Helpful Tips for Your Proposal

As you get working on your application, here are some tips and suggestions to make the process more fruitful (pun intended):

❖ Read the entire application carefully before beginning to write.

❖ Grant writing is a challenging process. We have streamlined it by asking specific questions in our grant application. We encourage you to answer all the questions as thoroughly as possible. Think about what it is like to read your grant for the first time, as best you can try to anticipate and answer questions that might come up. Be as clear as possible about what you are planning and how you will accomplish your goals.

❖ Ask us questions about anything that seems unclear to you. We encourage communication in the process leading up to your application submission. We want to assist you in writing a successful application. Please contact us!

❖ Align your application with Trellis Foundation’s values and granting criteria. Articulate how your proposal furthers our purpose and values. Read our frequently asked questions, too. One of our priorities is for innovative discipleship. This does NOT mean you need to do something that has never been done before, by anyone, anywhere, ever. It means you are adding something to the ministry in your context. If you have never had an intern at your church, it would be innovative to have an intern. If you have had interns before, you will need to add something or demonstrate how funds from Trellis will take what you can offer your intern to the next level.

❖ Read this example of a successful application.

❖ Show that your initiative is well thought out and can be carried out as planned. Find a way for all of those involved in your proposed initiative to get on board and have a voice in your planning process.

❖ Be thorough in your answers and in your budget. At the same time, be concise and get to the point. Avoid writing lengthy, vague or general statements about your proposed initiative. 

❖ Successful grants show that the organization is putting in its own resources as well as requesting funds from Trellis. These resources should be reflected in the application, especially in the budget. If your resources are not financial, make sure to state in the application the volunteer hours that will be put towards making your initiative a reality. If someone from your organization is providing something for the initiative free of charge, account for this by estimating equivalent value. (Ex. Room and board)

❖ Don’t assume that the Trellis Foundation board will “read between the lines” or guess at what you’re trying to say.

❖ Ask someone who has not read your application to read it and give you constructive criticism.

❖ Proofread your proposal and make sure it’s typed. Remember that the presentation of your application reflects your intentionality. While Trellis Foundation does not seek perfection in grammar and spelling, we do believe that a well written grant reflects on the effort and care put into the application and therefore the effort and care that will be put into the initiative.