Grant Proposal Writing Tips

proposal writing tips

Grant writing is one of the most discussed topics in the non-profit world since a lot depends on how you manage it. Generally speaking, non-profits earn from individual donors, besides corporate donors.

However, it is rare that without major grants from foundations and trusts, non-profits accomplish milestone projects. The demand for skilled grant writer comes into the picture.

I believe these grant proposal writing tips would help beginners.


Often start-up non-profits or small organisations struggle in securing needed funding due to lack of in-house skilled grant writers. However major organisations handover this to third parties.

Though the process of writing is sometimes complicated, that doesn’t mean it can’t be your cup of tea. If you are managing your own non-profit just like me, then you need to figure it out on how to proceed with this issue.

It is better to learn slowly than outsourcing it to someone else if you can’t afford.  These proposal writing tips could be helpful even If you are seeking to brush your writing skills as an existing proposal writer.

A. Identify your Donor:

There is nothing such as typical funder or donor; every donor organisation is unique in their function and identity. Hence, you better know them correctly, before attempting your grant writing process. Donor agency could be a faith-based, private family trust, corporation foundation, or public trust, or government body.

Knowing your donor is not getting hold of contact details or email IDs. Though they may help you to initiate your dialogue with a donor, it won’t take you far. Get to know their funding criteria and guidelines. Identity and match your donor to the need statement.


B. Write your grant proposal:

It is now time for actual grant proposal writing. Here are few guidelines to write grant proposal sample outlines that you need to note:

1. Ask for the need:  Begin your covering letter with a reference to your previous contact with the donor. Mention why you are writing and how much funding is required.

2. Explain the need: Briefly, summarise the need for funder’ understanding and justify the necessity of the project or equipment, etc.

3. Explain the activity: Give enough detail of actual project activities so that donor precisely understands what the results would look like as they happen.

4. Provide organisation info: Educate donor about your organisation by including a mission statement, or briefing programs you offer, people you serve, staff, volunteer, and board data, etc. if appropriate.

5. Make budget clear: Put budget data as clear as possible, indicating actual costs. Attach separate spreadsheet if required.

6.Closing: Let the conclusion part offer to provide more details or meeting the donor if needed.

Please note that these grant proposal writing tips are not exhaustive. However you are free to attach any additional information if required:


C. Follow up the Decision:

As I said earlier, grant proposal writing can’t stand alone without the whole system of fundraising. Therefore submitting a proposal is nowhere end of grant seeking process. Decision-making may take few weeks to 6 months sometimes.

Hence, you need to be patient. If you don’t hear beyond months, don’t hesitate to ask or communicate with the concerned person. Remember that rejections are familiar with grant proposals, which doesn’t mean yours was a bad application. Donors reject for many reasons and sometimes they are gracious enough to explain if requested.

In the nutshell, I tried to summarise grant proposal writing tips is three essential elements. However, you might add some more thoughts to it.  Do feel free to leave your comments and thoughts so we learn together.


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About Babu Rao

Rev Babu Rao is Founder-CEO of United Gospel Mission, a Christian faith-based Non-Profit, in New Delhi, India. He is a self-supportive missionary by call and passionate about grant writing skills. He wants you to learn the same and make a difference. You can catch up with Rao by clicking any of these social media icons.

2 thoughts on “Grant Proposal Writing Tips

  1. I learnt so many things from these tips and I will apply them in my proposal writings. May be like wise I will rectify my mistakes done in the past.

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