Mini-Grants 101: Application Tips and Tricks

As the site director for National Catholic Sisters Week, I have the special privilege of also being on the Mini-Grant review committee. With the November 1st deadline for the 2019 Mini-Grant application fast approaching, I thought I would offer some insight and tips for a successful application.

Some general grant writing advice:

  1. Be sure to answer all of the questions in your narrative. In crafting a good grant application, it is imperative that you address each and every question within the application. There are two ways you can approach this – you can either list every question with your response below or you can weave the questions together into a narrative. The list and respond method allows you to make 100% certain that you have responded to each question (how could you not?!?). If you write a narrative, be sure to review to ensure that you have answered all the questions before submitting.
  2. Enlist an outside reader. Asking a third party (within your own organization, even) to read your grant application ensures that your overall goals and objectives are clear to an outsider. This means that your application will make sense to the grant review committee, giving you a greater chance of receiving funding.
  3. Check, and double check, your budget. Be sure that your budget matches your proposed event ideas. If you are working with outside contractors, ask them for a quote before assuming their costs.

Some advice specific to NCSW 2019:

  1. Know our focus areas: This year, we are especially interested in funding events that focus on the following:

    1. Spirituality and Prayer

    2. Vocations

    3. Ministries

    4. Social Justice

    5. Engagement with Young Women

    6. Multiple Events

  2. Go Deeper: If you are a past Mini-Grant recipient, we are encouraging you to go a little deeper with this year’s planning.  If you had an ice cream social for college students and sisters, consider adding a conversational or prayer element.  

  3. Make connections: Consider partnering up with a local (or not local) organization to make connections between sisters and seniors, students, or community groups.  There is power in numbers, and you might discover some unexpected commonalities!

We are looking forward to seeing what amazing event ideas you come up with, as we all work together to make NCSW 2018 the biggest and best celebration yet!

About Molly Hazelton

Molly Hazelton is the site director of National Catholic Sisters Week, headquartered at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She credits her love, respect and admiration for Catholic sisters to her grandmother, Isabel, who was educated in nursing by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph at Fanny Allen Hospital in Colchester, Vt. Molly is also a trained librarian, so please feel free to ask her for book recommendations.