Writing Great Grant Proposals

An essential part of non-profit fundraising is writing grant proposals and filling out grant applications. An effectively written grant application can bring in much needed funds for your non-profit group.

Applying for grants can be a very long and tedious process, but in the end it will be well worth it for your organization.

Most grant applications will include the following components:

  1. Letters of Reference – Get reference letters from those who can testify to your experience and good character.
  2. Formal Proposal – You need to provide a detailed explanation of what the grant money will be used for.
  3. Business Plan – Provide a comprehensive business plan detailing the major points of your financial needs.
  4. Resource List – Give sufficient detail on the resources you have, and the resources you need to accomplish your stated goals.
  5. List of Group Members – You should include short bios of all staff members and list both workers and volunteers.
  6. Goals and Plans – Describe in detail the short and long term goals of your group.

The grant application will list all the material and documents needed for submission. It is vitally important that you follow all the directions exactly as they are stated when filling out the grant application. One mistake could make the difference between getting the grant and getting turned down.

Many grant providers reject applications that didn’t take the time to follow the directions when submitting their application. Prior to submitting your grant application, its always a good idea to have someone else in the group proofread it and make sure that all the information is correct and in the correct order.

When writing your grant application, you should stress the importance of your cause and the necessity of the grant. Show the impact of receiving the grant versus not getting the needed funding,

For example:

  • How many people are you expecting to be able to help?
  • How will this project benefit them?
  • What work are you doing now that a lack of funding would impact?
  • What future needs will not be met without additional funding

The more compelling your proposal application is, the more likely you are to receive the grant money.

Most importantly, grant providers want to make sure the money is going to be used wisely and appropriately. To help your cause, make sure you describe your goals and your group’s focus in sufficient detail.

Lastly, take time and fill out your application very carefully. Don’t rush through it, or you are bound to make some mistakes.

Give yourself enough time to provide all of the financial documents that are requested, and be sure to have someone proofread it prior to submitting! A well-written grant application that provides all the rquested documentation will stand out above the rest.

More About Writing Grant Proposals

School Grants – Most successful grant writers give the same advice: begin your school grant writing with the Three P’s: Project, a Plan, and Permission. The most important thing is to have a project in mind and then search for a grant to fund the project. Don’t waste time searching for grant money before you have the Three P’s in place.

Writing Grant Requests – Focus your energy first on the needs assessment and evaluation sections. Then pay serious attention to the section on future funding. Be sure to be as specific as possible with your budget numbers. Write the summary last. Keep it brief, clear, informative and very high quality.

Grant Proposal Tips – 40 succinct tips on applying for grants, including always writing in the third person  because it’s easier to brag about “they” than “I”. Always use a Table Of Contents and write personally with contractions, just like how you talk. Use quick openers like newspaper stories do and lots of other helpful tips.

10 Grant Writer Tips – A lengthy article going into a lot of details on the best ways to complete your grant application: Understand the needs of the grantors, write your proposal to fit the application, show the public support for your project, and make your application come alive in the minds of the grant reviewers.