How to Write a Grant ProposalI stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. - Shirley Temple
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FREE Site For Successful Grant Writing

On this site you will find all the FREE information you need for grant writing. You'll learn how to successfully find, apply for and receive US grants, home grants, small business grants, education grants, grants for women, technology grants, personal grants and more.

We provide an extensive list of free women grants.

We also provide free information on government grants.

To help you understand the process and write a successful grant proposal, see our list of grant writing terminology.

FREE Site For Successful Grant Writing

Before You Get Started

There are innumerable types of grants available to businesses and individuals - small business grants, home grants, education grants, technology grants, federal grants, scholarship grants, science grants, research grants, US government grants, specific grants for women, personal grants and more. Many are free grants. But to be successful in obtaining grant money, you need strategic planning when writing your grant proposal.

Know Your Grantor

Many grant writers do not thoroughly research the priorities of the grant-making agency prior to writing their applications. This is a formula for almost certain failure. Each grant maker is unique therefore you should approach each one in a different way based upon the background research you do. This will ensure that you meet the funding organization’s requirements.

Get Background Information

Researching the background information on both the funder and the project is the very first place to begin. Begin your journey by identifying the funder or funders who have the same priorities and philosophies as you, or who give money to organizations or individuals like you. Make a list of the funders with all the relevant information: addresses, phones numbers, fax numbers, email addresses plus the primary contact person(s). If you’re looking at a corporate or private foundation, explore their Website. Contact the funders. Think of them as a resource. Some offer technical assistance, others do not. Ask about how grant proposals are reviewed and how they make their decisions.

Learn as much as possible about a prospective grantor.   Understand their mission. Look at past-funded programs. Determine the range of grant awards typically given by the agency.  Be sure you are aware of any geographical preferences or limitations.  Save yourself some time and look at "funding exclusions" and/or "eligible applicants" first. Make sure you and your project fit within the guidelines of the funding agency. 

Is This a Grant You Want To Go After?

Create a form to use every time you work on qualifying a foundation as a potential donor

  • Is the funder in alignment with your mission?

  • What is their giving capacity and their average grant amount in dollars?

  • Have they given to causes or projects similar to yours?

  • Why did you think of them in the first place?

  • Is the funding still available?

  • Do the funding disbursement schedule and application deadline match your project’s time constraints?

Applications are turned away when they do not exactly meet the funding agency's requirements. Do not try to make the grantor's program fit what you want to do. You will not receive any money of your program does not meet the funding agency's priorities.

Know Your Competition

If you are applying for grant money for a business that is similar to others, you need to know as much as you can about your competitors. Understanding your competition is an on-going process that requires you to read trade publications and your competitors' informational and technical literature, to review competitors' Web sites, and to talk to competitors' customers. Know how your organization's strengths and weaknesses stack up against those of your competitors.

Be very careful, however, that you do not accept proprietary or sensitive materials about your competitors. This is unethical and often illegal, and can result in serious consequences.

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