If you’re looking for ways to attract and win grants for your research or project, you might think that writing grant applications is the only option. But what if I told you that there are other ways to win grants without spending hours on writing proposals?
In this post, I’ll share four strategies that can help you increase your chances of getting funded without writing a word. These strategies are based on the advice of experienced grant writers and funders who know what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
1. Address a Documented Need
One of the most important factors that funders look for in grant applications is the evidence of a clear and urgent need for your project. You need to show that your project is addressing a problem that affects your community or field of study, and that your solution is feasible and effective.
But how can you do that without writing an application? The answer is to do your research beforehand and collect data that supports your need. You can use online sources such as government agencies, academic journals, reports, surveys, and statistics to find relevant and reliable data.
You should also compare your data with other communities or regions that have similar or different needs. This can help you demonstrate that your need is greater or more unique than others, and that your project deserves funding.
For example, if you’re working on a project to improve mental health outcomes for young people in your city, you should look for data that shows how many young people are affected by mental health issues, what are the causes and consequences of these issues, and how your project can help them. You should also compare your data with other cities or countries that have better or worse mental health outcomes, and explain why your project is needed in your specific context.
2. Build Relationships with Funders
Another way to win grants without writing applications is to build relationships with potential funders before you apply. This can help you understand their priorities, expectations, and preferences, and tailor your project accordingly.
You can start by researching different funding opportunities and identifying the ones that match your project’s goals, scope, and budget. You can use online databases, newsletters, websites, and social media to find relevant funding sources.
Once you have a list of potential funders, you should reach out to them and introduce yourself and your project. You can send them an email, call them, or meet them in person at events or conferences. You should be polite, professional, and concise in your communication, and show genuine interest in their work.
You should also ask them questions about their funding criteria, application process, deadlines, and feedback mechanisms. You should listen carefully to their answers and take notes. You should also follow up with them regularly and update them on your project’s progress.
By building relationships with funders, you can increase your visibility and credibility, and show them that you’re serious about your project. You can also get valuable insights and tips on how to improve your project and make it more appealing to them.
3. Showcase Your Track Record
Another strategy to win grants without writing applications is to showcase your track record of success in previous projects. You need to show funders that you have the skills, experience, and capacity to deliver high-quality results on time and on budget.
But how can you do that without writing an application? The answer is to create a portfolio of your past projects and achievements. You can use online platforms such as websites, blogs, social media, podcasts, videos, or newsletters to showcase your work.
You should include information such as the goals, methods, outcomes, impacts, and challenges of your past projects. You should also include testimonials, reviews, awards, publications, or media coverage that highlight your reputation and recognition.
You should also update your portfolio regularly and share it with potential funders. You can send them links to your portfolio or invite them to visit it online. You can also present it in person at meetings or events.
By showcasing your track record, you can demonstrate your competence and credibility, and convince funders that you’re a reliable and trustworthy partner.
4. Be Unique in Your Approach
The final strategy to win grants without writing applications is to be unique in your approach to solving the problem you’re addressing. You need to show funders that you have a creative and innovative idea that sets you apart from other applicants.
But how can you do that without writing an application? The answer is to develop a clear and compelling pitch for your project. A pitch is a short and persuasive presentation of your project idea that captures the attention and interest of funders.
You can use online tools such as slideshows, infographics, animations, etc. Tools like Prezi can easily do this job.
Attract and win Grants
When you do all these four things you would learn how to attract and win grants successfully. The next thing would be to execute these things which is the hardest part. Not everybody would want to do it but if you dare to be different, it is possible. People are attracted to ‘daring to be different people all the time.’