Completing a Grant Application Form

Most funders receive far more applications than they can ever fund. It is not enough to have a worthwhile project - you need to think about making your application stand out and catch the attention of the person reading it.

Before your community group starts to complete a grant application form, make sure that you have:

  • done your research and identified the most suitable funders

  • gathered together background information on your group and its work

  • have copies of any reports relevant to your application

  • gathered supporting documentation such as press cuttings, minutes, annual reports

  • taken time to read over the funder’s literature, application guidelines and the blank application form

If you group is small, this initial work can be shared by the committee members. If you are a larger community group or organisation it is likely that the committee or board will have nominated someone to complete the application form. The committee or board should still have been involved in the research and preparation that is required prior to submitting a grant application and be fully informed of the details.

Start with a draft

Take a copy of the blank application form and use this as a first draft:

  • using this draft, complete all sections of the form - relating your answers to any guidelines that the funder may have provided

  • keep your answers clear, concise and legible

  • do not be tempted to use jargon that you may think the funder will relate to – put things in your own words and in the language that you understand

Get someone to comment on your draft

Once you have completed the draft application get someone to read it over and give you some constructive comments. 

Ask the staff at your local Third Sector Interface organisation (this organisation may be called a Council for Voluntary Service or Voluntary Action)  or any other support agency relevant to your type of activity/service or project.

Submitting Your Application

  • make a copy of the completed application before you submit it

  • submit your application on time and in the format requested by the funder

  • make sure that your nominated contact person has a copy of the application form and that they are willing and able to answer any further questions that a funder may come back with

  • if your application is successful remember to thank the funder. Comply with all grant conditions and submit any required reports on time. If there are any changes or risks to your project keep the funder informed of how you are dealing with them