No matter how long you’ve been working as a grant writer, there can be times when experience teaches you a lesson about something you didn’t know. Maybe it was a situation you never encountered before. Maybe an innocent mistake taught you a lesson the hard way. One of the benefits of GPLH membership is that we can share these lessons learned along the way with one another.
In this blog feature, we aim to share lessons and advice based on experience, things you could easily miss. If you have a “lesson learned” story to add, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesson Learned: Budgets for Federal and State Grants
For federal and state grants, check to see if the agency provides a budget template before you submit grants to them. If not, those budget pages may count toward their page limit. Agencies are strict on page limits and will disqualify your grant if you go over the limit.
A grant writer we know attached a budget supplied by the organization CFO to the federal grant they were submitting. The form looked very official and in fact had come from a different federal agency. The grant writer was unaware that the form did not come from the agency they were applying to, and mistakenly thought the agency had supplied a budget template.
The agency the grant application was for does not count their forms toward the page limit, but the grant writer did not know the form they were using was not theirs. While the grant writer was diligent in counting pages, the application exceeded the page limit because the budget was not their form. Therefore, the application was disqualified. The grant writer will never make that mistake again and would like everyone to be aware of this scenario.