Grants: Increase Your Chances of Success

By: Jocelyne Terilli

Grants, from a variety of places, can become an extra supply of finances that law enforcement agencies often need. However, the idea of finding a grant proposal, reviewing its requirements, writing a proposal and submitting it sounds incredibly daunting to many first-time grant writers.

To make it easier for you, we’ve outlined three rules to be successful in writing grants:

  1. Follow Directions. Grant proposal requirements are often extremely specific, such as it has to be in 12-point font and signed in blue ink. You have to follow these directions to be considered and it can be hard to keep track of them. We suggest that when you first read a proposal, you keep track of the directions in an “instruction sheet.” Keep track of deadlines as well; ideally, you should start working a year in advance because you want to prepare for delays in the writing process.
  2. Give them exactly what they want. You want it to seem like your proposal is a perfect match for the agency. Read the agency’s mission statement and use it in the goal of your program and how the funds will advance those goals. Create measurable goals that match with the grant maker’s mission and clearly state them.
  3. Make the reviewer’s job easier. If you make it easier for the reviewer to find the information they’re looking for, your proposal looks polished. Walk through your proposal from the user experience or have someone else do it to make sure it’s organized, follows order, and is well thought out. Don’t be afraid to use the same numbering system or wording as the grant maker. It will show how well you read the grant.

Please also consider whether there is a matching component of the grant in terms of dollars or other resources that you will need to include as part of your proposal. Some grants require a match of either funds or in-kind resources to compete for their funding.

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