Friday, March 12, 2010
A Modern Day Cinderella-Running Late and in a Hurry
Earlier this week I was in a hurry to get somewhere and the escalator I was riding wasn’t moving fast enough. So, I decided to go ahead and climb the steps instead of waiting for it to move me to the top. After just a couple of steps I realized I had just stepped out of my shoe (you know the black and gray snake skin heels that I really only wear with my black and gray hounds tooth checked teacup jacket….sorry sidetrack…anyway) but I only had two more steps to the top so I kept going. Once I reached the top I turned around and watched my high heeled shoe finish riding the escalator to the top. As I swooped down to pick it up and slip it back on my foot, (so much for saving some time and climbing the escalator) I thought to myself, this must be how a modern day Cinderella would feel: still in a hurry, still loosing her slipper, but now with technology instead of a prince.
I tell you that story, to remind you when you are preparing grant applications to not wait until the last minute to send in your application. Don’t be in a rush and overlook or leave out a piece of the application. Some applications require more than just the proposal, in some case there are separate budget forms that will need filled out. Federal grant applications may also require additional forms such as lobbying, non-construction, or budget justification forms. If any of the required forms are not included in your application package the grantor will throw it out and not review it.
Also, grantors are very strict on deadlines and due dates. Some grants may call for a “Letter of Interest” prior to the full application being due. These simply give the funder an idea of how many applications they will be receiving so they can plan and prepare accordingly. But you should also note that receiving that letter by the due date could be critical to them accepting your full proposal by the application due date.
Another tip is that if you use grants.gov to submit applications, please be aware that on busier days the system can get bogged down and run slower. It may take too long for your application to upload and if you miss the cut off (time wise) you will be out of luck and they will not accept your application. It is wise to submit your application a couple of days early just in case something goes wrong. I usually suggest trying to get online and send it early in the morning or later in the evening as there are fewer users on and the system runs quicker. It will save you time and frustration to plan ahead, and not to wait till the last minute.