Tightening Up Your Grant and Loan Applications
Written submissions for grant proposals or loan applications can’t be sloppy. On the contrary, as we discussed in our last post this is one time that you want to ensure that your work is letter perfect. The easiest and most efficient way to accomplish this task is to enlist the help of a software tool with a strong writing/text editing application, like the Writer program in WPS Office.
We went over some of the basics of Writer previously to get you started; now it’s time to “up your game” and employ some strategies of power users. By doing so, you’ll be able to make your submission really stand out to the funding bodies that will be reviewing it.
.There are two techniques that, once mastered, will make a huge difference in the quality and style of your written proposal. The first is learning how to develop a document template that you can use to create multiple grant or loan applications that you can send to different funding institutions. The second is familiarizing yourself with some of the top formatting techniques that are commonly used in creating these types of submissions.
Avoiding Repetition Through Templates
Once upon a time, whenever you wanted to create a new file, you’d need to repeat your work by creating settings each time even if it was the same type of file that you’d used previously. This is no longer true as long as you understand how to use templates. Templates are simply pre-formatted “starter files” that give you a launching pad to create a specific kind of new document without reinventing the wheel. For example, during a job search, you might use templates as your starting point to create resumes and cover letters that you can then tailor and send to multiple employers without having to reformat the basic document settings over and over.
In the world of grant applications as well, templates can save you a huge amount of work. Many grant applicants target more than one institution or organization to try to obtain funding, which means that it makes sense to use templates whenever you need to prepare multiple applications.
WPS Office offers a gallery of hundreds of built-in online templates—called Docer Online Templates—which you can access at this link. As you’ll see, this gallery provides an impressive variety of templates, from PowerPoint and Word templates to spreadsheet templates. Each type of template is ready to use and can thus make you more efficient and productive in creating your grant or loan application materials.
In WPS Writer, you’ll find that the templates fall under different categories that may be useful in your submission. You can begin by viewing the category headings—such as memo, letter, invoice, etc.—and choosing which you would like to download free of charge. If you can’t find the type of template that you have in mind to help you with a specific part of your application, you can use the search toolbar in the top right corner of the Docer Online Templates screen. When you type in your keywords, you’ll be presented with a list of related templates from which to choose. WPS Spreadsheets also provides a set of unique templates that may come in handy for either grant or loan applications, including budget, finance, and calendar templates, as well as tracker templates that can help you organize details about each of your submissions
Finessing Your Proposal Through Formatting
Once you’ve selected the appropriate templates for your grant proposal, the next step is to format your documents according to the requirements specified by the funding body. While each institution will have its own guidelines, it’s crucial to follow the directions carefully. Many funders won’t consider applications that don’t adhere strictly to their formatting specifications.
But don’t worry—as long as you use an effective text editing application like Writer from WPS Office, your formatting work will be a breeze. That’s because in the case of Writer, the application itself comes fully equipped with an extensive array of formatting tools that you can use to finesse your proposal. Writer is compatible with MS Word, which provides a Formatting Toolbar that users can easily manage to create the exact type of document they need.
Let’s take a look at some formatting tools and techniques for the program that might be useful when preparing grant or loan applications:
- Font styles. Check the guidelines from the funding body and confirm whether grant proposals need to be styled in a certain font. Writer provides more than 230 fonts, but it’s important to choose the one that the grant reviewers prefer for submissions.
- Type size. The formatting requirements will likely specify an exact point size for the type used in your documents. You can easily indicate the point size by highlighting the text in your proposal and then choosing the size you want from the Formatting Toolbar.
- Page numbers. Writer offers the ability to add headers or footers to your documents. If required, you can choose to add consecutive page numbers using the footer function. You should also verify whether you’re required to include a document header, such as the last name of the author of the proposal.
- Tables/graphs. Writer offers support for tables, columns, graphs, charts, and other images. You’ll be able to style these the way you want them in terms of size, color, and other variables using the program.
- Alignment. The Formatting Toolbar includes an option to align copy to the right, left, or center; be sure to check the guidelines in each section of the proposal to see what is required.
- Margins. Many grant proposal guidelines will provide exact margin specifications for the top, bottom, and side margins of your document. Your formatting tools will allow you to do this automatically.
For more tips, guides, and information on using WPS Office, please visit our Online Knowledge Base.