Tips for Applicants

Whether you are writing your first grant proposal or you're an experienced professional, following the guidance below will help you put together a successful application. 

Consider Your Reading Audience

Assume our grants committee is not familiar with your organization. Include important information about your organization and avoid industry specific jargon.

How Much to Request? 

As you consider your requested amount, please keep in mind:

  • GWCF typically will not fund requests that are 100% of your budget. If you are requesting this, please reach out to a program team member before submitting your application.
  • Ask for what you need and do not hesitate to include the true costs.
  • Take advantage of the budget narrative — overshare where possible.
  • Know that we do make partial grant awards. Feel free to include in your application narrative how this might affect your plans.
  • If you are awarded an amount lower than your requested amount, reach out to a program team member to discuss altering your goals/outcomes and project to be more in alignment with the funded amount.

Paint a Picture

Create a compelling narrative by using numbers, details, and story telling techniques. Elaborate on key points and lead reviewers along a story of how you are the right organization to deliver work that ultimately results in some critical impact.

Proofread for Clarity 

Be sure to proofread for typos, jargon, acronyms, and undefined or unclear narratives. Try to have someone from outside your organization review your application before you hit submit. (GWCF program team will also be happy to help proofread. Please reach out and complete a draft version of the application in the online system so that staff can access it).

Project-Based Applications 

Use both quantitative and qualitative data in discussing your goals and outcomes.

What Not to Include

Resumes, annual reports, large documents, jargon, links

Finances & Budgets 

These are another storytelling opportunity! Take advantage of providing narrative and details here to help tell your story.

Have A Question?

Reach out to the program team early. The job of the program team is to ensure the best possible proposals are submitted for the grants review committee. We are always happy to chat, answer questions, review materials, and offer suggestions. Please do your best to arrange a time prior to the deadline. 

Following Up After Deadline 

The program team may reach out to you post-submission with clarifying questions, or requests for more details. We may also re-open your application to upload missing documents, update information or submit clarifying details.

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