Different organizations define small grant differently – for some it is a grant under 10,000$, for some under 20,000$ and for some even under 50,000$. Normally, the biggest difference to a regular grant is that there are fewer requirements to apply for it. For many donors, a small grant is the first step to see if you are a reliable partner and if a future collaboration will be possible. Sometimes a donor only has a small budget for grants and that is the reason why they give out small grants.
If you consider applying for a small grant with your organization, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Tip 1: Use a small grant as a launchpad
An application for a small grant is a great way to get started on a project or program. Many donors are willing to take more risks with small grants. If your project has a very innovative approach or your staff has not much experience to bring to the table, your chances to get funding are better if you start small.
Tip 2: Carefully read the guidelines
Every donor has different guidelines, so be careful to read them and understand them thoroughly before you apply. Also be very clear about what you want to achieve with your project before you write your proposal.
Tip 3: Follow the requirements
Many times the format for a proposal is not as strict as with bigger grants. Be careful to still follow the requirements though. Even if you do not have to follow an exact logframe, your proposal should still be professional.
Tip 4: Be realistic
Also be realistic in your proposal. Nobody expects you to change the world with a small grant. Pick your area and do good work to impress the donor. If they really like your work, it will be much easier to get a regular grant in the future. If your approach was successful on a small scale, donors will be happy to support upscaling as well.
Tip 5: Ask questions
When a donor gives out small grants, they know that many of their grantees have very little experience with grants. They will probably be more willing to answer questions and to support you in the process of applying. If something is not clear, just ask.