Are you looking to expand your business, save money and boost profits, while building green credentials? Wading through a swamp of information about green business grant programmes can prove challenging, especially for smaller businesses that don’t always have the staff or expertise to manage grant writing.
To ease the burden, here’s some advice on how to find the best programmes for your needs and how to increase your odds of winning their approval.
1. Call your utility company and ask about the grants and rebates they offer.
The variety of programmes vary, but almost all utilities offer some incentives to offset the cost of energy reduction projects. Larger customers may have a rep they deal with directly who will walk them through the process, while smaller customers may have to call the utility directly and ask for assistance.
Utilities also offer energy audits to help customers identify areas for improvement, which can help focus your grant writing and get you on the utility company’s radar when future programmes open up.
2. Scour the web for grants, rebates and other incentive programmes related to your project goals.
J4bgrants is a funding information portal for small businesses and has thousands of funding opportunities – from European funding at one end of the spectrum to local small business schemes at the other. It has a wealth wealth of free tools and resources for businesses from those just starting out to those looking for finance to help them expand. The site enables you to search for funding specific to your region, sector and business size.
For small to medium sized UK-based businesses, take a look at the Carbon Trust Green Business Fund. The trust are an independent mission-driven organisation staffed by sustainability and low carbon experts. They offer an energy opportunity assessment, equipment procurement support, and a financial contribution towards energy saving equipment.
3. Sign up for email alerts for sites from which you want updates on new programme and deadlines.
By receiving regular emails about deadlines and new grant opportunities, this will ensure that you don’t miss out on valuable grant opportunities.
4. Make sure your idea or project closely matches what the grant is trying to accomplish.
It’s a waste of your time and their time if you apply for grants that don’t align with your project’s goals.
5. Have a management team in place to run the project.
It’s all very well having a bright idea, but unless you have the expertise to carry out the proposal, it’s unlikely you will secure a grant. Therefore it is essential to have a management team in place to run the project so that it doesn’t get eliminated from consideration.
6. Learn how to write a compelling and relevant grant proposal.
The ideal grant proposal should describe in a small amount of space your idea, why it’s important, your qualifications, and what you expect to accomplish. Even if your company has a great idea and a strong management team, if you can’t sell your proposal in a well-written grant, you probably won’t get the funding. That’s why we recommend researching grant writing skills or working with a professional grant writer before submitting your proposal.
7. Read the entire grant application before you start and do exactly what it says.
The no. 1 mistake people make with grant writing is not following directions. Even if it’s a good project, if it’s not done correctly you will get a lower rating, and that can mean the difference between getting funded or not.
We recommend having someone read your proposal before submitting it to double-check for mistakes and to make sure it makes sense. You can’t assume the grantor will know your project the way you do – a fresh set of eyes can identify gaps in your story.
8. Adjust your budget to take advantage of grant opportunities.
Companies should compare short-term and long-term budget planning against grant opportunities to see if purchasing decisions can be swapped out.
For example, if a fleet plans to purchase a cherry picker this year and a bucket truck next year, but a grant for hybrid trucks comes up, they might consider switching the purchases around. With a little flexibility you can leverage these grants to make your budget go further.
9. Be prepared to show your results.
There is no such thing as free money – when the government gives you funding they expect you to be accountable for what you did with it. Companies must be prepared to produce reports on how the money was spent and what was accomplished.
10. Don’t give up.
Keep in mind that you might need to apply to 10 grants or more before you win one. There is a lot of competition out there, but if your project is aligned with the programme’s goals and you write a good grant, you can get lucky. It’s definitely worth it to keep trying.
If you’re looking to establish a green, ethical project within your local community, Save the Earth have experienced grant writers who can help you put your proposal together. Why not get in touch with us, share your idea and find out how we can help?
Join Save the Earth’s Ethical Business Network.
“Our vision is of a world in harmony, a word in balance, a world restored and renewed. We believe this can best be achieved by a holistic co-operative approach to those challenges facing the peoples of this earth today – especially in the areas of environment, housing, nutrition, health, education and commerce.”
If this resonates with you, then Save the Earth invites your business to join us, by becoming a Creator Member of our co-operative. No matter where in the world your company is located, whether you employ 1000 + staff or you are a sole trader, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to be part of a network of like-minded businesses who embrace ethical ideals.
Is My Business Eligible to Join the Network?
Does your company sell ethical products or services, demonstrate sound ethical principles or make a positive contribution to society and / or the environment? Perhaps your business has signed up to a green or ethical scheme, such as the ISO 14001 Environment Management System? If your organisation has green credentials or aspires to embrace them, Save the Earth would love you to get on board with our initiative.
Who Are Save the Earth?
Save the Earth are a member-run co-operative dedicated to entrepreneurial and philanthropic efforts with the goal of regenerating the earth. Our vision is of a world in harmony, restored and renewed. We believe this can be achieved by a holistic co-operative approach to the challenges facing the people on our planet today, especially in relation to the environment, housing, nutrition, health, education and commerce. Learn more about our vision and mission here. for more : green energy security, Natural health, Ethical Business, Green Business
How Can the Ethical Business Network Benefit My Company?
Through becoming a Creative Member Company (CMC) of Save the Earth, we can offer your ethical business invaluable exposure and endorsement. Here are four key benefits:
1) Your CMC will receive an ethical business network marque logo for its website as visible approval from Save the Earth to your customers.
2) Save the Earth will feature your business in an editorial article on our blog and share it with our global audience. by Green Business
3) Your CMC will be listed on the Ethical Business Network landing page of Save the Earth’s website, with links back to your own website.
4) Up to three nominated members of your CMC will be eligible to become Guardian Members of Save the Earth at no additional cost, enabling them to attend business networking meetings and vote in matters of the co-operative, as well as enjoying numerous other benefits, such as free entry into our monthly cash raffle.
In addition to an introductory editorial article showcasing your business, Save the Earth will publish new product launches and press releases to our blog and social media networks free of charge every month. At present we have 25,000 active followers across our social media networks and 10,000 unique page views per month on our website, forecast to rise to 100,000 page views per month by the end of 2017, given our current growth figures. 45% of our hits come from the UK, 40% from the United States, 10% from Canada and Australia, with the remaining 5% from the rest of the world. green energy security, Natural health, Ethical Business , Green Business
All new CMC members will be announced in our monthly digital newsletter that will be linked back to your website or chosen offer or destination. You will also receive a quarter page advert as a joining bonus.
All CMC members will have first refusal on sponsorship of the events, initiatives and activities that Save the Earth manages throughout the year. These can be great for brand awareness and getting your products or services in front of like-minded customers.
All CMC members will also have the opportunity to advertise at substantial discounts on the Save the Earth website via banners, our shop, e-shots and newsletters, along with other opportunities that we will offer over the coming months. Green Business
Great! You What Else Can You Offer My Business?
CMC’s will be invited to Save the Earth events nationally and internationally to demonstrate its products or services at a 30% discount to normal concessions. Additionally, Green Business, businesses in the educational and teaching sectors will be invited to develop products and services under our joint venture scheme.
CMC’s will be invited to participate in ethical business networking meetings once they arrive in your area, and will be offered special advertising rates on all promotional material used in the ethical business networking meetings, even if you cannot attend meetings, or events have not yet started in your locality.
How Much Does it Cost?
If you take advantage of our Creator Membership in 2017 Green Business , your business can reap all these rewards for just £250 per annum (+ VAT if applicable at the time). Furthermore, if you sign up within this time period, we can renew your membership at this rate for subsequent years.
Prices will rise significantly from 2018 onwards, so don’t miss your chance to snap up our special offer at this limited introductory price.
Need to Know More?