What It Takes to Be an Effective Grant Writer (and Tips on How to Write a Grant)

woman applying tips on how to write a grant

Getting funded is not an easy job, since competition is tougher than before. It isn’t a game of chance, but a game of consistency, dedication, and involvement. So knowing how to write a grant that can convince funders to fund your cause is important.

Just like other grant seekers, you might think that writing and submitting proposals and requirements are enough. Then, you will just wait for the money to come upon your doors. This is not the real grant application process. You have to understand the inner works of grant-giving foundations.

If you want to learn more about how to write a grant and be a competent grant writer, this article is for you. Read on as we discuss the basics of grant writing, the dos and don’ts, some tips on how to be a grant writer, and some frequently asked questions.

How to Write a Grant

As mentioned earlier, writing a grant application isn’t as easy as it sounds. It isn’t just filling and submitting documents to grantors. On the contrary, it has to be a proposal worth investing on. Don’t worry; our expert writers have listed the top 5 strategies on how to write a grant proposal to create a powerful impact.

1. Include the people hounded by the problem.

A proposal that clearly identifies the problem but fails to include the people afflicted is weak proof for granting agencies to fund the program. Always keep in mind that the primary subject of the proposal is your target beneficiary.

2. Don’t just rely on scholarly resources and stats.

A proposal should be a mixture of scholarly and personal approach. Never shower the grant with hard evidence and stats just to prove your point. Also, never alienate funders with abstract methods, charts, and tables without any written interpretation. Lastly, don’t allow numbers to take control of your paper.

3. Uplift the grant with positive statements.

Most grants try to sound gloomy to convince funders about a project’s value. The truth is a fund agency doesn’t want to waste time reading depressing stories. Instead, prepare a fundraising plan brimming with optimistic ideas on how to solve a problem.

4. Show how the funds can make goals and objectives happen.

This section should be clear, specific, and measurable. Point out the outcome of your project, without sounding vague and unrealistic. Where do you allot the funds? Your budget plan is a very important aspect of a grant application. Make sure that you list the items and their costs. This reflects the overall need to attain your goals and objectives.

You may provide a detailed breakdown of expenses with the exact price. Don’t forget to give assurance that you’ll use the funds for the right purpose. Further, include your track record. Doing so helps you have a successful grant.

5. Give ideas on how you will implement the project.

Knowing how to write a grant involves clearly explaining your project activities. Indicate how you will plan and carry out the process. Also, name the people who will be in each activity. You must also present the timetable of your project.

woman works with business papers and talks on the phone

The Dos and Don’ts of Grant Writing

Securing funding from government agencies and other grant funding organizations takes time and effort. You need a good grant proposal and cover letter. This could be a challenge because every funding agency wants different things in a grant.

Despite this, there are still some of the common dos and don’ts to take note of when it comes to proposal writing.

How to Write a Grant: The Green Flags

  • Introduce your organization.
  • Write a targeted proposal.
  • Brainstorm and finalize your idea before writing.
  • Clearly communicate your ideas.
  • Use a formal format.

How to Write a Grant: The Red Flags

  • Don’t sound like you’re begging for money.
  • Avoid jargons and pretentious statements.
  • Don’t overlook basic instructions set by funders.
  • Don’t set unrealistic goals.
  • No impractical financial assistance proposal.

How to Become an Effective Grant Writer

There are several ways to get funded, but one always needs a good proposal writer to win the endowment. Because of this, many are saying that there’s a demand for grant writers. It’s no wonder, then, that many are interested in becoming one.

Are you one of the interested to know how to write a grant? Check out some of the ways to be an effective writer.

1. Work in a nonprofit organization.

The most fertile grounds for culminating great proposal scribes are any small organization that has a big need for funds. It doesn’t only keep you busy and functioning; it also triggers your passion for the cause. That passion is the most essential element in order to compose a convincing and moving proposal.

Having hands-on experience on what it’s like to campaign for a cause will give you a bottomless well of inspiration. Finally, you will have a clear and detailed picture on how these organizations really function in times of financial lack.

2. Attend seminars and workshops.

The second thing after fueling your passion through actual experience is to find examples and tips through successful professionals in the field you’re in. The best thing about seminars and workshops is that you don’t just immerse yourself in up-to-date and proven techniques on composing a winning grant; you will also have the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with scribes.

3. Join and be active in established associations.

Being part of a solid community of grant writers is like leaning over a solid brick wall. It will reinforce your potential. Additionally, it will ensure your prospective clients that you aren’t some self-proclaimed scribe who is just doing it all for the love of money.

True enough, being active on a professional association will cost you time and even occasional stress. Nevertheless, it also adds up to your credibility even if you’re just new to the field.

