Learn how up-and-coming AI tools such as ChatGPT can help small businesses with the grant application process.

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

AI can provide 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.

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. 

You can ask ChatGPT to create a grant proposal outline for your industry or problem. It answers with precise information that directly relates to your organization and query. 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. Provide Feedback

Since 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 outside the box and get another perspective on parts of the proposal.

4. Refine Your Writing

Since ChatGPT generates almost any content nearly instantaneously, you can keep plugging in text until you have something you like. 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 improve the trial-and-error process.

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.

This article was written by April Miller from Small Biz Technology and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

This article is licensed content that was created by a third party not affiliated with Santander Bank, N.A. (“Santander”). This article is for promotional purposes only. Santander does not provide investment, business, financial, accounting, tax, or legal advice, and the content of this article does not constitute investment, business, financial, accounting, tax, or legal advice. Santander does not make any claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, currency, or adequacy of any content. Santander expressly disclaims all express and implied warranties of accuracy, completeness, currency, or adequacy of the information and content in this article. Readers should consult their own attorneys or tax or other advisors regarding the applicability of any referenced information, or financial or other strategies to their own unique circumstances. This article does not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Santander. Please note that third-party websites may have privacy and security policies different from Santander; please review the privacy and security policies of such websites.

Santander Bank, N.A. is a Member FDIC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. ©2023 Santander Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Santander, Santander Bank and the Flame Logo are trademarks of Banco Santander, S.A. or its subsidiaries in the United States or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Was this article helpful?

You already voted!