grant writing

Grant writing guide to a winning proposal

If you have ever considered funding for your business or project, it’s about time you learned grant writing. As worrisome as it sounds, individuals and businesses due for funding still get sidelined due to poor grant proposals. During my days as a grant writing student, many told tales of how great opportunities slipped from their fingers—no thanks to little knowledge of writing, let alone penning a proposal.

If you’ve read to this point, chances are you wish to get some grant writing knowledge to scale your proposal now or in the future. If this is so, then congratulations. We are just about to get the ball rolling.

With this blog post, I will show you what makes a grant proposal stand out and get the organizers to pay attention, open their pockets, and reach deep inside. So, here we go.

What is grant writing?

Grant writing is the process of using a written proposal to apply for and receive financial funding from grant-issuing agencies, governments, organizations, or companies. 

Every business out there has a grant awarding organization willing to offer them funding. Even NGOs invest in grant writing for nonprofits to scale their foundations. All you need is to find these companies willing to fund you, craft a sure-winner proposal, and apply.

The good thing about winning grants is that no one expects you to repay the money. Once given, you are only expected to show working and offer results proving that the funds solved all your business or company needs while it lasted. So, no pressure.

To land that funding, you need to write a winning proposal that will meet all the needful requirements. You either learn how to write a grant proposal yourself or contract people who offer grant writing services to do the heavy lifting for you and your brand.

As a grant writer, I will explain the nitty-gritty to help you write an excellent proposal. First, you must know what to do and follow the rules below.

What comes first in grant writing?

When you are set to pen down a grant proposal, you must first ensure that you are solving real problems for a group of people at a reasonable cost. Your target might be teens, young adults, older adults, stay-at-home moms, undergraduates, people living with disabilities, etc.

Whichever group of people your services or project targets, ensure that there is a track record of success as your evidence of solving or addressing a pressing pain.

What can prepare you for a winning grant?

You must read up on the granting organization’s rules to ensure that your company or business goals align with theirs. Many people have fantastic business ideas but lack funding. If the granting organization accepts ideas, then you do not have to worry about track records.

While at it, ensure that your idea or ongoing project also aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals because it captures all the areas the world needs help with.

Take it further and check if your business, company, or project is easily differentiated from the crowd or can be easily replaced. Imagine doing what everyone is doing; it is one way not to get recognized even with your proposal. When you stand out in the crowd and build something above the status quo, you are on the right track.

Steps to writing a winning grant proposal

Grant writing proposals follow a certain rule. Please ensure you stick to these steps.

Grant writing must be in simple English

This is not the time to showcase the complex words in your word bank. Simplify your grammar because it sure isn’t the focus of the gathering.

However, ensure it is error-free and that you wrote legibly. Learn how to write great content here. The goal is for the organizers to understand what you are trying to say fully.

Obey the funding organization’s application rules

Suppose you’ve always loved writing long-form articles to explain everything; hold off because you don’t call the shots now. For example, if the organization said you should write not more than 100 words, stick to that and ensure you write all you need to write within that word length.

Outline the pain point the grant will be solving

Getting to the statement of need, put on your conviction cap. Do your best to convince the funders that your business or project has all it takes to achieve this goal. Ensure you see real problems within your power to solve if funded. Trying to solve a government problem will not get you a grant, irrespective of how you twist it. Seeing a problem that is not actually a problem can get you denied.

More so, explain how you plan to go about it in detail. Do not be in a hurry to summarize your plans because it won’t do you any good. Still, remember that they do not have all day.

Give smart objectives in your grant writing

Please be informed that grant goals and objectives are totally different. Objectives are intentional activities or ways you wish to achieve your goal. To break it down properly, objectives are the processes or procedures you put in place, and the goal is the outcome or impact your objectives made.

Therefore, while writing down your objectives, remember that you are dealing with intelligent minds, and others are vying for the same funds. Your objective must have the following features:

Be actionable

When you talk about your business, project, or even that new idea, ensure you talk about points that are practical, implementable, and solution-driven


Here, numbers speak volumes and matter a lot. Preferably, measure in percentage how many lives would be transformed or touched with your project. You must devise a plan and a concrete idea of how many lives to touch and how far the amount can cover, given the chance. Then, you must talk about your geographical location.

For example, if you run a writing school, here’s what to do. Tell your funders how many young people and stay-at-home moms within your Local Government Area, State, Province, Territory, Country, Continent, or the Globe that you plan to change their lives by empowering them with excellent writing skills and equipping them with writing devices like laptops. This will aid them in earning and conquering unemployment.


Have a time frame for achieving your project’s goal. You can set a monthly, quarterly, or yearly time frame. Putting a time frame to your goal shows seriousness and accountability.


Stay true to your course. Your grant proposal must not discuss so many things simultaneously. Target your point and stay focused on it. It helps not to be everywhere and offers numerous solutions.

Show that you know what your project can do, given the monetary opportunity. Tell them how you have been funding and what the results are so far. Show proof of business registration, yearly reports, track record of funding, your budgets, and, if possible, the names of those sitting on the table and their reputation.


 Is the goal you are pursuing obtainable? Is it what you can achieve at that specific period with the amount you are requesting? Are your objectives relatable and doable?

These questions must be answered before you start writing about your objectives. The funding organization must be thoroughly convinced that the process you listed to meet your goal will be worth their money and reputation.

What to look out for before applying for a grant

Before applying for that grant, here are things you must fix. Doing this will help you not to waste your time and resources.

Learn how to track grants

Discover platforms that carry grant news and follow them. Maybe you can seek out the organizations directly, even those in your locality. However, searching for grants in your immediate environment depends on the type of idea or project you have.

When you find a funding organization, DYOR, ensure its mission aligns with your project and its needs. Read about its history and ensure that it is authentic.

Another thing to check is whether they are grant funders for nonprofits, small businesses, educational fields, or other organizations. If you find out, you will know where you stand.

Study their application method

Every funding organization has what works for them. Therefore, do not run off with hearsay. Read about the application method that works for them and tailor your plans. Some funders may need you to send them an inquiry letter first. If they do, submit and wait for their approval letter to proceed.

Find out the grant funder’s capacity

Over the years, how much do the grant funders award in a granting session? Does it resonate with the amount you seek for your project? All grants are competitive, so you must start early to seek information. To seek this information, you might want to contact past winners to fill you in on what they did.


To finish up, you must have your eyes on the price without getting overly excited. Be confident in yourself and your project or big idea during your grant writing process. Meanwhile, if you can not capture all these steps in writing by yourself, it is time to hire an excellent grant writer like myself.

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