Successful Grant Writing

Follow our 3 steps to engage in successful grant writing. Everyone wants the ability to pursue as many grants as possible and win them all! But, you must consider the value of your time and understand that there are many nonprofits, small businesses, or individuals applying for the same grants. Go to GrantWriterTeam and hire a grant writer to help you.

Steps for successful grant writing:

  1. Determine if a grant is a good match for you
  2. Research past winners of the grant, compare and contrast their needs with your own
  3. Hone your writing skills. Take a formal grant writing class. You can sign up at GWI.education and stay tuned.

First, determine if a grant is right for you. Do this by reviewing the size of the grant and eligibility criteria. If you require $10,000 for your programming but the grant is worth $50,000, don’t apply for it. On the reverse side, if you require $50,000 and the grant is for $10,000, apply for a few grants to be able to complete your project.

If a grant requires a 501(c)3 status but you don’t have it, don’t apply for it. That would be a waste of your time and the time of the funding source.

Next, go online! Research past recipients of the grant and consider their programming and goals. It is good to compare your programming with theirs. You might find a pattern in the funding source’s awarding behavior. The funding source could lean toward a method of programming or a goal. For instance, a funding source may say they provide relief to “under-funded” areas but have historically stuck to inner-cities. This would mean if you are in a rural under-funded area, you most likely will not get the grant.

Last, take a formal grant writing class. A good course will teach you some of the following:

  • Research and find grants
  • The fundamentals of a grant proposal
  • Similarities and differences of proposal formats
  • The roles and responsibilities of a nonprofit board of directors and management team
  • Establishing the need for your proposal
  • Writing, editing, proofreading and completing the final proposal document
  • Preparing a budget

For upcoming courses from experienced and world-renowned grant writers, sign up for Grant Writing Institute at GWI.education.

After completing these 3 steps, you will be well-prepared for applying for grants. And if you need help, consult a grant writer at GrantWriterTeam.com. 

10 Grant Writing Pointers

Grant writing for your nonprofit; Easy peasy, right? Well, not really!

You can write the grant in-house with your staff and hire a grant writer for review or hire a grant writer to lead the project and make your ideas come to fruition. Either way you should follow these: 

10 grant writing pointers that will help you win!

1. Research! Get help! Don’t try to write ALL PARTS of the grant yourself. Seek expertise for your response to each question or section from an expert in that area. A grant writer from GrantWriterTeam can also offer valuable direction and input into your proposal. 

2. Gather copies of all previously funded grants, grant applications, and any print materials about your organization. Having these documents to work from means you don’t have to start from scratch. Create a digital file and a hard copy folder containing the organization's:

  • Executive Summary
  • Organizational Background and Description
  • Existing Programs and Resources
  • Board of Directors List with their Expertise, Background and Affiliations
  • Staff Resumes and Staff Budget
  • Financial Policies and Current Management 
  • Facilities Lease, Blueprints and Insurance 
  • Licenses
  • Inventory of Equipment
  • Policies and Procedures Handbooks
  • Current Annual and Program Budgets

3. Talk to your Board. Have as many eyes as possible on your grant proposal. A board member may be able to give valuable additions to a narrative or may possibly be familiar with the funding source.

4, Keep learning about your topic. Continually seek articles and resources of best practices that will back-up and provide evidence for the need, viability and future success of your proposed program.

5. Review your mission statement with your Board before including it in the narrative. A nonprofit’s mission statement is pivotal to the grant proposal and should be updated to represent the scope of what you do.

6. Send a thank you note after every interaction with the funding source. Send the note to the attention of the individual contact at the funding source after you discuss your programming and eligibility and most definitely after receiving a grant. Stay in touch throughout the grant application process and beyond!

7. Write a personalized grant proposal. If space is not an issue, include anecdotes and photographs that demonstrate the need for funding and your expertise. 

8. Give the responsibility of grants to seasoned professionals. Don’t dump it on volunteers. Volunteers seldom have the technical grant writing skills needed. Survey your staff to see who has previous grant writing experience or hire a grant writer from GrantWriterTeam. Regardless of who writes the grant, you need a lead person in the organization to review section by section as the grant is prepared.

9. Apply for grants within your financial management capabilities. This speaks to the funding source's confidence in your organization's ability to mange large funds and your financial management policies. Apply for manageable grants.

10. Share and collaborate to provide services. If your grant application also requires a provision of service beyond your expertise, call up a highly respected neighboring nonprofit and develop a memorandum of understanding (for the provision of those services). You should also forward your emails about upcoming grants from GrantWatch.com, so they can apply and include you in their applications.

Remember, if you need help applying for a grant, request a writer at GrantWriterTeam.com, today! 

About the Author: Libby is the Founder and CEO of GrantWriterTeam and has been writing grants for over 20 years. This article was written with contributions from Sabeen Faquir.

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