Grant Writing 101

Grant Writing 101

Let’s face it – grant applications can be a real drag. Often, volunteers are using their personal time and grant forms require a TON of information. So, we talked to one of Saskatchewan’s biggest fund administrators about what reviewers are looking for.

by Jesse Green

Read on to find for top tips for a killer grant application. We talked with Tracey Mann, Executive Director at the Community Initiative Fund (CIF) in Saskatchewan. CIF has distributed more than $148 million to more than 400 communities across the province since 1995 using proceeds via the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation Act.

1. Check and double check those eligibility requirements.

“This is the baseline. We encourage people to research and understand who is eligible and who is not. We don’t want to see people spending time and effort to put together an application that is not eligible,” said Mann.

2. Fit.

Make sure it’s a good fit and that your plan is a match for what the grant fund is meant to achieve. If it feels like a stretch, spend some time looking at other grants. You will likely find a fund that exactly fits your vision and plan.

3 Grammar Police?

Well… kind of. Do your best to put together a well-written application. But, know that your application is judged on the merit of your idea rather than grammar.

“We appreciate that there are varying levels of expertise in grant writing. And, we understand that these proposals may be someone’s first attempt at writing a grant. So, we try to be aware of this and focus more on what it is they want, and who it will benefit,” said Mann.

4. What is your why?

While many playground projects start as a discussion around the coffee table, they need to be more than that before they hit the grant process. Think about why your community needs these resources. What is the problem? How is the grant going to solve that problem?

Do you have a solid, well-thought out plan?

5. Partnering 

“Having your school board or municipality on board doesn’t necessarily lend credibility to the application. But, if your plan relies on a partnership with one of these organizations, then you definitely need to have made contact,” said Mann. Your application should include evidence that you’ve talked to those groups and they support a partnership.

Secondly, don’t duplicate. If a similar organization is offering a similar solution, consider partnering and leveraging that relationship into a strong application.

6. Don’t give up!

Funds are limited and requests are many, so don’t let a rejection discourage you from trying again. Check out our Grants page for current funding opportunities in Saskatchewan.

New playgrounds, spray parks and sports facilities mean so much more than metal and concrete. They mean fun, they mean health and they mean community. We hope that some of these tips will help your next project come to life.