Time-WastersYou’ve probably heard the old adage “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” This idea also applies to seeking governments grants. It’s entirely possible to work diligently, but have no success. Here are a few of the ways all your hard work can be wasted.

First are you applying to the right funder? Funding organizations are usually clear about what their funding priorities are, but even when they’re not, there are ways to find out. Why waste your time applying to a funder that will not fund your type of project?

And even if your project meets their guidelines, are you yourself eligible? Sometimes, government grants are for reserved for a particular group of people or type of organization. Do you completely fulfill all the requirements? If not, you’ll most likely be disqualified, and your work wasted.

Another great way to waste time is to submit a government grant application without paying attention to the deadlines. Most funders won’t even look at applications that come in past the cutoff date. Start with the deadline and work backwards and plan your activities to be sure you have plenty of time.

Here’s yet another way to do lots of grant writing, but accomplish nothing with your time. If you are not clear and concise with illustrating how grant funding will help achieve your goals, the funder will not understand well enough to approve any money for you. Similarly, if you do not show that you are capable of managing the finances or don’t accurately budget, your grant proposal will probably not be successful.

A different type of time-wasting is trying to fool the grant funders with a narrative or a budget that’s not quite accurate. Most experienced grant reviewers are able to tell when you have done this. Needless to say, that means your funding is not approved and worse yet, you may diminish your future chances for grant funding.

Now suppose you do receive grant funding. The funders usually like to have updates and periodic reports. Spending a few minutes reporting to the funder is definitely not a waste of time because you are paving your way for future grant funding.

I hope these tips are useful to you. If you keep in mind how you can best spend your time when you are seeking grants, you can be more successful in a shorter amount of time, and avoid the frustration of wasting your valuable time.