Do you want to learn how to write a grant? If so, welcome to your resource for how to apply for a grant.

Grants can be a great way to fund your project or organization, but they can also be difficult to get approved. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of what grants are, the different components of a grant proposal, tips for success, and additional resources that can help you write a winning proposal!

Let's Begin: What is a grant?

Simply put, a grant is a sum of money awarded to an individual or organization for a specific purpose.

Grants are typically given by governments or foundations and are often used to fund projects or programs that align with the grantor's goals.

Some of the main types of grantors include:

  • The United States Government (federal government grants are made through an official government organization)
  • State grants awarded by state department offices or bureaus
  • Business or corporate grant funding
  • Private foundations or philanthropic entities run by wealthy families

What are the main types of grants?

There are many different types of grants, but most can be categorized into two main types: project grants and operating grants.

Project grants are typically given to fund specific initiatives.

For example, eligible applicants for a project grant are usually seeking to secure funding for a new program or service, or to purchase new equipment.

Operating grants are awarded to support the general operations of an organization.

Operating grants are given to eligible entities to help with their day-to-day expenses, such as rent, salaries, and utilities.

What Are the Different Grant Lifecycle Stages?

1. Determine what you need

The first step in writing a grant is to determine what you need the grant for.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to have a clear and specific ideas of what you'll use the grant money for before you start writing.

If you're not sure what you need the grant for, take some time to brainstorm with your team or colleagues.

Some things you may want to consider include:

  • What are your organization's goals?
  • What are your project's objectives?
  • How will the grant money be used?
  • What are the estimated costs of the project?
  • For community based organizations, what are the perspectives of community members?

Once you have a clear idea of what you need the grant for, you can move on to the next stage: research.

2. Research the grants available to you

The second stage of the process is grant prospecting.

During this stage, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the different types of grant programs that are available to you.

There are millions different grants available, so it's important to do your research to find the ones that are most relevant to your project, which are also the opportunities you are most likely to secure funding from.

To help you get started, we've compiled a list of some of the most popular ways to prospect for grants:

3. Complete the application process

Now that you've determined what you need the grant for and have found some grant opportunities that fit your proposed project, it's time to start the application process .

This process can vary depending on the grant you're applying for, but there are some general steps you'll want to follow:

Create or update your grant application materials, including your grant narrative, project budget, and letters of support

Create a grant calendar to keep track of deadlines

It is critically important that required information, reports, and additional information is submitted on time. It won't matter if you have a strong application if it's late!

Check eligibility requirements

An applicant should triple check the grant's administrative requirements by reviewing all the instructional documents provided by the grantor and online! Contact the grantor to ask for assistance if you need more help or clarification. It is a terrible feeling to spend hours creating a grant proposal only to realize you do not qualify to even make the request.

Write your grant proposal

This is one of the most important parts of the grant process!

Your grant proposal is your opportunity to sell your project to the grantor and convince them that you deserve funding, and of all the benefits you will create for participants in your services and programs. Give yourself enough time to think about your narrative as an opportunity for education. Answer in ways that are simple and straightforward so the reader doesn't need to search for the ideas you're describing.

Be sure to include all required information in your proposal, and don't forget to proofread it for any errors before you submit it. If you're sharing sensitive information, make sure you've safely connected with the people involved to confirm their interest is aligned with yours.

Submit the grant proposal

Again, review the submission requirements and have your username and password stored safely since most grantors use secure websites or a grant portal system to handle standard forms for applicants. This may require you to register your organization or agency before you can access to grant proposal questions.

Here's a nice graphic from that helps to show how grantee and grantor lifecycles line up and interact.

4. Follow up on your application

After you've submitted your strong application, it's important to follow up with the grantor to make sure they received everything and to inquire about the status the request.

You can usually find contact information for the grant program officer on official websites of most grantors.

It's also a good idea to add a reminder in your grant calendar for when the grantor plans to announce grant awardees so you can follow up if you haven't heard anything.

Don't be afraid to be diligent in your follow-ups, but always remain professional and courteous.

Even if unsuccessful, applicants and organizations that follow up with grantors to request feedback and assistance and show improvement when they submit again during the following cycle, are often viewed favorably.

5. Receive the grant money

If you receive an award, make sure you document the gift using a proper accounting system. It's always a good idea to send a thank you note or email to an individual or official of the grantor.

6. Report how you used the money for your intended purpose

After you've used the grant money, most grantors require some form of final report documenting how the funds were spent and what outcomes or results were achieved with the grant.

This is usually a short document or set of questions that can be completed and submitted electronically. This is another opportunity to tell a compelling story to setup a recurring grant the next cycle.

It's important to stay organized and keep track of all documentation related to the grant, including the grant report, so you can easily find it when you need it.


Applying for and receiving a grant can be an arduous process, but it’s worth it when the money comes in. By following these tips, you too can be on your way to securing some extra cash for your small business. Have you applied for a grant recently? What was your experience like? Get in touch and let us know at