How to Improve Grant Application Completion Rates


Requiring candidates to complete a detailed grant application is essential for screening out unqualified applicants and gathering the information you need to review submissions effectively. But if surprisingly few candidates apply for your organization’s funding opportunity, it may be time to revisit the application process.

Discover how to improve grant application completion rates and still get the information you need.

Accept Digital Applications

If you haven’t begun accepting digital grant applications yet, making this major change could make a substantial impact on completion rates. Not only are digital applications easier to access than paper forms, but going digital also gives your team the opportunity to track the application process much more closely.

When you collect and review applications through a digital grant management system like Submittable, you can also ensure that the entire process works smoothly for tablet and smartphone users. With responsive design and mobile-friendly forms for all of your grant applications, you won’t have to worry about losing candidates partway through the submission process.

Simplify the Login Process

When you offer digital grant applications, you can easily allow candidates to create secure logins that enable them to update or check their application’s status. Be sure to choose a system that has a backup plan in case candidates misplace their login credentials. Otherwise, they may not be able to complete partial applications.

To reduce the risk of login-related issues, make the process as simple as possible. Allow candidates to save their login data on their local machines or integrate the process into your organization’s website so users can access a wide range of information quickly.

Give It a Professional Look

No matter how prestigious your organization might be, you may struggle to entice applicants if your grant submission website doesn’t look legitimate. For best results, ensure that your grant application has both a professional look and consistent branding throughout.

When you use a digital system to accept and monitor grant submissions, you can usually customize every form, giving your application a sleek appearance that’s easy to navigate. Since software like Submittable’s generates application pages with custom URLs and allows you to use your organization’s branding, you can easily integrate the entire application into your own website, giving candidates peace of mind.

Provide Instant Translations

If native speakers of a variety of languages can apply for your organization’s funding opportunity, you’ll want to make it possible for everyone to understand and complete the application. With a submission management software localization option, you can set the submission page to translate into any language, adding an extra layer of inclusivity to your grant application.

Update Questions Automatically

For many funding opportunities, not all grant application questions will apply to every candidate. Tailoring questions to candidates can easily improve conversion rates since overwhelming applicants with irrelevant questions may cause some candidates to click away before completing their submission.

Rather than requiring every applicant to answer the same query, use dynamic questions instead. When executed properly, dynamic questions populate depending on the previous answers candidates provide. This ensures that all inquiries are relevant and that your team receives all the information it needs to review.

Offer Easy File Uploads

For some candidates, limited tools or a lack of technological expertise may mean that they can’t provide data in a specific file format. If your digital application only allows for one file type and your team won’t accept paper materials, candidates may have no choice but to call your team for assistance or simply leave their applications incomplete.

reasons to move your grants application process online

With a full-featured grant application system, however, you don’t have to limit the types of files you can accept. An application like Submittable can accept over 50 file types, giving candidates the opportunity to upload text, graphic, audio, and even video files to complete their applications.

While your organization’s grant applications should be comprehensive, they don’t have to be overly complicated. Implement these six strategies to boost your grant application completion rates without compromising candidate quality.