The Definitive Guide to
WRITTEN BY NATHANIEL VAN CLEVE
New to grant writing? Want to take your skill to the next level? The Definitive Guide to Grant Writing is a comprehensive source of information that will teach you how to write high quality grant proposals and start winning money for your organization.
WHAT IS A GRANT?
A grant is a financial contribution that an organization, such as the government or a private foundation, gives to support a person, organization, project, or program.
Grant makers provide grants for a wide range of activities that target specific issues, stimulate the economy, or benefit the general public.
How is a grant different from other funding sources?
There is no official definition of a grant. One organization’s grant may look similar to another’s donation. That said, grants are usually defined by three characteristics:
There is a competitive application process
The funding is restricted for a particular purpose
The applicant must submit a detailed plan for how they will use the money
The bottom line is:
Grants are a crucial source of revenue for nonprofits that want to maximize their impact.
ARE GRANTS RIGHT FOR MY ORGANIZATION?
We believe grants are right for most organizations.
More than 100 billion dollars in grant money is given out each year in the US to institutions of all shapes and sizes—nonprofits, small businesses, colleges, cities, native american tribes, and many others.
There are grant opportunities for thousands of different issues and sectors, including environmental sustainability, education, mental health, the arts, and so on.
Later in this guide we discuss how to make your organization eligible for grant funding and how to find the perfect grant for your particular program.
WHO IS THIS GUIDE FOR?
We tailored this guide for beginners at nonprofits, but this advice is beneficial to individuals from a wide range of organizations and skill levels.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about grant writing, including key terminology, proven strategies, and some of the secrets that expert grant writers use, so you can hit the ground running toward your first successful grant.
The goal of this guide is to empower you to create high quality grant proposals on your own without spend thousands of dollars on grant services.
HOW MUCH OF THIS GUIDE DO I HAVE TO READ?
If you are serious about winning grants, we suggest you read this guide cover-to-cover.
This is a comprehensive guide that is designed to help you master every aspect of the grant process.
By investing time to properly learn how to search and apply for grants, you will save yourself countless hours and frustration, and significantly improve your chances of obtaining grant money for your organization.
Table of Contents
BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION
To create a successful grant proposal, you first need a strong understanding of your own organization. This chapter will help you conduct a thorough self-assessment so you are prepared to search and apply for grants.
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT GRANT PART 1
There are more than eighty thousand private foundations and corporations that give grants. The key to success is knowing how to choose the funder that aligns with your cause. In this chapter, you will learn how to perform a comprehensive search to find the funder that is right for your organization.
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT GRANT PART 2
In additional to private foundations, there are also grants from federal, state, and local government. While there are far fewer government funders to choose from, the process of navigating government grant requirements can be a challenge for even the most seasoned grant writers. Follow the steps in this chapter to learn how to access this excellent source of funding.
MASTER THE INSIDE GAME
Professional grant writers have a secret weapon. They know how to gain insight into the application process and cultivate relationships with grant makers that give them a powerful edge in securing funding. This chapter will teach you how to use these strategies to your advantage.
HOW TO CRAFT THE SEVEN SECTIONS OF EVERY GRANT
Grants come in many shapes and sizes, but there are seven key questions that most grants have in common. This chapter will teach you to skillfully answer these questions so you will be equipped to write grants for any funder.
THE GRANT WRITING PROCESS USED BY THE PROS
Great grants proposals don't happen by accident. Expert grant writers follow a meticulous writing process to ensure they create a high quality grant proposal every time. This chapter will teach you how to add this process to your grant writing.
HOW TO AVOID THE FOUR DEADLY SINS OF GRANT WRITING
The grant application process is rife with potential for misstep. Many grants are disqualified without review. This chapter will help you avoid these common errors, increasing your chances of being awarded.
ADVANCED WRITING TIPS TO MAKE YOUR GRANT STAND OUT
Most organizations follow the application instructions without bothering to go the extra mile. This chapter will teach you advanced strategies to give your proposal a competitive edge.
CREATE A CULTURE OF GRANT SUCCESS
What's better than winning one grant? How about two! Or ten! This chapter will help you look beyond the grant application and transform your organization into a well-oiled grant writing machine.