Do you wish to do grant writing but are unaware of how to do it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Read this article to know everything you need to know about grant writing.
You intend to draft a grant proposal, then. It’s thrilling! This indicates that you have an important study to conduct, a specific nonprofit organisation to establish, or a community resource you are passionate about creating. You clearly see how something may be enhanced or advanced, and you’re prepared to request financing or other forms of assistance to make this vision statement a reality.
You should consider drafting a winning grant request as an imaginative act as you work to actualize this unfulfilled ambition. Grant proposal writing is a creative process similar to fiction writing; these are works of imagination, according to Professor Kate Vieira, a Curriculum and Instruction professor at UW-Madison with extensive experience in the field. As you work to materialise your ideas, Professor Vieira advises approaching the challenge of drafting a grant submission with a sense of wonder and joy. You believe you are the finest candidate to accomplish a particular objective because you have an excellent concept. Now all you have to do is persuade people to share your enthusiasm for this concept.
We take into account the general goals, target audiences, and expectations of grant proposals in order to make this knowledge usable in a variety of situations. This overall strategy, however, has significant limitations. You must first seek more specialised guidance on grant writing within your particular field or subject. Second, you must strictly adhere to the guidelines for proposals provided by the funding organisations to which you are applying.
You can find out more about what successful grant proposals in your situation look like by speaking with professors, mentors, previous grant recipients, the funding agency/group you are applying to, and trusted advisers in your field. You can also get feedback on your plan and on your drafting process from these people.
Before you start writing your grant proposal, you’ll want to make sure that you:
- create a clear, relevant, concrete plan outlining your goals and motivations;
- think about how your strategy will provide fruitful outcomes;
- find a source or awarding organisation that provides funding for initiatives similar to the one you have in mind;
- Do some study on that organisation to make sure your approach is in line with its objective;
- study the proposal guidelines for the organisation; and
- Examine sample proposals from your division, your colleagues, and/or the company.
When you’ve done all of this, you’re ready to start drafting your proposal!
What is grant writing?
Writing a grant is the process of requesting money from a private, business, or governmental grantmaker.
Generally speaking, grant requests for nonprofit organisations might include requests for cash or in-kind assistance. While drafting a strong grant proposal constitutes the majority of grant writing, other tasks include investigating potential funding sources, getting in touch with donors, keeping grant calendars, managing active grant requests, and reporting on how approved monies were used.
Who should write grant proposals?
An extensive team from a nonprofit organisation, comprising grant writers, development coordinators, fundraising directors, executive directors, board members, and other important stakeholders including personnel and community people, may be involved in a grant submission.
Additionally, a lot of NGOs will look for qualified assistance from outside grant writers and fundraising experts. External consultants can provide knowledge and expertise with regard to grants, enabling NGOs to better concentrate their time and resources.
Is grant writing in demand?
Grant writers are in high demand, as are grant writing abilities. An increasing  number of positions are available in the field of grant writing since it demands a combination of analytical research, skillful writing, planning, and critical thinking to fulfil deadlines. The U.S. government projects that employment of technical writers will grow quickly, by 7% from 2019 to 2029.
To get crucial funding for their operating expenses, initiatives, projects, and missions, organisations rely on grant writers. Grants are necessary for nonprofit organisations to function and carry out their initiatives.
Whether you are new to fundraising, an experienced development staffer, or just someone interested in a writing-related job, developing the necessary skills to become a grant writer will advance your career and give you more opportunities.
What are the parts of a grant proposal?
Even while each grant application will differ slightly (or significantly), most funders insist on a standard set of components. The following sections should be familiar to you if you intend to create a grant proposal:
- Introduction/Abstract/Executive Summary: Include a succinct summary of the proposal together with details about your company, your capacity to carry out the suggested project, and a clearly stated necessity.
- Organisational Background: Describe your organisation and services in terms of location, demographics, and mission to build credibility..
- Problem Statement/Needs Assessment: Declare the issue your initiative aims to solve and connect it to the objectives of the donor using specific data.
- Program Goals and Objectives: Describe the benefits and expected results of the proposed initiative.
