Grant Writing 101: Start With the Basics

What is the most valuable resource for learning grant writing basics? For some grant writers, just surfing the Web using Google search finds them the information they need. But while there’s plenty of information out there, like most internet searches, weeding through the results to find gold takes valuable time.

That’s why grant writers also turn to colleagues, experienced grant writers and funders for feedback and tips. This kind of advice — from those who have walked the same path can help grant writers with less experience tackle more complex grant applications than they are used to. They help to avoid pitfalls and embrace industry-standard “best practices.” And be sure to visit GrantWriterTeam.com for more information and resources for grant writers.

Remember the 5 Rs of Grant Writing Basics

Because grant writers usually have little or no idea who will review the proposal they submit, uncertainty is part of the process. What are the grant reviewer’s expectations? Are they experts on the subject at hand? How experienced are they at reviewing grant proposals and applications?

Using the 5 Rs of grant writing offers a way for proposals to leave a positive impression on reviewers. The reason is, they cover the basics of what every grant writer should do in preparing a grant.

Here are the 5 Rs:

1. Readiness. Every grant writer should become 100% familiar with everything about the grant in question. What does the funding organization expect the grant to achieve? And, what documents must be included with the proposal? Knowing the grant guidelines before starting the process gives the grant writer a better chance at giving the funder precisely what they are looking for.

2. Research. Part of the grant writing process is researching everything about the organization funding and/or awarding the grant. And, naturally you should also thoroughly research the grant itself. You can find some successful research stories here at GrantWriterTeam.com.

3. Relationships. Building relationships is key to success as a grant writer. It’s as simple as keeping in touch with key people in the funding organization and, of course, your client or clients. And these relationships often begin with submitting a Letter of Interest ahead of a grant.

4. Writing. Kick into your best storytelling gear when drafting an outline and/or narrative for your grant. A grant application should tell a story. This story tells why your client deserves this grant. Also, it shows how they will use the grant to achieve their own and the grantor’s goals.

5. Reporting. Every grantor wants to know the effect of their funding. So nearly all grants include reporting requirements as part of the grant award. Of course, this can depend on the granting organization and/or complexity of the grant. And many grants require reporting throughout the lifecycle of the grant. So it’s important to submit reports when expected to keep the grantor satisfied the funds are being used as expected.

Know What an Excellent Proposal Looks LIke

Grant are offered by federal or state agencies and nonprofit and private entities or foundations. But all grant applications ask the same of proposals, no matter the focus of the grant. The key qualities of excellent proposals are universal. But keep in mind they are also subjective. So it helps to become familiar with winning proposals. Luckily, many organizations post these online or will share upon request.

What all excellent grant proposals share are these qualities:

  • Clarity. Make sure the goals and objectives for the project are measurable, and there’s a clear out outcome-based evaluation plan in place.

  • Concise. Answer all application questions directly and include all the specific information requested.

  • Compelling. This winds back to storytelling, as the proposal should be written in a manner that makes the reviewer want to move forward with your idea.

Do Your Grant Writing Basics Homework

Before starting a grant proposal, make sure your research is complete. Therefore, you should know:

  • The funding priorities.
  • Application process.
  • Application deadline.
  • The organization’s grant history.
  • The grants’ geographical distribution.
  • The average grant award size.

Once you know all the details surrounding a grant, you then can ask the right questions when contacting a grantor. And this is the path to building that important relationship with the people who are awarding the grants.

Find the Right Client

Many grant writers specialize in specific grant areas. And some grant writers mainly write proposals in one field, like education or community building or health. A grant writer can focus on large federal grants or those from smaller, community-based organizations or only private foundations.

Since GrantWriterTeam is powered by GrantWatch, matching your grant writing skills with the right client and grant program can be as simple as joining our team. Because this is what GrantWriterTeam specializes in: matching clients and grant writers. So visit GrantWriterTeam.com to join today!

A Day in the Life of a Grant Writer: What You Need to Know

A lot of people might consider being a grant writer tedious and that’s not entirely incorrect. It comes with much pressure and is highly competitive. So, grant writers know that their grant applications must be engaging so as to convince the grantmaker of your worthiness of the grant award.

Grant writing is a fundraising process that involves applying for funding to grantmakers. These can be an individual, a corporation, or a government entity. A grant writer writes competitive proposals to a grantmaker, detailing why you should get the funding.

Grant writing can look daunting, especially if you are a first-timer, without the experience to judge your grantmaker’s mindset and what they want you to include in your proposal. While many grants include detailed information, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. And not having the necessary information you need before applying would surely diminish your chance of getting the grant.

Here are some tips on avoiding first-time grant writer mistakes that can also help to sharpen your skillset if you already have some grants under your belt. This post will also help you learn what exactly you need to know before applying for a grant.

