How to get a grant

Checklist

  1. 1 Identify the potential projects you plan to undertake which might attract a grant: for example, training, innovation, relocation or job creation.
  2. 2 Contact sources of information on grants you might qualify for: for example your trade association and grants websites.
  3. 3 Make sure you have funds available to invest in the project; grants typically only cover 15 to 50 per cent of the costs of any project.
  4. 4 For large projects and grants, consider using a consultant; negotiate their responsibilities and fees carefully.
  5. 5 Identify the key constraints of potential grants: how much funding you will need to provide and what the project must achieve (eg new jobs).
  6. 6 Contact the administrator of appropriate schemes for guidance on what funds are available, whether you might qualify and how to apply.
  7. 7 Assess whether it is worth applying consider your chances of success, the time and effort of the application, and when you might get the grant.
  8. 8 Establish timescales; check whether undertaking any preliminary work on the project will adversely affect your chances of receiving a grant.
  9. 9 Submit an application, typically including a project description and plan, how it matches the scheme's objectives, and costings.
  10. 10 For some schemes, be prepared to submit a more detailed application if you get preliminary approval.
  11. 11 Sell your project: emphasise the project's benefits, why you need the grant, and how your background and expertise will make it a success.
  12. 12 Wait for the decision.
  13. 13 Check any conditions the grant provider imposes: for example, targets you must reach before payments are made, how the money can be spent and what records you must keep.
  14. 14 Check the payment schedule and plan your cashflow and financing to cope with any payments made in arrears.

Cardinal rules

Do:

  • identify planned projects which might qualify
  • get preliminary information on relevant schemes
  • assess your chances of success before investing in the application process
  • prepare a detailed project plan and costings
  • explain how your project meets the scheme's objectives

Don't:

  • take on unsuitable projects just because a grant is available
  • underestimate the delay in obtaining support from some schemes
  • ignore the need to plan project cashflow