5/2 - Coordinating the Application Writing Process




  • Allocating the writing tasks of the application to people with the right skills and experience;
  • Ensuring that the writer or team of writers is fully briefed, well coordinated and kept informed about developments;
  • If there are partner organisations involved in the project delivery, it is very beneficial to capture their input and feedback during the application writing process;
  • Once a draft application is completed organising its editing and quality control;
  • Ensuring that the timing of of the process leaves sufficient time for collecting all the required approvals and signatures from senior staff and partner organisations;
  • Regular checks to ensure that all funder's requirements are fully met including technical annexes, letters of support, partners profiles, details (such as proof of indemnity insurance, registration documents, etc.)



Many funding applications, particularly for larger projects, are complex and require a multi-skilled team. This tool proposes an example of how an organisation has described the skills of a grant coordinator.

We also recommend you to draft a Gantt Chart  to help organising the timing of the application writing process. To do so, you can refer to the Stop 2/2 - Defining the Strategy Timeline.






Who is this tool for ? When should the tool be used?

Project Design Leader; Funding Coordination Officer/Team

When your organisation requires funding from external funding sources. At an early stage before funding calls are acute so that you are well prepared and ready when needed.


Click on the stations to navigate throught the Application line!


Application line step 1Application line step 2Application line step 3Application line step 4Application line step 5Application line step 6Application line step 7


Key challenges of this step


  • It is vital to maintain a good level of coherence across the different parts of the application. Therefore, all writers need to have an in-depth understanding of your project, the key aims of the funding programme you are applying for, the specific focus of the call, and the selection criteria of applications.
  • Finding time to write an application can be a challenge. Ensure that sufficient priority is given by senior staff to the writing process.
  • Ensure that sufficient time is made available for quality control, proof reading, consistency checks, revision, obtaining approval and required signatures, collecting letters of intent from partners, etc. if required.
  • If your project is going to be funded from mulitple-sources, be mindful of the complexity of this process. Different funders usually have different application forms, different requirements, different submission deadlines, and different funding time lines. If you have a multi-fund situation this will require excellent coordination skills.

Main risks

  • Under-estimating the time for writing funding applications is a risk, particularly when there are a number of writers and/or partners involved. This might cause last minute stress that increases the risk of missing important items.
  • If there are a number of writers for one application, there is a risk that each writer has a different understanding of the project, or is not kept up-to-date with changes in certain sections of the application form. This can result in inconsistencies. The various writers need to understand the project as a whole including the sections they are not responsible for to be able to make suitable connections and linkages.
  • At times, external support is commissioned to help in some aspects of the application writing process. The input of external service providers needs to be coordinated and well- managed to ensure that the application is in line with what you intend to achieve and that it complies with the city's abilities and capacities to implement the project well.
  • Failure to submit on time due to last minute IT problems is a risk. Therefore, plan your process well.

Helpful tips

  • Before starting the writing process it is advisable to confirm that the project has acquired all the necessary approvals, commitments and ring-fenced budget allocations from senior decision makers (lead partner as well as project partner organisations).
  • Check with your colleagues (and partners) who have experience in coordinating and writing funding bids and whether the submission deadline is achievable in view of existing procedures and circumstances. Gain their feedback to tap into their experience and/or engage them in the bid writing process.
  • Identify one dedicated coordinator for the application writing process per project.
  • Organise frequent work meetings with the various writers of the application form, to tackle common issues, clarify questions, and to create appropriate linkages between the various sections of the application form. This is particularly important for aligning the project activities with the project budget section.
  • Allow for plenty of time before the submission deadline for editing, quality check, proof reading, revision, and signatures.
  • If you are not experienced, ensure that an experienced member of staff/partner/external service provider checks your time table/Gantt Chart for completeness and appropriateness of time allocations for the writing process.
  • Keep detailed notes and allocate sufficient time to complete a thorough check of all submission requirements well before the submission deadline.
  • If you have the internal resources ensure that the application form will be pre-appraised in line with the selection criteria of the funding organisation. This can be of great importance.