Greetings from GrantLessons!
Here we go, like taking a sled ride down the hill, remember those days? Today, we are on a ride to completing an online application. Online applications are very much like paper applications. To start you will have a url for a website. You will need to establish an account with a username and a passcode. Next, you may be asked a series of questions to ensure that you meet the basic requirements of the funder. One question could be “Are you a 501 (c)3 organization?” You simply answer yes or no to each question. If you meet all requirements, the computer program will present the online application on the screen. The information requested is generally under a series of tabs.
Look over the questions and print them if you can. If the program does not let you print the screen then take a picture of the questions using Jing, see Lesson 7. As with a paper application look all the information over one more time, check to see if there are any character or word limitations. Note that a space between words can at times be counted as a character for the total count.
Set time aside to complete the application in one sitting. Be sure to save your work several times. If you should need to stop your work, you will be able to save the work and log back in using the original url, password and username. Some programs will send an email to you indicating that your work is in progress.
The most annoying thing about online applications is that you must enter data into small boxes called dialog boxes that have a scroll feature where you cannot see your entire answer. I have found that constructing the answers to all the questions in a separate wordprocessing file makes it a lot easier to edit a document, say the chapter history that is too long and needs to be reduced to 100 words. When I have the answer then I simply “cut and paste” it into the dialogue box.
You will need to upload files, such as the 501 (c)3 determination letter to complete the application. Generally, there is a file size limit that needs to be met so the documents will go from your computer to the program over the Internet. If your documents are in MB instead of KB they may not go over. A good example of large documents is the audited financials. You may need to get one of your techie friends to help you reduce the file sizes.
The program will generally need data to be entered in a specific way, such as, phone numbers or financial numbers and if you do it wrong, the program will highlight the area where an error in inputting has been made. Be sure to save your work frequently.
Be sure that you ask someone else to review the application prior to submitting the document. Once you hit the submit document you will not be able to edit the application. After submission, generally an email comes that indicates the foundation has received your application. Print a copy of this receipt and scan it into a pdf so that you can add it to the proper Dropbox file. Be sure to enter the application on your chapter’s tracking system. Now the wait is on.
We have reviewed a lot of material over the last 3 months and made great strides in your understanding of grant writing. Take time to finish your holiday preparations and take a short rest from GrantLessons, which will return on January 8, 2014. At GrantLessons, we wish peace for all of us and hope you enjoy your time with family and friends during this holiday period. 😉
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie