Applying for a sports grant takes preparation and patience. Both individual and nonprofit organizations can benefit from networking with others in locating a grant. Organization is key in preparing a successful grant application. Keep in mind that you are selling your potential as an athlete or your nonprofit's ability to address a need in your community. Think about what the grant organization is looking for when creating your application.
Find the grant you want to apply for. You can search for grants online, at your high school counselor's office or at your local college financial aid office. Ask your coach or coaches for help in finding a grant. If you are a nonprofit looking to fund a sports program, search companies who produce sporting goods or services to find grants.
Get a grant application. Read all instructions on the application. Make a note of submission deadlines and required attachments to the grant, such as letters of recommendation or copies of awards you have received in your career. For nonprofit applicants, gather proof of your organization's prior experience or success in running a sports program.
Write an essay. Some grant applications require that you submit an essay about your desire to excel in your sport or why you should get funding. Get someone to edit your essay once it's finished.
Gather evidence of your abilities such as newspaper clippings, awards and letters of recommendation from your coaches. If you don't have any letters of recommendation, ask your coach to write one for you. You need at least three letters for most applications. Get a copy or transcript of your school record, including your grades and any clubs you participated in during your high school career. Make copies of everything. Nonprofit organizations should gather statistics that show why the program you're proposing is necessary. Describe what the results of your program will be once implemented.
Submit the grant application and all attachments before the due date. You may want to send the grant package through certified mail so you have proof of its arrival. If you are submitting the grant online, print the copy of your receipt after you've submitted the grant, along with a copy of what you submitted. Mark on your calendar the approximate day awards will be announced and follow up with a phone call to check on your application.
- Don't plan on getting the grant award. Many grant applications are rejected.
- Don't be disappointed if you fail to get a grant award. It happens.
- If your application is denied, ask the grant organization why they turned it down.
- Do not argue with the grant reviewer. You might reapply later.
- When submitting a paper application, print or type everything clearly. Make it easy to read.
- Make a cover page that tells the grant reviewer where they can find your attachments. Number or letter the attachments. For example, mark letters of recommendation as attachment A, transcripts as attachment B and so on.
- Video clips are sometimes allowed in grant applications. If you have a video that showcases your abilities, include a copy with your application.
- Submit more than one grant for your sport. This will increase your odds of success.
- If you are a nonprofit, consider making a presentation to the granting organization, including a tour. It can improve your chances of securing a grant.
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