- Methods and Activities: Describe the procedures, timetable, and key personnel that will enable you to accomplish your goals and objectives.
- Evaluation Plan. Describe how you intend to evaluate and gauge the project’s success.
- Budget/Sustainability: Describe how the planned cash will be distributed, reduced once it expires, and integrated into your bigger financial strategy. You can be asked to submit particular financial records, like an IRS Form 990.
Many funders will ask for additional attachments in addition to these essential elements. Always carefully read the grant proposal rules before submitting to ensure that you have included everything required.
Do you write a grant proposal?
So, are you prepared to draft a grant proposal? Let’s go over the grant writing procedure prior to you starting to type. Follow these instructions for the best results:
- Meet with stakeholders to align on financing goals. Create a clear, actionable plan that outlines your goals and your motivations.
- Choose the funding source to whom you will send a grant submission. They ought to be affiliated with your company or have a track record of supporting initiatives just like yours for the ideal outcomes.
- Do some research on the granting entity. Examine sample proposals from your colleagues and/or the organisation itself, as well as the organisation’s proposal rules.
- Draft a preliminary version. Write the first draft of your grant proposal based on the data you gathered in the earlier steps.
- Obtain opinions from interested parties. Share the preliminary draft with the people who will be affected by your project, such as staff, community members, and board members, to get their feedback.
- Revision is essential. Edit and amend your proposal in light of the feedback from stakeholders. Before the proposal is ready to submit, you might need to go through numerous rounds of feedback and modifications.
Finally, keep in mind that a grant funder’s primary requirements for a submission are largely constant. Funders are curious about:
- What your business needs the money for
- What impact the money will have
- What role the funder plays
Your responses to these queries should be your constant focus as you compose and write your proposal.
Considering the audience, purpose, and expectations of a grant proposal
A grant proposal is a very concise, direct letter addressed to a specific organisation or funding source with the goal of convincing the reviewers to support you because:
- you have a significant, well-thought-out plan to advance a worthwhile cause
- you are accountable and capable of carrying out that plan.
As you organise and write your grant application, consider the following questions:
- Who is your audience?
Consider the staff members of the organisation providing the funding who will read this submission. What are the agency’s objectives and mission? What do its values entail? How does what you wish to do fit in with the mission of this organisation? How well-versed in your interests are these readers? Use the answers to these questions to guide how you convey your strategy, choose vocabulary, give background information, and frame your objectives. You should think about the type of material that these readers will find most persuasive when you are contemplating your audience. Is it numbers? If so, be careful to provide and justify your data. Is it a reference? Recommendations from other partners in the project? Earlier instances? Think closely about how you construct your argument in relationship to your readers.
- What are the particular expectations for this grant?
Pay close attention to all the requirements that the awarding organisation has for you. Your proposal must precisely meet these specifications. Ignore any advice you might get, including from this website, if it doesn’t line up with your situation’s expectations. Analyse representative samples of winning bids in your industry or winning proposals for the award you’re seeking for.
- How do you establish your credibility?
Make sure you come across as knowledgeable, capable, and forward-thinking. Your plan’s completeness, the deliberate approach in which you communicate its significance and worth, and your familiarity with prior research will all help you establish your credibility. Mention any prior successes that show your aptitude for success and your dedication to this endeavour. Describe any collaborations you have had with like-minded groups and people.
- How can you clearly and logically present your plan?
Make sure your structure makes sense. Your proposal should be broken up into logical sections with distinct headings. Grant proposals are concise and direct, and they strictly adhere to the headline and content specifications outlined in the granting agency’s request for proposals. You shouldn’t use deep literary allusions or flowery metaphors to embellish your writing here. You should use clear, succinct wording.
- Match the concepts and language your readers use and are familiar with.
It shouldn’t be difficult for your readers to comprehend what you are saying. See this section of our writer’s manual for details on producing concise sentences. However, if it effectively communicates the urgency or significance of what you are proposing to do, utilise a vivid image, engaging narrative, or memorable phrase.
