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10 Tips for Submitting a Giving Tree Grant Application
/ January 11, 2018
  1. Make sure you’re using the right application. This year, in addition to our usual Giving Tree process focusing on a broad range of community needs, a few of our Community Foundation affiliates are also inviting proposals with a special emphasis on early literacy and grade-level reading (birth through Grade 3). Applicants who fit into the Grade Level Reading focus area should first contact the executive director in their local area to determine the local application process for that affiliate, and then apply online using the Grade Level Reading application form available at Look for the application form titled “Grade Level Reading.”
  2. Begin your application early. Allow plenty of time to gather required information and submit well before the deadline. Sometimes unexpected circumstances can arise and could prevent an application being submitted on time. By submitting early, you can confirm with the grants administrator that your application was received and rest easy. 
  3. Carefully read the instructions. By following the instructions in the application and providing necessary information in the correct order and place, the grant application reviewing committee will have a much easier time reviewing your application and understanding your program needs. 
  4. Keep your audience in mind. The reviewing committee will use only the information contained in the application to understand your programs and why you’re requesting funding. Be sure the application and responses to the program requirements are complete and clearly written. Remember that reviewers are not familiar with your organization, service area, or what your program hopes to accomplish and through your application, you’re telling the story of your organization and the work it’s doing to make your community better. Finally, keep the review criteria in mind when writing the application.
  5. Be brief, concise, and clear. Clear, understandable applications are much more likely to be considered for funding. If you can provide accurate and honest information, including candid accounts of problems and realistic plans to address them. If any required information or data is omitted, explain why. Make sure the information provided in each table, chart, attachment, etc., is consistent with the proposal narrative and information in other tables. Your budget should reflect the proposed activities, and all forms should be filled in accurately and completely.
  6. Organization is key. If the reviewers can follow the thought process of the applicant or if all parts of the application fit together, you are more likely to receive a higher score. 
  7. Show evidence of fiscal stability. Your application should demonstrate your ability to be a responsible steward of public funds.
  8. Take care when attaching documents. Before you attach additional required documents, it’s a good practice to name and file them on your computer accordingly. That way, when you go to attach the document, there’s a smaller chance of attaching something by mistake. After you attach your required documents, be sure to cross-reference all tables and attachments to the appropriate text in the application. Be sure to upload the attachments in the requested order of the forms.
  9. Print out, and carefully proofread and review your electronic application to ensure accuracy and completion. When submitting electronically, it would benefit you to print the application before submitting to ensure that formatting and information are correct. Check to ensure that you included all attachments before submitting the application.
  10. Submit all information at the same time. We will not consider additional information and/or materials submitted after your initial submission, nor will we accept e-mailed applications or supplemental materials once we receive your application.

If a local Community Foundation affiliate is accepting grant applications, you can begin your application by clicking below! Not sure where we're granting? You can find out here.   

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