June 13, 2024

The digital age has opened up many possibilities for small businesses that lack the resources larger companies have. While the grant application process is typically expensive and time-consuming, technology can eliminate the need for a specific grant writer. Specifically, ChatGPT can streamline the process and help secure funds.

What Use Is ChatGPT in the Grant Application Process? 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sometimes need additional funding. They don’t often have dedicated grant writers on staff, which can pose an issue. While they always have the choice to hire someone, they may be unable to spare the expense if they’re already looking for extra funds.

While the only choices in the past may have been to hire someone or go without, technological advances make an alternative possible. Organizations can use tools like ChatGPT because it can rapidly produce written content for their grant application process.

Human error is avoidable with the right technology. Some of the most significant benefits of transforming processes digitally are increased accuracy and efficiency. Streamlining the process is essential when the result is expanded financial support.

What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) model developed by the company OpenAI that can provide feedback, answer follow-up questions, and respond to prompts. It’s a natural language processing engine, meaning it speaks like humans. The data it trained on came from all over the internet, so it has a wide variety of knowledge. It’s gone through several iterations and has grown in intelligence and scope with each one.

How Can It Help With the Grant Application Process?

The most important part of the grant application process may be the proposal. A grant proposal is a written outline of an organization’s intent for potential funds meant to encourage granters to give support. It is the foundation for the rest of the process and can increase the likelihood of a successful application.

Most professional grant writers either charge a flat fee or a percentage of the amount of funds you request in exchange for their work. ChatGPT can replace or assist with many parts of the grant writing process to improve accuracy, save money, and streamline the process.

1. Generate Text

One of the most useful ways AI can help with the process is through text generation. It can provide you with large chunks of text based on the prompt you give it. You can gradually generate sections of text until it writes the entire proposal for you.

If an SME doesn’t have the resources to hire a professional or designate someone as the grant writer, they can simply request the entire text from the AI.

2. Give You a Starting Point

Even if you’re considering hiring someone, it can help to get a strong starting point. It might be challenging for SMEs to decide which information is relevant and interesting. Thankfully, ChatGPT can understand and respond to very specific requests with accuracy.

You can ask the software to create a grant proposal outline for your industry or problem. It answers with precise information that directly relates to your organization and query. Unlike simply using a search engine, ChatGPT gives you incredibly pertinent information. However, be mindful that its knowledge base only extends to the data available before September 2021, so you may not have access to the most recent information in your industry.

3. Streamline the Process

Any organization searching for additional funding can benefit from a streamlined grant application process. Searching online for information or ideas can take up valuable time. ChatGPT usually responds within a second or less, which means you can continuously tweak and enhance your proposal with little to no downtime.

4. Provide Feedback

Since the AI is a natural language processing engine with billions of parameters, it can have a human-like conversation with you. If you have an idea you want feedback, you can prompt it to give you a detailed response. The answer it gives won’t have a ton of weight because it is based on its training data, but it may still provide valuable insight. It lets you think out of the box and get another perspective on parts of the proposal.

5. Refine Your Writing

You can use ChatGPT to refine its writing or yours. Since it generates almost any content nearly instantaneously, you can keep plugging in text until you have something you like. For example, if it gives you a great chunk of text with a few inconsistencies, you could ask it to clarify or revise those sections.

What’s the Best Way to Use ChatGPT?

While it’s a relatively simple tool with many straightforward uses, there are a few ways you can enhance the process of going back and forth with it.

Your grant proposal will be better if you know how to best use ChatGPT:

  • Write clear prompts: Exact language is best for generating very precise text. It’s more likely to know what you’re asking and give you a relevant answer if your prompt is very clear.
  • Review its content: While ChatGPT is very useful, its accuracy isn’t guaranteed. It’s best to review and edit everything it creates to ensure everything is factual and information about your organization is correct.
  • Be specific: You can ask it to create text that specifically relates to your industry, field, or issue, so take advantage of that. Instead of asking generic questions, plug information in about specific parts of your sector.
  • Repeat your process: AI works best when you phrase your question in multiple ways. Repeating your prompt with slight variations causes it to respond differently, providing you with more to work with.

While ChatGPT is incredibly useful, it’s ultimately simply a tool. Remember that human assistance and evaluation are necessary to ensure everything is entirely accurate and relevant to the organization’s goal.

ChatGPT Can Help SMEs with Grant Proposals

Technology has advanced to the point where an AI can help brainstorm, write, and edit a grant proposal. ChatGPT can be incredibly beneficial for small businesses looking to secure funding. SMEs looking to digitally transform their grant writing process can utilize it to save valuable time and resources.

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