Elements of grant proposals
Grant applications are frequently divided into various sections. Depending on the rules outlined by the granting organisation, these parts may have different names, but they generally have the same functions. The sections that follow list some of the key components of grant applications, discuss the tasks each section must do, and offer advice on how to write each one effectively. However, keep in mind that you must adhere to the grant’s requirements and use the precise section titles specified in the call for proposals as you draft your submission.
Professional grant writing tips
Gaining financing requires first learning how to prepare a grant proposal. Spend some time right away learning the most effective ways to attract investors. Otherwise, a weak proposal can give donors a negative impression and reduce your chances—both now and in the future—of receiving grant financing.
Good grant writing is just good writing, as a general rule. You must write to persuade, explain ideas clearly, present a compelling central idea, and customise your proposal in order to make a convincing question.
However, it is not sufficient to just recall these components. These strategies must be used when creating your proposals if you want them to be successful. Let’s examine each of these elements of a successful nonprofit grant in more detail.
Tailor your grant writing
Making a grant request can be rather frightening, especially if you’ve never done it before. There is no one method that works for all grant applications. To put it another way, you need to customise each proposal you produce rather than creating a single generic proposal and then “shopping” it around. You must take the following actions in order to be considered for grant funding:
- Customise the format: Writing and submitting a grant request is subject to specific guidelines set forth by each grantmaker. Make sure your application complies with all requirements before applying for a grant opportunity. Never give in to the temptation to think you can save money even if you have a good relationship with the funder. Your project may be immediately rejected if you ignore their instructions.
- Customise the message: Writing a truly persuasive proposal necessitates customising both the framework and the content. In important sections, particularly the cover letter, introduction, and end of the story, you must express the particular alignment between the purpose or project of your organisation and the interests of the founder.
Remember that funders aren’t there to support the mission of your organisation. Instead, they exist to carry out their own purposes through funding pertinent projects through charitable endeavours.
Ultimately, modifying the structure and content of your proposal is just the first step in convincing a funder that your organisation is credible and deserving of the grant.
Communicate ideas clearly
It can be tempting to rush the review and revision process when you’re under pressure in order to save time. Instead, step back and think about how well you’re expressing your views. You must write for an audience other than people who are directly connected with your company, even though they may make great sense to them.
You don’t want to set a challenge for yourself where you let clear writing slip through the cracks. Write your grant proposal in a straightforward, easy-to-read manner.
Make it a point to express complicated concepts in a straightforward manner while writing grants. Try the following to convey simply but effectively:
- Before you write, consider. Before writing down your request, take sure to make it clear.
- Use language that is simple and clear. Pretension and useless language should be avoided because they might make reading difficult.
- Limit each sentence to one thought. Instead of using one overly complicated sentence, use numerous short ones.
- Make your writing “dynamic.” When the person performs the activity, the voice is active. For instance, instead of saying “The Board approved the proposal,” write “The Board approved the request.”
- Construct transitions. Instead of abruptly switching to a new issue, transitions help you connect ideas, arguments, paragraphs, and sections.
- Utilise waypoints to organise. Make it easier for the reader to follow your thoughts by using headings, lists, and bullet points.
Recall that one of your key objectives should be to make the reader’s task simple. The hard work should be on your end, not theirs. Aim to create a compelling proposal that’s clear and logical.
Convey a core compelling idea
Simply put, a central, compelling idea is one that the reader remembers after reading it. In the context of nonprofit grant writing, it’s a concept that explains why the job done by your organisation is crucial, urgent, special, and worthy of support. Although it may be straightforward to grasp, mastering this is far more challenging.
Create a core, distinctive idea that will set your company apart from the competitors as a first step. Keep it concise and memorable while grabbing the reader’s attention with effective word choice.
Most essential, your main, engaging idea should address the concerns of the grant funder. If you’re writing to a local community foundation, for instance, focus your main persuasive argument on the distinctive contribution that your initiative or group will bring to the area. The reader should be able to comprehend and recall precisely what kind of difference your organisation plans to create once they have finished reading your grant proposal.
