By Libby Hikind
Think grant money is only for nonprofits? Think again because your for-profit healthcare institution, medical device or med-tech company, software application, patient product development or innovative service offering, could be grant-eligible. Grants are funded by foundations, corporations, charities, churches, government agencies (local, state and federal), philanthropic organizations, and even celebrities offering financial assistance to every type of business. Unfortunately, too many executives regularly associate grant money as a nonprofit opportunity only, and as a result, much of this money is left unused.
But just because you apply for a grant doesn’t mean you will secure it, especially if you are a first-time seeker — completing grant applications requires skill and know-how. No matter how innovative and purposeful your healthcare company initiative or offering may be, if you don’t communicate your purpose effectively, you will not be a recipient of well-deserved grant money.
Below are 3 tips to help you beat the odds the first time around and win out over the competition.
1. Do Your Homework.
Knowing what your goals are and what you hope to achieve will not be enough. You will need to also know the needs of your target audience and the types of grants they have awarded in the past, as well as the companies who have been recipients. Take the time to find out their funding priorities and interests by reading all that you can about them — even placing a call to their grants or investment director. Ask about their goals and tell them about your project to see if your vision is in line with theirs. Ultimately, by learning about their past grant award successes and their current sensibilities you will have more context to frame your proposal and be better positioned for a win.
2. Show & Tell Your Recognition.
Prepare a complete, even exhaustive, list of all awards you and your company have received. Include notable lists you and your team members have appeared on adding press clippings and media links. Being able to show the prestige and accomplishments of your leadership through relevant and meaningful industry recognition, will build credibility toward separating your company from the pack. Go back as many years as you have had successes to clearly communicate you have always held a seriousness-of-purpose in your healthcare business.
3. Invest in a Professional Grant Writer.
It might seem counterintuitive to spend money when you are seeking money – but when it comes to first time grant applicants – this could have real ROI. What appears to be simple online applications aren’t simple at all and the more involved applications can become overwhelming to the first-time applicant. Since most professional grant writers can be engaged by the project on a freelance basis, it will benefit you to spend the money. But regardless of whether you write it yourself or engage a professional to assist you — be sure in addition to facts and figures you bring your passion and heart to every word on every page!
Libby Hikind is the Founder of GrantWatch.com, the leading search platform for currently available grants posted by local, state and federal government agencies, foundations, corporations, and philanthropists across 59 different grant categories. Libby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @GrantWatch.