I like routine. I like having a plan and knowing what I need to do now and what’s coming next. I don’t love surprises. I know not everyone feels the same way. There are many people who live life “flying by the seat of their pants,” but I’m not one of them.
I do get the appeal of making choices and completing tasks on a whim, but I think having a routine has a lot of benefits and can make work easier in a lot of ways. For example, I believe building good routines can help ensure you’re making a conscious effort to take steps toward achieve your goals.
4 Grant Writing Routines To Start Now
Whether or not you’re a routine-lover like me, if you haven’t already, consider adding these four routines into your grant writing work.
#1 Regularly Look For Funding Opportunities
I know, you’re probably thinking, “Of course I do this! It is literally my job to look for funding opportunities!” What I’m talking about here is looking for funding opportunities outside of your regular work hours. I mean going about your daily life with a different lens. I mean every time you get groceries, buy new clothes, or go to the bank, thinking to yourself, hmm, I wonder if they have a grants program here. What you’ll find is that many companies do have their own corporate foundations and these can be great sources of funding.
As you go about your daily life, make note of the various companies you would like to explore further. Then, when you get back to the office, go to the company’s website to see if they do have a grants program and get more information about if you’re a good fit and how to apply.
You may do this already and, if so, that’s great! If not, give it a try and keep track of the new opportunities you find.
#2 Plan Out Your Next Steps
Once you have some ideas about where to look for funding opportunities, develop a plan for how you will move forward. This includes adding the opportunity to your grant calendar and putting together a work plan for writing the application.
Having this planning piece built into your grant writing routine will help you keep track of a number of things, including how much time you have before you need to submit the application and what steps need to be completed before you are able to do so.
#3 Read Successful Proposals
Another great practice to build into your grant writing routine is to read successful proposals from other grant writers. Doing this before you begin to write can help you get a sense for what to write, how to write it, and what certain funders expect to see in your application.
For example, I know of a grant writer who needed to write a grant for a new program. Through some networking, he found out about a similar program that was funded by the funder to which he was thinking of applying. He reached out to the organization and asked for a copy of their proposal, which they shared with him. Then he read through that proposal to help set the expectation for what he needed to write in his application. In the end, his program received the funding for which they applied.
You can find sample proposals online, but if you have other grant writers in your network, connect with them to see if you can get copies of their successful proposals. Remember to offer to share your successful proposals too, if they are interested in swapping. This also helps with relationship building!
#4 Get Regular Feedback
Finally, getting regular feedback on your writing is another smart routine to implement. For those of you who are new to grant writing, getting feedback can be incredibly valuable in helping you learn more about grant writing and how to improve. For those of you who are experienced grant writers, getting feedback can be useful in helping to identify some potentially negative habits you may have developed over the years and gaining some fresh perspective to be able to develop better habits.
At GrantsEdge, we can help you by providing you with feedback on your grant applications before you submit them to funders. Through one-on-one support, we can review your application and help you work through any questions you may have, so you can submit your applications with complete confidence. Visit our Grant Coaching page to learn more about how a GrantsEdge Coach can help you and to hire a GrantsEdge Coach.
Start Practicing These Routines Today
What other routines do you have in your grant writing work? Take a few moments to think about the other routines you may already have, whether your current routines are working for you, and consider adding these four routines into your current work.