Fundamentals of Grant Writing


Grant writing involves guidelines that need to be followed in order for the grant application to be a success. Here are the fundamentals of grant writing and its explanations to help you navigate each stage of the process.

Preparing preproposals

Preliminary grant writing is time-consuming preparatory work. However, this is regarded as the most crucial aspect of the grant writing process. Why? This will simplify each stage of the process.

In this stage, you have to define your project. Clarification, scope definition, and identification of specific objectives and goals are involved. Your objectives and goals imply that the proposal is seeking support for your organization’s needs whether it’s for an equipment purchase, recruitment, or production training.

Project outcomes must also be drafted in considerable terms. A timeline is a good idea wherein it showcases the planning phase, duration of seeking out funds, proposal writing, and the target start date of the project. Every so often, you must update the timeline as you unearth more information about the submission deadlines, award schedules, etc.

Determining the funders

To assist you in your funding research, you can turn to public libraries, foundation offices near you, publications, and online databases of federal agencies and nonprofit organizations. Look for a funding source that will be a good match between your project and the funds you’re seeking. Address funding priorities, purpose of the funder and your project, budgetary requirements and specific preferences.

Directly contact the funders that you think will support projects like yours. This way, you can also learn if the funder has other grant sources for which your project can qualify. The contacts you make may prove useful.

Securing proposal guidelines

These guidelines will enable you to know about eligibility requirements, submission deadlines, proposal formats, budgets, award levels, funding priorities and goals, review timetables, contacts, and evaluation criteria.

So carefully read the guidelines, review them again, and ask the funder questions in case you need some clarification.

Once you learn about the submission date, plan to send in your proposal on or before the deadline. Determine how the funder will inform you about the acceptance and status of your proposal. Jot this information down into your timeline.

Addressing personnel needs

Address personnel both by name and by function. You can start off by touching base with trainers, project consultants, and other supporting personnel to seek availability, obtain authorization to include them in the project, and discuss personnel compensation (important budget information).

Updating the timeline

Once you have gathered information about submission deadlines and budget requirements, get into your scheduled hours to draft your proposal, collect relevant materials, and prepare an objective critique of your proposal for substance, detail and clarity.

Writing the proposal

The vital elements of the writing stage include detailed specifications, structure, succinctly compelling writing, and a measurable budget.

Proposal components consist of the narrative, budget, supporting materials, authorized signatures, and specifications.

  • Narrative. A good narrative details the purpose, goals, objectives and the practical reason why the project should be financially supported. The narrative must: 1) discuss the method of evaluation wherein expectations and results are described; 2) paint a picture regarding the project flow including start and end dates, activity schedules, and projected outcomes; and 3) provide applicant information stating the necessary credentials.
  • Budget. Budgets will enable funders to look into how projects will be realized and managed. Well-planned budgets mirror carefully planned projects. Funders often give mandatory budget forms to be submitted along with the proposal.
  • Supporting materials. These materials are arranged in an appendix and may provide commendations about the project and certifications, as well as information about project personnel and may present graphs, charts and tables.
  • Authorized signatures. Proposals require authorized signatures to avoid the rejection of application.
  • Specifications. Edit your proposal tailored to specifications seen in the guidelines. Note the number of pages, format, margins and spaces, and cover pages among others.  Just be concise and clear; don’t just add these details as page fillers.

Following up

If you haven’t heard from your funding source, you can do a follow up by requesting for the status and outcome of your proposal. It is imperative that you ask for feedback. It may also be useful if you have reference information if you opt to approach the same funder again with your project idea.