Once you have gathered the necessary materials, it is time to start the grant application. Ebrahimi said the first step in applying for a grant is to identify what type of grant your specific business is likely to receive.
“Certain kinds of businesses, [like] innovative startups, healthcare-related businesses, women/minority/veteran-owned businesses, rural businesses, and ‘green’ businesses, in particular, are more likely to qualify for grants than others,” Ebrahimi told Business News Daily. “Start with grants specific to your locality, then look into grants offered nationally, whether by a corporate source or by the federal government.”
After you have determined what type of grants are achievable for your business, carefully read through the grant requirements and narrow it down to a few select grants. Before writing your proposal, Reischer said it is important to consider meeting with the funding source.
“Sometimes, it is possible to set up a meeting with a foundation staff person to explore your idea before writing or delivering a proposal,” said Reischer. “If [you] cannot get a person-to-person meeting, then maybe try to at least get guidance over the telephone.”
How to write a business grant proposal, After conducting research and contacting the funder, the next step is to write the grant proposal. This part is critical and deserves a lot of attention. Reischer said the purpose of your proposal is to demonstrate your worth.
“The proposal in the grant should present a logical solution to a problem,” said Reischer. “It is always necessary to convince the funder that you know what you are doing. Make sure to tell the story of your nonprofit in the budget and the proposal narrative.”
Prakash agreed that it is critical to make a compelling case as to why you should receive the grant and what it will be used for.
“Judges want to give grants to businesses that will benefit the most,” Prakash said.
Once you’ve written and submitted your grant, the last thing to do is wait. Check the grant submission guidelines to see their approval/rejection process, as sometimes this will provide a timeframe or a series of next steps for you to take. Some funders provide a tracking number, so you can see the progress of your grant proposal.
You will typically be notified when your proposal is pending and when your proposal is approved or rejected. If you aren’t able to find submission guidelines or tracking information, wait at least three to six months before following up.
Key takeaway: Once you’ve identified the type of business grant to pursue, follow the instructions to apply for the grant and follow the organization’s specified next steps.