Grant Writer Key Benefits

Apart from the benefit of fundraising for a worthy organization, grant writing offers some other advantages that people often gloss over. These benefits are:

  1. Learning the art of collaboration.
  2. Adding a professional quality to your CV.
  3. The opportunity to gain humility and perseverance.
  4. It offers excellent networking opportunities.
  5. The potential of a fabulous career from gleaned from those networking opportunities.

What to Know Before You Write and Apply for a Grant

One of the core things you need to know is that grant writing is like writing a story of your need and how to address it. Contrary to what you might imagine, you don’t have to approach it robotically. Your grant proposal involves a creative process similar to that of writing essay writers UK story. You can utilize the proper framework for a grant writer and use your creativity to write something that would interest your funder.

Now that the above has been established, it becomes essential to know what information is critical in writing your grant. They are.

Determine Pre-Grant Writing Readiness

Grant writing can be the easiest part of applying for a grant. The real work that determines your success is what you do before writing the grant. First, be sure you are ready to ask for a grant. Do you have any evidence to accompany your grant proposal? How impactful will your program be? Do you have any data to back it up? What’s your budget, and does it reflect the costs of your proposal accurately?. These are some of the issues you need to consider before starting your application.

Research, Research and More Research

When you have done the above assessment and are sure you are ready, you need to research the types of grants you want to pursue. The grant you wish to pursue should have relevance to your needs. The grant should also have relevance to the grantmaker. So, your target should be those grantmakers who are interested in funding your mission. If your grantmaker has different interests from yours, there is a high likelihood that your proposal won’t reach the consideration stage.

Strike a Relationship With Grantmakers Beforehand

The foundation or grantmaker you are applying to is probably not aware of your existence when submitting a proposal. However, you should be familiar with them beforehand. Try to meet up with them and introduce yourself and your mission before you write the proposal. Inform them of your willingness to volunteer should they need volunteers, and ask what they would like to see included in a grant proposal. Doing this will give you a better chance at success when you do apply. And, your name would resonate with them over the hundreds of applications they receive. 

Comply With the Submission Instructions

In writing your grant proposal, follow the instruction given to you as a guide to the grant application process. Attach documents that you are instructed to attach, and do not gloss over any requirements. The grant application is already competitive, so don’t include anything that would make the funder take your application for granted. (Pardon my play on words.)

What You Need to Know: Highlights

  1. Create a specific, impactful, and clear plan for your application and the reason you want to apply.
  2. Think about how your plan can obtain desirable results.
  3. Find a grantmaker that grants funds for the kind of proposal.
  4. Thoroughly research that grantmaker. 
  5. Be sure that your interest and that of the grantmakers align.
  6. Abide by the organization’s application guidelines
  7. Seek advice from peers. 

Content of a Research Proposal

  1. Cover Letter. Your cover letter should your application look interesting to read. Write out your mission, summarize your project in the cover letter and give the funder an inkling of what to expect in the application.
  2. Organizational Information. Your goal here is to establish that you are not trying to trick the grantor. Evidence of previous records can help you convince the grantor of this.
  3. Executive Summary. This is a concise statement of what is contained in your proposal. It gives your grantor foreknowledge of what you are asking.
  4. Need Statement. This is the central aspect of your proposal. It allows the grantmaker to know what you need and how you intend to do what you seek their fund.
  5. Goals and Mission. Here, what you want to do is inform the grantor bow you indeed to tackle the problem.
  6. Outcome Evaluation. This is where you outline the impact that funding you will have.
  7. Budget. All grant applications require a breakdown of your proposal’s budget.
  8. Other Required Documents. Be sure to attach all documents required by the grantmaker.

Grant writing can be a rewarding career in many ways. In addition to the financial benefit to you, you will know that you have helped an individual or nonprofit organization reach its own funding goals. And GrantWriterTeam may be a great avenue to gaining grant writing opportunities.

Gain Grant Writing Opportunities by Expanding Your Client Base

Grant Writing Opportunities

Being a Grant Writer exposes you to many interesting opportunities. It allows you to work with all different kinds of nonprofits, individuals and businesses. Some grant writers specialize in a certain category of grants or clients, such as minority groups, disaster relief, start-up businesses, technology grants, and the like. After all, grant writing opportunities exist in many fields.

Work with a Variety of Clients

It’s worth noting that grant writers who work with many different clients and on different grants are well-rounded freelance writers. Additional exposure to different aspects of grant writing will only increase your grant writing skills and will add an impressive attribute to your grant writer’s resume. 

Furthermore, the beauty of working with many different clients is that it allows you to learn about a variety of topics. This increases your store of knowledge across many fields and may also provide you with a new world view!

Each client comes with a different background and a different need. Some nonprofits have been around for many years and have applied for many grants. Other nonprofits are start-ups that have just begun their grant journey. You may work with one client applying for a federal grant awarding a large sum of money or with a client applying for a small foundation grant.

