Apply for a GrantApplying for a grant is a challenging and exciting experience. Before you begin, you might find it helpful to read this quick presentation of grant writing 101.
Step 1:Choose the right grant program. (Already know? Go to step 2.) If you are unclear, learn more.
- Remember to make sure applications are being accepted this year by checking which grants are available.
- Review the grant application materials before beginning your application.
Step 2:Request a Login ID and Password if you don't already have one. We will create a PRISM account for you, and your login name and temporary password will be e-mailed to you within two working days.
Step 3:Start your application: To begin, go to PRISM to access the Application Wizard and select “Get Started/Start New Application.” You then will be prompted to fill out several screens of information about your project. On-screen instructions, tool tips, and links are available as you navigate through PRISM.
Step 4:Submit your application. To see an overview of the application process and schedule, visit the grant schedules page for the grant program for which you are applying.
Not every element of a grant application can be completed online. A finished application includes submitting items such as a letter of authorization from your city council or other governing board, maps, and plans. 'To Do' Lists also can be found on our Forms page.
After you’ve submitted your application, an outdoor grants manager will review your application and contact you.
Step 5:Prepare a presentation for the evaluation of your project. All projects are evaluated and ranked, usually by a team of experts. Some grant programs require you to make a presentation (Salmon Recovery Funding Board projects do not require a presentation). Please note that evaluations are based not only on the presentations but also on what is conveyed verbally at the evaluation meeting. It’s important to have compelling pictures and scripts. Below are some samples:
A complete grant application consists of entering project information into several “tabs” in PRISM and attaching all required documents, such as maps and site plans to the project. There is a 'To Do' List for each program that identifies the specific documents needed. Use the checklist to help ensure your application is complete. Also watch out for these common mistakes.
- Common Mistake - A one or two sentence project description.
Solution – Please do not assume the reviewers and evaluators understand the scope of the project, the goal and purpose of the project, the dynamics of the project location and general area, or why the project is important. Make sure your project description explains the scope of work and why the project is important. The description should be clear and concise and focus on the grant proposal. Generally a succinct, yet informative description can be written in two paragraphs.
- Common Mistake - Forgetting to include the match in the overall cost of the project in the project cost estimate.
Solution – Start by selecting the work types and entering the metrics. Then carefully prepare the cost estimate, which is the project budget. These costs include the sponsor match, donations, and expected expenditures necessary to complete the proposed scope of work.
- Common Mistake – Mathematical errors between the cost estimate and funding request tabs.
Solution – Make sure the total from the cost estimate equals the total of the match plus grant amount. Staff recommends you complete the cost estimate and then review the dollars on the funding request tab to make sure they match. If not, modify as needed.
- Common Mistake – Not providing the minimum required sponsor match.
Solution – Check that the match meets the minimum requirements for the grant program. The Funding Request tab sets the grant-to-match ratio for funding and subsequent reimbursement. Review program policies in RCO grant manuals so you are clear about maximum and minimum grant requests and the percentage of sponsor match required.
- Common Mistake – Not attaching documents correclty.
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Solution – There is an Attachments Screen in the PRISM Online application and you must attach all required documents before you may submit your application. Required attachments are outlined on the 'To Do' List for each program. Include the applicant name, project name, and RCO grant number on each attachment. Maps also must include a north arrow, scale, and labels for any major highways, roads, cities, water bodies, etc. If the project includes any combination of acquisition, development, or restoration, you must attach the documents required for all project types.