The Grant Advisors offers the following list focusing on the submission period - the time after you have pinpointed opportunities are starting to write and submit applications.
- Create a schedule: The schedule should include a list of tasks, which will be completed daily and weekly. It should assign these tasks to a staffer or a partner. Don’t be a totalitarian with the schedule, you should consider it a dynamic document that will need tweaking throughout the process.
- Provide yourself wiggle room: When creating the schedule, don’t have the end date as the actual deadline day, but have the deadline set for a week prior to allow for unforeseen problems.
- Don’t rush the process: Use all of the allotted time to submit a grant. Grants submitted early in the cycle may be considered sub-par or amateurish, even if they are not.
- Read the solicitation and conduct key word searches: Grantseekers should read the solicitation thoroughly, rereading crucial sections such as the review criteria and budget information. Also, make sure you conduct a search of the document using terms including “new,” “priority” and “preference.” This will make sure you understand any new provisions in the current grantmaking and have found all the preferences and priorities for the program.
- Take advantage of technical assistance: Both private and federal funders are increasingly offering technical assistance meetings, webinars and conference calls. Many times the solicitation will spell out the best times to contact a program official with questions. Also, some funders allow you to submit your draft proposal for review.