Grant Writing Tips

To “write” a grant means to put all the information together with the intention of asking someone else for money. A grant writer knows how to balance the facts—things like budget and history—with the vision—what the money will be used for and why there’s a need for that. Grant writing is quite challenging, because grant-awarding agencies often need a great deal of information before they decide who they will award grants to.

If you are planning to write a grant in order to ask for a gift of funding, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Target a single, specific issue your organization wants to address. It can’t be too big or too broad. Think about exactly how you would spend the money if you were awarded the grant.

  • The budget is an estimate, but keep it as specific as possible.

  • Follow directions! If a foundation says they don’t fund certain types of projects, don’t submit that type of project. If they say they need certain information, get them that information.

  • Read some successful grants to find out just what works.

  • Include a catchy title, such as “Making Dreams Come True.” It’s a quality that will stick in the reviewers’ minds.

  • The problem is not your need. The problem is the community’s need. Make sure your grant addresses how the community that you serve will benefit from the grant, and how they will suffer without it.

  • The best thing you can do to get your grant approved is to think through your project thoroughly. People don’t get rejected so much for badly written grants as for badly planned projects.

  • Don’t forget to include a schedule for checking in with your grantors about the progress of your project. They really do want to know how it’s going.

  • How will you know if your program has been successful? Include a plan for evaluating the project.

  • Have someone outside of the project read over your grant application to make sure it all make sense. You might be too close to the information to realize you’ve left something unexplained.

  • Proofread! Typos and grammar errors do not convey a professional image.

Grants are available for so many worthwhile project that it’s a good use of your time to learn how to write them. Follow these tips, and you’ll turn in compelling grants that get you the funding you’re seeking.

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