4. Work with a professional.

Be an insider. Have professionals who are there to coach you or critique your work. Observe how they work and what techniques they use. Use these as opportunity for you to hone your skills on how to write a grant and develop your own style. Talents are subconsciously contagious, so always find people whose skills can rub off on you.

5. Get at least a college degree.

It’s not only the organization that you have to market to the grantor; you also have to present your personality as trustworthy. Remember that becoming a grant writer may not require specific qualifications, but a certain unwritten rule says that you have to be at least educationally fulfilled to argue your cause.

woman learning how to write a grant

6. Know your funder.

Before you start writing your proposal, know first who the funder is and what they serve. Know their organization’s mission, profile, and goals and use them as your guide in creating your proposal. See to it that your project fits their requirements and matches their funding priorities.

7. Review the application procedure.

If you want to know how to write a grant, it’s important to note that not all grantors are the same. While some accept just any form of application, others require specific formats and submission processes. So make sure you review the request for proposal (RFP) before starting your piece. This will guide you and keep you on track of the plan.

8. Always tell a good story.

Grant writing may be technical, but it has to be passionate and touching as well. Your goal as a writer is to create a real life-changing story that can move the funder’s feelings. In writing your proposal, justify your beneficiaries’ needs and convince the grantor of your project’s impact.

9. Learn from your mistakes.

It isn’t easy to get your project funded. While there’s a chance for you to win a grant, there’s a greater chance, too, that you may compete with better projects and may not get the funds at all. But never lose hope. Pick up from your errors and improve your writing. Look for other grant sources and don’t stop trying.

10. Be the best that you can be.

Lastly, believe in what you can offer. You know exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are. Use your strong points and improve your flaws.

Characteristics of a Grant Writer

Writing grants requires tedious work and expertise in research in order to make a proposal that can well explain the focus of a proposed project. In short, a grant writer must be research-oriented and a qualified wordsmith.

If you’re interested in how to write a grant, here are the top 3 characteristics that you should possess to be an expert in this field.

1. Research-Savvy

When writing grants, you have to perform research to gather vital facts and figures and justify the need for the proposed project. A grant seems like a dissertation—it needs data and evidence.

Funding occurs when the grantor grasps the essence of the need to fund the project. Moreover, research is important when searching for grantors such as federal agencies, generous people, and other nonprofit groups. This task involves scientific facilitation of gathered resources.

2. Deadline-Driven

You must consider the value of time. Grant writing is a very deadline-driven job because funders target seasons when they will be awarding grant money. Thus, you have to be aware beforehand of the significant dates so you won’t miss any precious funding opportunity.

3. Logical Thinker

You have to be a logical thinker. Think of methods and techniques that can help your request stand out from the crowd. This skill is needed to give reasons and highlight the importance of the project.

woman reviewing her grant proposal

Frequently Asked Questions on Grant Writing

How to write a grant, you may ask. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions that we have encountered in this field with our years of experience.

1. How difficult is it to write grants?

One of the most difficult parts of grant writing is getting familiar with the project. Usually, it takes technical knowledge to write a proposal. This is the reason you need to put a huge amount of time into research and self-study.

You can’t miss on important data. You must be accurate about the specs of a project and be careful in committing any mistake in grammar and sentence construction.

2. Can everybody write grants?

Of course, anyone who knows how to write a grant can try creating a proposal. But most of the time, it’s easier said than done. Not all can do it well. It takes experience and a lot of expertise to come up with the perfect draft.

Sometimes, it takes trial and error to know what works and not. Thus, in writing your grants, it is highly advisable to let the experts handle them. You wouldn’t want to take a chance and have your project not get the funding it needs.

3. What writing style is effective?

It should be direct. Using long sentences and paragraphs will make your request difficult to read. Also, avoid using jargons, idioms, and highfalutin words.

Aim for readability. If you can use bullets, don’t hesitate to do so. This will make your proposal letter much more effective and convincing.

4. What to do when the proposal got rejected?

You should never give up if you weren’t able to get approval from a grantor. Evaluate your experience. Find out what you did wrong or how you can improve your proposal. Use your experience as a reference for future requests of the same kind. Always remember that proposal writing is a skill and it takes time to master it.

Let the Experts Write Your Grant Proposal

Knowing how to write a grant can be advantageous. However, if you want to prioritize the core areas of your business, it’s better to let the professional grant writers to work on your proposal.

Good thing; it’s easier now to hire an expert to write a grant for you. It increases your chance to receive a grant. Plus, you don’t need to spend so much time writing it yourself. Instead, you can use the time to focus on other things like planning for your project.

Are you in need of a grant proposal that will help you win your target grant opportunities? We’ve got you covered! Our grant writers are knowledgeable and trained to deliver top-notch grants that will help you secure a fund. Contact us now and let us partner with you.

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