how to apply for a grant

How to apply for a grant

Grant writing can be a mystifying process for the uninitiated. But in reality, the steps involved in grant writing are fairly straightforward. Here’s a look at how to apply for a grant.


How to apply for a grant


Make a plan

Before you get too far into the grant writing process, make a detailed proposal plan. Flesh out your project’s details, goals, objectives, and plan of action. This way, you’ll be prepared to start looking for grant opportunities that fit your needs. And you won’t have to scramble to create an entire program or project out of thin air if you find a grant opportunity with a fast turnaround.


Do your research

The first step involves identifying funding opportunities.  At Professional Grant Writers, we call this step grant prospect research, and we offer this as a service to our clients. It’s important to make sure the grant opportunities you’ve identified are a great fit for your organization. That way, you don’t waste valuable time with applications that won’t pan out.


Contact the funder

Often a good next step is to contact the funder to learn more about the opportunity. Some funders will specifically ask that you not reach out to them, other than submitting the application, and you should certainly honor that request. Otherwise, this step helps you understand the funder’s priorities and answer any questions. This is an important step in how to apply for a grant.


Write the grant

The central aspect of how to apply for a grant is the actual writing process. Sometimes, this begins with submitting an LOI, or letter of inquiry. This is a pre-application that helps the funder determine whether they’d like to invite you to submit a full proposal. Sometimes, grantmakers will ask that you submit a full proposal right out of the gate, no LOI required. In either case, we work in concert with the organization’s staff to gather all the details for a competitive proposal.


Submit and follow up

After submitting the grant, the funder reviews all the applications. The review period and response time are different for each grantmaker, though they usually publish these details so applicants know when they can expect to hear back. This process can take several days to several months. If the grant is awarded, you’ll receive a check and will need to submit periodic grant reports that show how you’ve used the money and what you’ve accomplished with it. These reports are an important part of how to apply for a grant; they’re essentially mini-applications that can position your organization for more funding in the future if you do them well.


Now that you know how to apply for a grant, you’re ready to get started! Learn more about our grant writing services here.

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