Have you heard about the Community Grant Program? It is a local funding opportunity for eligible applicants, such as registered non-profit organizations. Several thousands of dollars are earmarked for one-time projects, special events, or operating costs of community organizations. Did you know you could score ten bonus points for projects that enhance community safety?
There are two opportunities to apply within a one-year grant cycle. The first intake and deadline is April 1st
and the second intake and deadline is October 1st
Superior grant applications are well-prepared and demonstrate impact. Often times, a grant writer will focus on expressing need. However, it is a good practice to focus your financial request on how the project will make a difference to your service users and the community at large. Ask yourself what is the outcome we are ultimately seeking? For example, rather than stating “we need a commercial dishwasher” convey that a new commercial dishwasher will ensure compliance with health inspector regulations, plus not hand-washing dishes saves two hours each meal time freeing staff to accomplish other tasks.
It takes time to assemble and complete a grant application, so allow plenty of time in advance of the due date for research and preparation. Read the guidelines and criterion to confirm your organization’s eligibility and better understand how to approach the application. For example, most grant applications stipulate the maximum number of pages you can submit, require certain formatting, and expect you to match the funds you are requesting. Your grant application should have logical flow and be easily interpreted.
Is your idea specific and fully developed? Would a needs assessment or supporting research give your idea or project more credibility? Do you have the time, money, skills, and man power to see your idea through to completion? Can you sustain your idea or project into the future? Do you have a backup plan?
A detailed budget is always part of a grant application. Does your budget make sense? Include all reasonable expenses. For example, it is protocol to thank your funders, so factor into your budget the cost to acknowledge them with signage. If your project is on municipal land, then the signage must conform to the Town’s signage requirements.
Aside from your proposal’s content, be sure to pay attention to the finer points like punctuation, grammar, and mechanics like spelling. Have someone proofread your application for mistakes. Also, ask them to explain to you what your application is about. If they don’t understand what you are asking for, then the funder won’t either! Experts advise to write at an eighth grade level unless the situation dictates otherwise.
Lastly, consider how you will evaluate and determine the success of your idea or project. Collect data to measure change or impact. It might be in the form of a survey before the project begins and then again after the project’s completion to decipher results. Whatever the context of your idea or project, you should develop a way to prove that the idea or project made a difference. Ultimately, the Community Grant Program requires you to complete a final report within twelve months of your funding approval date.
Please feel encouraged to visit www.hinton.ca
and search for Community Grant Program to download the application form. The Hinton Connects team is available for support at 780-865-6036.