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Ask the Expert: What makes for a good grant application?

12 Feb 2019 11:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Julie K. Robie, Esq., Deputy Director, Community Fund Management Foundation

Every year, Community Fund Management Foundation (CFMF) receives grant applications from parent and guardians who wish to purchase disability-related items or services for a child with special needs. Successful grant applications tend to have several features in common.

First, successful applications answer every question on the application form. Every blank is filled in, and all required supporting documentation is attached. This may include income information, proof of disability, or vendor invoices or receipts. There are usually limits on who is eligible to submit an application and how grant checks will be made payable, so it is important to follow all instructions carefully. Applications that are incomplete may be denied, even if funding is requested for a worthy purpose.

Second, successful applications clearly describe the item or service to be funded, and they make a compelling case as to why the child needs that item or service in relation to his/her disability. They fully explain how the grant would be used and how the child would benefit. Furthermore, the type of request must match the mission and purpose of the grant program.

Third, successful applications demonstrate financial need. The applicant must show that he/she lacks alternative resources to pay for the item or service. In addition, if the item or service costs substantially more than the grant amount, the applicant must explain how the balance of funds will be obtained. This shows the grant-making organization that if funds are awarded, they can be fully utilized for their intended purpose.

Applications that meet these parameters should receive full consideration and will stand the best chance of being approved.

If you are interested in learning more, Julie K. Robie, Esq. will be speaking at the upcoming CFK Speaker Series on February 23 entitled, How to Apply for Grants for children with Special Needs. Click here for more information or to register.


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