If your nonprofit hasn’t written grants before, the prospect may overwhelm you. You may feel unsure about what is involved in grant writing. But once you have a few grants under your belt, you’ll see that the process generally standardized across the board. Most grants follow the same evolution.
Here are the basics of what is involved in grant writing:
Finding grant opportunities
The first step of what is involved in grant writing is finding a grant opportunity that fits with your organization’s work. By doing some research via channels like Foundation Directory Online, you can identify a range of grant opportunities to apply to, along with their deadlines, award amounts, and various other application requirements.
Contacting the grantmakers
The next step of what is involved in grant writing is contacting the grantmaker via phone or email. Although, some grantmakers do not want you to contact them. And they’ll say that explicitly. If we see that request on their website or in their materials, we of course honor that. Otherwise, reaching out can often be a great way to get a foot in the door with a funder who doesn’t know your organization. This introductory step can help move your grant application up the pile.
Preparing to write the grant
Before we write the grant, we take some preparatory steps. This involves getting a lot of information from your organization, including budgets, 990s, board of directors lists, and past grants if possible. This onboarding and preparation process helps set us up for success once we start actually writing the grant.
Writing and submitting
Next, we’ll start developing the application. The application process can take several different forms. Often, the funder will request a short letter, or a pre-application, to determine your eligibility. Or, they may request a full proposal right off the bat. Sometimes we submit through online forms, and other times we use paper applications that are a bit more free form.
After we submit the application, we wait. The response period can vary a lot by funder. It could be a couple of days, or a week, or several months. Then, when we have a “yes” or “no” answer, there may be some follow up involved. For a declined grant, we like to contact the funder and find out more information if possible. That way, we can improve for next time. In the case of an accepted application, there may be grant reports to submit at certain intervals. And you may wish to send the funder a thank you.
What is involved in grant writing
In conclusion, these are the basics of what is involved in grant writing. Of course, there are several variations of this process, however, depending on the funder and type of grant.
Interested in learning more about our grant writing services? Contact us.