Grant Writing Tips

Writing a grant proposal can be a challenging and rewarding activity. When creating a grant proposal, organization and research must be done in advance to help convince the agency that you are not only proposing a subject that needs research, but that you have a plan to complete the research as well. Writing successful grants can take several attempts, which agencies allow for before finally rejecting a proposal.

    Suggest Multiple Institutes For Your Grant
  1. The website of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests making sure that you discuss your grant proposal with at least one and possibly two departments before submitting it. Finding out if your proposal fits into at least one and preferably two of the departments can increase your chances of having your grant funded, according to the website. If your grant proposal is scored high, it will not be dependent on one department's budget being able to fund it, but has a second option if the primary department can not fund the proposal.

    Be Persistent
  1. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases encourages grant writers to be persistent. If you struggle while writing your grant, the website suggests speaking with more experienced grant writers within your company or with other companies you network with. If your grant proposal is rejected, do not give up. The National Institutes Of Health emphasizes on their website that you can revise your grant proposal twice and resubmit it two additional times. Use the advice that is given with the rejection for your proposal as an opportunity to improve instead of getting discouraged.
             Create a Plan
  1. The Environmental Protection Agency's website advises grant writers to develop a plan before writing a grant proposal. Avoid just stating an issue that needs funding to be researched, and how the research can be beneficial. Instead, the EPA's website encourages grant writers to outline a specific process to be followed for researching the problem. This plan should include evaluation points along a timeline to determine if the project is succeeding or needs to be reworked.

Grant Writing Tips

The most important thing for grant-writers to remember is that they might submit a perfect application and still receive a rejection. Most foundations have limited resources with which to fund projects.  Do not get discouraged if you get a rejection from a possible funding source.  

READ the grantor's guidelines and instructions carefully.  Do not try to make the grantor's program fit what you want to do - your program must be in line with the funding agency's priorities.

Ideas should be innovative, creative and educational. Grantors will rarely fund operating expenses - they usually invest in supplemental programs. Private foundations often seek creative solutions to problems/needs, but they usually do not wish to fund risky projects.  Try proposing a project that puts a fresh spin on an existing idea.

Keep your goals realistic! It is important to have an evaluation plan.  Grantors want to know if the projects they fund are successful--that your project is meeting its goals.

Is your project replicable?  If so, tell the grantor how you plan to extend the project to other grades or schools. 

Have a reasonable, detailed budget.  Do your homework on costs prior to submitting your application and be sure to explain your budget even if there are no requirements to do so. 

If possible, cite research that supports the program for which you are requesting funding.  SchoolGrants provides links to a number of helpful resources where you will find surveys and research to support various projects.

Clarity in communicating your ideas is very important.  Have someone who is not involved in the project in any way read and critique your draft application.

Proofread!  Spelling and grammar errors do not convey a positive image.

Follow the grantor's instructions to the letter.   Applications are turned away when they do not exactly meet the funding agency's requirements.

If your project is rejected, ask the grantor for reviewer comments.  The comments can offer invaluable tips for improving your future grant applications. Never forget to write thank-you notes - even if your project is not funded initially!