Whether you’re a TPP grantee or hope to be one in the future, it’s always helpful to get a little perspective from those that have “been there and done that.”
With that in mind, we recently asked grantees what their best advice would be for future grantees–and they delivered!
From words of inspiration to practical application guidance, our grantees know what it takes to successfully apply for a grant and run a project–and they want to help others achieve the same goals.
Here are their best tips for anyone who hopes to be a future TPP grantee.
“You don’t have to be great to make a difference,” says David Mulo, leader of the Community Impact Program Kick & Conserve in Kenya. “But you have to start to be great.”
Mulo reminds future grantees that things don’t have to be perfect to realize your unique dream of how to change the world.
“Your potential is within you, so bring it out the way you think and feel. That is your uniqueness. Serve your gift with integrity and class, where you are and with what you have.”
Mulo makes an important point–that doing what you can with what you’ve got is a mantra worth living by. If your dream seems far from reality right now, just start by taking one small action toward your goal today.
Take your time
of the Take a Step project in Nigeria advises potential grantees to slow down and take their time in filling out the grant application.
“Be calmed. Read every question and make sure you understand every letter.”
We find this is particularly important because often incomplete applications are submitted. As a service to potential grantees, we offer the opportunity to speak to our Grants Manager, Tara Matthews, at the beginning of your application process to answer any questions you may have. Take advantage of this offer! It’ll go a long way in ensuring you understand the application’s questions. For further help, be sure to check out our post on Getting to “Yes”: Top 5 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Receiving Funding from The Pollination Project.
Do some groundwork
Once you have your grant, it’s always a smart idea to make sure you’re using all your available resources to the best of your ability.
Tah Kennette Konsum, who runs an IT-based homeschooling program for kids in Cameroon who are not attending school due to ongoing armed conflict, advises:
“Always do your ground work by mobilizing local human and material resources for the project. In this way, the grant falls on a ready plant and will just be pollinated to form the right seeds for sustainability.”
Konsum’s connection between doing groundwork and project sustainability is a wise one–we have found that those grantees who do their groundwork often have much more successful projects in the long-run.
Mind your budget
When your project gets underway, Obore Joseph, whose project is the empowerment and development of youth through mentoring, networking, and capacity building sessions in Eastern Uganda, recommends that you always keep your budget in the back of your mind:
“Future grantees should make sure that they use the seed grant to cover costs approved in the proposed project budget. They must update TPP on the implementation of each project activity.”
This is great advice! As part of being a grantmaker, TPP is required to keep track of how all of the grant money is used by our grantees and a breakdown of expenses is expected for grantees’ final reports. Minding your budget while your project progresses–including recording how money was used, keeping receipts, and understanding the need for your purchases–will go a long way in helping your reporting to TPP.
Never give up
Obianuju Eloji of the I Can Read And Write (ICRAW) Project in Nigeria reminds us that hope and perseverance are vital to success:
“Have a goal and achieve it no matter how tough it gets. What is worth doing is worth doing well.”
That means if your first grant application gets denied, find out how you can make your project more viable or improve your application, and try again! TPP wants to support you in your work to make the world a more just and compassionate place for all.
Finally, we are reminded by Adedeji that your project, your passion to change the world, and your partnership with TPP is about more than just a grant.
“TPP is a wonderful opportunity, not just about the grant. It teaches patience and even gives you [a] deeper understanding [of] the work you do.”
And that is, ultimately, what TPP aims to accomplish–to provide all of our current and future grantees a place and platform to mine a deeper understanding of their place in the world.