I think in grant writing, it’s common to focus on the grant writing, and forget about the project design.
But actually – it’s great project designs that get you funding.
Great grant writing will make sure that your idea shines – that it’s clear that it’s what the funder is looking for, that all the criteria are met, that everything is easy to understand, that all the right ideas are addressed. But without a strong project design to back it up, you’re going nowhere.
Some grant writers claim that they can get any idea funded. I call bullshit on that.
Most funders are smarter than that gives them credit for. They can usually tell when you’re polishing a turd. And they can definitely tell when the idea isn’t well-thought-through, has holes, or doesn’t stack up.
Your project design is the most important part of your grant application. You need to understand it in detail, and you need to have thought through all the elements. You need to be clear about exactly how your project achieves the funder’s goals, and exactly how you’ll deliver on it. You need to know what skills and equipment you need, how much that costs, where you can source what you need, what the risks are and what could go wrong, and how you’ll ensure everything goes right throughout the funding period.
For a funder, the worst possible result is funding a project that fails. That might be one that doesn’t reach the people it’s supposed to reach, that doesn’t build the thing it was supposed to build, that doesn’t achieve the goal that the proposal said it would achieve, whether through poor planning or lack of skill or weak design. That’s a waste of money, and a waste of an opportunity.
That’s why funders want to see plenty of details at the application stage. They want to be sure they’re funding something that will work, something that’s feasible, something with a strong design.
Good writing matters. But it won’t be any use if you don’t have a good project design to back it up.
Wanna talk about how to design a project that really gets funded? Get in touch, and let’s start a conversation.