Most organisations shy away from grant applications as they can be very time consuming. With a few simple steps, they can be made easier. Set up a sub-committee dedicated to grant applications, made up of two to work together and the treasurer to provide all the necessary financial information. The full committee should set out plans, that include both capital and revenue expenditure. Capital expenditure is money spent on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets, such as buildings, fixtures, fittings, machinery or office equipment. Revenue expenditure is money spent on expenses, usually within one year, such as electricity, insurance, small repairs, etc. Capital expenditure will, in almost all cases, involve getting quotations from different firms, with a minimum of two quotations required for each item of expenditure. If different specifications have a bearing on the cost, get two quotations for the top specification and two for the lower specification. Store all quotes received and copies of previous years’ expenses in pdf format, using Dropbox or similar, which is accessible by the sub-committee members. Have a bank of pre-prepared information saved, such as a paragraph which gives details of when your organisation was formed, the purpose of the organisation and committee members as to their work experience and their volunteering history.
Only proceed to applying if all of the conditions of the terms of the grant can be met. Most applications are now completed online. Agree a log-in user name and password between the sub-committee members. Take a note of the closing date for receipt of applications and set your closing date to 2 days prior to that date. Read all the questions and complete as many questions that you can as you read. Some questions may need the input from both committee members. If the form says that there is a maximum word count, make sure your paragraph is below that word count. If you think two questions have the same answer, re-read both questions as it is unlikely that the reader wants to read the same information twice. Double check that you have uploaded all requested documents and answered every question before submitting. Print a copy of your application, in most cases this is only available after you have submitted it. Don’t take it personally if you are not successful. Dust yourself off and apply for the next one.