Preparation is key when it comes to grant applications. Since applying for a grant is time-consuming, the experts we spoke with said there are several steps you should take to properly prepare for your application and simplify the process.
Define the funding: Amad Ebrahimi, CEO and founder of Merchant Maverick, said business owners should outline the specific funding needed and identify the precise objectives a grant will help them achieve.
Create a detailed business plan: According to Ebrahimi, the next step is creating a business plan. Your plan should include important details about your business like a company description, business structure, service offered, financial projections and other useful information.
Compile administrative details: Prakash identified important details to compile, such as the business owner’s contact information, planned use of the grant money, business license number, the business’s tax ID (EIN) number, and revenue vs. profit history/projections.
Gather business records: Ebrahimi said business owners should assemble all the necessary business records, and, ideally, they should be from at least the last three years.
There are several additional steps businesses should take to ensure they are properly prepared:
Get an expert opinion: Ebrahimi said it is helpful for business owners to have business plans and records reviewed by experts, whether that individual is a SCORE mentor or someone with experience guiding business owners through the grant-hunting process.
Hire a grant writer: Grant writers typically have expertise in different grant submission processes and work within industry verticals, according to Ebrahimi.
Achieve nonprofit 501(c)(3) status: David Reischer, CEO of Legal Marketing Pages Corp., said this status is extremely helpful when seeking a nonprofit grant because it identifies your business as a legitimate nonprofit.
Look for applicable tax-exempt status paperwork: This type of paperwork can sometimes increase your odds of receiving funding, if your business is eligible, Reischer said.
Key takeaway: Proper preparation is key to a successful grant application. Ensure you have your business plan, financial details and government paperwork, such as tax documentation ready before applying for a grant.