This is the fourth post of a five-part blog series by Jim Hegarty, P.E., Prein&Newhof’s Grants and Financing Specialist.
I am convinced that preparation begets luck. I have found when my clients focus on these four things it greatly enhances their chances for funding success:
- Shovel-readiness: The better defined your project is by the time you apply for funding, the greater your chances for success. You at least should have a well-developed cost estimate and work plan. Preliminary studies, plans or sketches are nice, but completed design plans are better. Better still—have all your regulatory permits in-hand.
- “Skin”: If you are not willing to bet your own money on a project, why would anyone else? The more you can come up with, the better you will do. Some communities even have “matching funds” as a line item in their annual budgets, so they can take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
- Collaboration: Many funders like to see multi-party partnerships. It helps them leverage their own good will, and it shows them you have gathered strong support. If you do not have project partners, at least get support letters from other groups and communities.
- Political Support: You should gather support letters from elected representatives and ask them to promote your project to funding agencies. Be careful, however, not to overstep an agency’s funding process.