Help Those in Need

Moreover, grant writing can fulfill your satisfaction of helping those in need. Grant writing is a much-needed profession for nonprofits with goals to help several communities, low-income individuals, minority groups, youth, women, and the like. It is a great feeling to help organizations gain funding for meaningful causes.

Expand Your Clientele

Expanding one’s clientele is essential in opening new opportunities for grant writers. Not all clients will need your services for an extensive amount of time. Some organizations choose to apply for grants at only certain times of the year. Therefore, gaining more clients is imperative to being a successful grant writer and having a steady constant income. 

At GrantWriterTeam, new grant writing projects are added to the list almost every day. This allows grant writers to expand their clientele and work with several different nonprofits and businesses for many different causes. It can open you to a world of opportunity. 

You may join the GrantWriterTeam as a grant writer and take on several grant writing projects by bidding on the project, establishing your own rates, and preparing a contract according to the client’s needs. 

Grant Writer Finds Meaning in Work

TP, a grant writer on GrantWriterTeam, noted how it helps get new clients for independent writers! “GrantWriterTeam has been a meaningful partner in my endeavors to expand my clientele. Thank you, Libby!”

Work on Unique Projects

Each client has their own unique cause and background. As a grant writer, your job is to satisfy their needs and help them reach their goals. You may also guide them as to where their best options for receiving funding lie. As a grant writer, you must be creative and adjust your pen for each distinctive client, to provide work that is best needed for their specific cause and need.

For example, if the organization is not fundable for grants yet, recommend a crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp.com. You may help the client create a fundraising campaign and charge per hour to set up the campaign and send it out to gain exposure. 

Furthermore, if a client does not yet have a budget plan set up, be sure to work on budget development for that organization. Some clients may already have this set up and some newer start-ups may not.

Many Benefits in Grant Writing

Grant Writers have the benefit of working with so many different organizations and receiving a broad education pertaining to a wide variety of subjects. Additionally, expanding one’s clientele ensures a constant flow of income. GrantWriterTeam may be a great avenue to gaining grant writing opportunities.

Nonprofit Wins a Housing Grant for $35,000

Selecting the Grant Writer

The Community Health Resource Center, Inc. had requested a grant writer on GrantWriterTeam for a housing grant. They accepted the bid of Michelle11, and she wrote a grant proposal for the Section 4 Capacity Building Grants. The nonprofit had found this grant on GrantWatch and requested the grant writer to apply for this grant on behalf of its organization.

Section 4 Capacity Grants

The grantor, Enterprise Community Partners, offers Grants to USA nonprofit community development and housing organizations. It is also available to tribes and tribal housing entities, and authorities serving rural areas. Funding is intended to enhance the capacity and ability to carry out affordable housing and community development activities that benefit low- and moderate-income families and persons.

Grant Writer’s Work

By viewing the grant on GrantWatch, the grant writer reviewed the eligibility requirements for an applicant and concluded that Community Health Resource Center was an eligible 501(c)(3) applicant for the grant.

Together, the client and the grant writer prepared a contract to work on the grant writing project.

The grant writer has written the proposal on behalf of her client, requesting funding for the African American Community Resource Ambassadors (CRA). The grant would help move families in rural communities from transitional housing to more permanent housing, while increasing life skills and financial stability.

Award Letter

Lo and behold, the client received an award letter from Enterprise Community Partners, the funding source, stating; “We are pleased to inform you that Community Health Resource Center, Inc. has been tentatively selected to receive a $35,000.00 award under Enterprise’s Section 4 Capacity Building Grants Program – Rural & Native American Initiative.”

The Client’s Testimony

With that, Fredell Buttler, of Community Health Resource Center, attested: “Michele11 has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to listen, interpret and articulate the priorities aligned with achieving desired objectives. She is extremely competent, personable and thoughtful in her approaches to enhance our efforts toward servicing Veterans and families within rural communities.“

Affordable Housing Needed

Many low-income families are in need of housing. Especially during the pandemic, many people have lost their livelihoods and, with that, their homes. Housing is an essential need for many individuals that cannot afford a place to live.

Housing Grants Are Available

Nonprofit organizations that specialize in housing or operate housing programs apply for grants to gain funding so that they can provide affordable housing to minorities and low-income individuals.

GrantWatch has many housing grants for nonprofits, businesses, and individuals. An organization may hire a grant writer to apply for a housing grant at GrantWriterTeam. By delegating the grant writing to a professional, it may significantly increase their chances of winning the grant! Furthermore, this will allow the grant to be written in a timely fashion.

Your nonprofit may walk in the footsteps of Community Health Resource Center, Inc. and win a grant to help those in need of housing!

 If you have any questions about this grant, or any other grant or grant category listed on our website, feel free to reach out! You can contact our incredible customer service team at 561-249-4129.