Make sure your application explains how the project will meet the
objectives of the awarding body. Include a work plan,
including full cost. Pay particular attention to describing
your business's track record - you are applying for public grants
and those responsible for making the decision need assurance you
will spend it wisely and ensure the project completes.
Generally, the more "local" the
awarding body, the quicker you are likely to get a decision.
Applications to your local authority, for
example, are likely to be resolved in a matter of days or weeks.
National bodies have larger bureaucracies and will take longer,
perhaps several weeks, to decide. Many awarding bodies have,
or are considering speeding up the applications process by creating
what are known as "Fast Track" procedures.
Should you use "grant consultants"
or other advisers to help you obtain grants?
The first point to realize is that when you
apply for public money it is your company and your project, which is
under the microscope. There can be no better ambassador for
your cause then you and/or your colleagues! To that
extent logic suggests that you are better off if you "Do It
However, there are occasions where help can be
a) Identifying Schemes
This is the most difficult aspect of all to
deal with unaided, since it is necessary to devote a good deal of
time and resource to researching schemes.
b) Applying for Grants
If you are applying for a substantial grant
(say one worth several thousands of dollars) and the awarding body
is "remote" and bureaucratic, or the information required
needs a technical expertise you do not possess, then it can help to
appoint a consultant. This may be particularly so in the case
of applications where an expert's knowledge of the processes
required could prove invaluable.
In most other circumstances, however, the cost
of consultancy probably outweighs its usefulness.
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