Knowing how to write a grant proposal entails focusing your writing on the concept you want the reader to remember. You’ll have a higher chance of convincing the funder and standing out from the competitors if you base your nonprofit grant proposal around a central, engaging idea.
Write to persuade
A grant application should both enlighten and inspire. It is your responsibility as the grant writer to write a proposal that persuades the reader that your business deserves funding. A well-written grant request should convince the reader that your organisation or initiative meets an urgent need, is staffed by skilled people, and has feasible goals.
Remembering that you are writing for a real person who can be persuaded to believe and take action is the first step in drafting persuasive nonprofit grant proposals. Think about using the following three persuasive techniques to persuade your reader:
- The ethos. Ethos is an appeal to ethics. By demonstrating your knowledge and credibility, you might give the reader the impression that you are someone they can trust. This can be accomplished by offering attractive credentials and qualifications that highlight the best aspects of your employees and organisation.
- Head, or logos. An appeal to reasoning is a logo. To support your claims, use solid facts, figures, and case studies. This gives your reader a good cause to accept the veracity of your intriguing statements. To make data pop out, use bulleted lists, narrative explanations of facts, and the addition of graphs.
- Heart: Pathos. Pathos is an emotional appeal. Show rather than just tell. Use concrete examples to increase the impact of your programmes in your proposal rather than describing their effects in the abstract.
Nonprofit grant writing should, at its finest, engage the reader’s heart, mind, and stomach. If nonprofit grant writing isn’t your strong suit, Grants Plus is here to help. You can find possible sponsors and create compelling proposals with the assistance of the Grants Plus staff.
Pay attention to the main objectives of the agency.
As was previously said, be sure to utilise some of the keywords from the call for proposals as well as the mission and goals of the financing organisation. However, don’t use excessive force. Without going into too much detail, you want to make sure that your readers grasp the connections between your project and their goal.
List your ideas in numbered order
Some grant writers structure their thoughts within their proposals using numbered lists. These lists are created using language such as, “This project’s three primary goals are. . . ” or “There will be four stages to this plan. . . This method of using numbers may not be elegant, but it can be a useful way to provide information in a skimmable and understandable way.
Write carefully customised proposals
You will probably be applying for numerous different grants from various funding bodies because grant funding is so competitive. However, if you choose to do this, be sure to carefully craft each proposal to address the various preferences, demands, and requirements of each source. Never use the exact same proposal more than once, however you might repurpose some of it. Be sure to strategically consider the type of support you are requesting from each organisation when you apply to multiple sources at once. Investigate several sources to determine, for instance, which is more likely to support a request for resources and which is more interested in paying for employees.
Go after grants of all sizes
Pay close attention to both small and large grant opportunities. In fact, obtaining a smaller award occasionally makes your case for a larger grant more compelling. You can increase your credibility by demonstrating that one or two stakeholders have already backed your initiative.
Never give up! Write consistently!
A grant proposal
A grant proposal requires a lot of work. You must carefully examine your goals and think through how your proposed solution would address any gaps, issues, or deficiencies. Additionally, this procedure frequently results in rejection, even for seasoned grant writers. Grant writers believe that the process of meticulously outlining and supporting their goals and strategies is fruitful, even when they don’t often succeed in getting the grants they ask for. Detailed writing about your Whatever the grant committee’s decision, the project encourages you to consider and evaluate it. Naturally, writing will continue even if you are awarded a grant. Be ready to keep writing because many grants request progress reports and updates.
How much do grant writers make?
Based on your location and experience, your salary will change. American grant writers often earn around $50,000 a year. Find out the average salaries in your area because they can vary by location and amount of expertise.
You might work as a grant writer as a freelancer, under contract, or as a part- or full-time employee.
If you are a self-employed grant writer, you may charge a fixed rate fee or hourly rate. Depending on your level of experience, some may charge a basic price of $200 to $500 for a certain project or application procedure, while others may think about charging an hourly rate of $30 to $100.
Grant writing is the process of submitting an application for a financial grant offered by a company, foundation, trust, or department of government. Both grant proposals and grant submissions are common terms used to describe these application procedures.