem the easiest to avoid, it is the biggest mistake you can make. The federal government and private organizations receive numerous grant applications, and they start the short-listing process by eliminating applicants who need to follow the directions. If the funder asks you to create a one-year budget for your household expenses, do it. Use them if they require you to use a specific type of clip.
 

2. Lack of Thorough Research


Every granter provides funding for a specific purpose. Many grant applicants fail to qualify for the funding because they apply before researching the funder’s interests. If you want to apply for education funding, please find out as much as possible about the organization before submitting your proposal.

For example, research whether they support college education, adult education, or K-12. Also, find out that the foundation funds students from very humble backgrounds. You can find the information from the organization’s guidelines on its website.
 

3. Not Editing Your Proposal Before Submission


Program officers read thousands of grant applications with similar topics. They automatically disqualify proposals with grammatical errors and typos. After completing the forms, you should review your application to edit any errors and omissions you may have yet to notice. You can also use a grammar-checking tool to make grammatical corrections where necessary. You may also request a friend to proofread your proposal and let you know where it needs editing.
 

4. Using Complex Terms


Some grant applicants think that complex words will woo the short-listing committee and help them get the funding. Unfortunately, no one will have time to look up meanings for jargon and catchphrases. Ensure to use simple and understandable language when applying to make the committee’s work simpler and avoid them from disqualifying you.
 

5. Failure to Include the Amount


Many applicants need to include the funding they need in the proposal. The organization’s team does not read minds. Remember to include the amount you seek in your application's first or second sentence.
 

6. Requesting the Wrong Amount


While doing the research, determine the amount of cash the granter gives to applicants with similar issues as yours. You can get the information by checking the list of grant funding the organization has done in the past. Requesting more or less amount may lead to failure to secure the funding.
 

7. Including Unrealistic Amounts in Your Proposal


When preparing your proposal, include realistic figures explaining how you’ll spend the cash once granted. Remember, program officers have worked on similar projects and understand the reasonable amounts to expect from applications submitted. The officer will also know if you include an unsuitable item or exclude an essential requirement. You should carefully prepare the budget, ensuring that your descriptions match at every point.
 

8. Late Proposal Submission


Granters provide applicants with a deadline for submitting their proposals. Therefore, you must check the expected submission date before applying. Ensure you have enough time to gather all the required documents and fill out the forms to ensure timely submissions. While this is a mistake that many applicants make, you can easily avoid it. Besides, ensure you understand and follow the application submission process to the letter.
 

9. Finding Excuses that Prevent You from Applying for a Grant


During a time when many people face financial challenges, there can never be a perfect for applying for personal grants. You might have various excuses hindering you from sending your proposal. For example, you may need more time to complete the application or worry about not qualifying for funding. You must understand that you can only get a grant if you try. Therefore, there’s no better time to start researching and applying now.

The grant application process requires sufficient time, effort, and energy to research and fulfill the funder’s requirements. You must also follow the proper procedure and provide the correct details and documents. While at it, above are the nine mistakes you should avoid increasing your chances of qualifying for funding.

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