The good news is that transit funding is about to take a huge leap forward. Impending funding opportunities, however, mean that agencies need to activate quickly to begin preparing their proposals. When going through the process, many agencies find it to be a fatiguing and daunting task. Some are so overwhelmed they simply give up. This shouldn’t happen. Remember, this isn’t a lottery, it’s a grant application. The odds of getting your funding are far better when you take the time to create an effective and comprehensive document.
First of all, remember you have more than enough time and skill to do this job. As the saying goes, “once begun, half done.” Whether or not you have a team or dedicated staff whose job it is to seek out and secure transit funding, you can get started right away. Begin by doing your homework and building a wish list for your agency. You’ll discover that the funding landscape is filled with potential sources of money. Some sources may be a perfect fit for the needs of your agency. For example, green initiatives are a priority for the FTA. It may be that your need for funding aligns with a specific aspect of TIGGER requirements.
So what’s the secret to securing funding? It has a lot to do with the attention to detail. Your application is like a resume for your agency. If something on it appears to be inaccurate, missing or confusing, it isn’t going to lend credibility to your proposal. But just like a resume, it only takes a little research and due diligence to get it up to snuff. There are a variety of resources you can access that can provide insight and advice. For example, if you’re a rural, small urban or tribal transit agency, visit NationalRTAP.org and check out their comprehensive Resource Library.
Part of what I do at TripSpark is to help agencies align their grant applications with the purchase of transit technology. And much of that help comes in the form of advice on how to construct the document itself. If you attend our upcoming webinar, you’ll some free advice, firsthand from professional grant writers. You can watch the webinar here: http://go.tripspark.com/effective-grant-writing-for-your-funding-initiatives-lp.html
In less than an hour, you can take some of the stress out of the work ahead. And as always, now is the time to start dreaming big.