Preparing a grant is more than just explaining what your project is about and why it is important to your curling centre. It must clearly demonstrate to the reader why the project is important to the community where your curling centre is located. In other words, what community-wide need will your curling centre help to fill?
Here are a few tips to consider when writing about the importance for your project:
1. Think about what issues are most pressing within your community and tell the reader how your curling centre can help improve these issues.
Gather facts and use them to help tell your story. If your curling centre shut its doors today, how would that impact your community?
- Do people rely upon the curling centre for their fitness? If yes, how many people? How does that compare to the overall population of your community? If you have 400 people using your curling centre in a town of 3,000 that works out to over 13% of the population using your facility and program – this is significant!
- What about social connections – will people lose those opportunities? If so, what will happen? Will seniors become isolated and lonely/depressed – how many are there and how can your program help these people? Perhaps one of your volunteers is willing to drive a few seniors who would otherwise not be able to get to and from the curling centre – this is noteworthy for funders.
- Will local youth lose an opportunity to experience a positive after-school activity? What would this mean for them – lack of fitness, more screen time, boredom? Why is this negative?
- How will this impact other things? Perhaps vandalism is an issue in your community or there are few opportunities for people to engage positively therefore leading to boredom among residents? What can happen?
2. When considering your project, give thought to how it aligns with the funder’s goals.
It’s up to you to make it clear because if it is not obvious, there is a good chance it will be missed by the reader and put into the “no funding” pile.
- If the funder wants to support programs that see disadvantaged youth engaging in physical fitness, putting in an application for a high school program in the high-income area of town is likely not a good fit.
- If the funder wants to address isolation among seniors, a program geared towards 55 years of age and over that is being promoted throughout seniors’ complexes and within doctor offices or pharmacies might be just the right fit.
3. Be prepared – have all the documentation and information that you might need ready to submit.
When applying for funding you may be asked to submit quite a lot of information including financial reports, membership numbers and building maintenance documents. Make sure that you have all of this in order before you begin the process as you may need to provide it at short notice.
These are just a few tips that can really make a difference in the success of your application. Always remember, funders read hundreds and hundreds of applications – why should they fund yours?