The most important thing when applying for a grant is to read the fine print. Knowing what will be expected will protect you from signing up for something that is unachievable. Below are several questions to ask when reviewing the guidelines of a grant.
- What do you have to provide?
- Is this a match grant?
- Do you have to provide volunteer opportunities?
- If a grant is through an organization, such as the ALA, do you have to be a member?
- Do you have to advertise? If so, in what ways?
- Your library may have policy about how they advertise funding sources, such as corporations or for-profit institutions.
- Some grants require recognition on all publicity materials, including print and digital materials. This may or may not be feasible for you to do.
- What statistics will you have to collect?
- Be sure that you can collect the statistics that are required. It is best to figure out ahead of time how you will collect all necessary stats.
- What do you have to document in the final report?
- If you know ahead of time, it is so much easier!
- What is the project’s timeline going to look like?
- Will this conflict with other responsibilities? Be sure to find out when application and final reports are due.
- Is the effort and time worth the outcomes?
- You know better than anyone if you can handle a project of this scope. Measure whether or not this will be worth it!
After assessing all these factors, one can knowledgably decide whether a particular grant is a good fit for your project. In next week’s post, using statistics in grant applications will be discussed. The hard facts can say it all, so statistics can really illustrate why your project is needed in the community. Stay tuned!
Jaclyn Lewis Anderson is the youth services director at the Madison County Library System.