Grant Writing Tips

Writing a grant can be an overwhelming activity for anyone, especially if you have never written one or have only written a few. The GOFBCI has come across several tips that can be useful in your grant writing endeavors. We have provided some of these below. Check back often to see new tips that will be added.

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Grant Writing

GOAL: A general statement of what the project hopes to accomplish. Should reflect the long-term desired impact of the project on the target group and any target goals required by funding source.

OUTCOME OBJECTIVE: A statement which defines a measurable result the projects to accomplish. Should be described in terms that measure the results the project will bring about (i.e. increase X, or decrease Y). Must adhere to the SMART criteria.

Objective should specify on major result directly related to the program goal, stating who is going to be doing what, to whom, by how much, and in what time-frame. It should specify how the accomplishment will be measured.

Objective should be able to describe in realistic terms the expected result and specify how such results will be measured.

Accomplishment specified in the objective should be achievable within the proposed time line and as a direct result of the program activities.

Objective should be reasonable in nature. Specified outcomes, expected results should all be expressed in realistic terms.

Objective should specify a target date or time for its accomplishments. It should state who is going to be doing what, by when.

Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Check Eligibility for Funding: One of the most common mistakes fun seekers make is applying for funds which they are not eligible. Check the funding agency’s eligibility requirements and areas of interest.
  • Don’t Solicit Funds Over the Telephone: A telephone call for contact or other general information is acceptable and frequently a great idea.
  • Follow Instructions: Read grant applications carefully. If a request is being submitted for funds on an agency’s application form, read the instructions and then complete the application as instructed.
  • Neatness Counts: If using a typewriter, proofread the work carefully. Where corrections are necessary, make them neatly so the corrections don’t distract the reader. If using a computer, be sure to replace the ink cartridge when the print is no longer dark and sharp. Good writing skills are a must.
  • Keep Word Choice Simple and to the Point: Words in a proposal should be easy to understand.
  • Don’t Use Jargon: When drafting a grant proposal, it is very important to write on a layperson’s level. If technical terms are necessary, remember to explain them fully. Not all grant reviewers are in your field.
  • Don’t Use Acronyms: Acronyms have become the enemy of many grant reviewers. What is common for the applicant could be confusing for the reviewer. Spell out the terms.
  • Don’t Wave Red Flags: There are several factors that raise red flags when the application is being reviewed that can lower the possibility of funding, such as inflating the budget, high consulting costs without a detailed explanation of the costs, only part-time staff on the project, and costs that are not explained in the narrative.
  • Consider Grant Reviewers: Since grant reviewers are taking time out of their schedules to review applications, applicants should avoid: flowery language that lacks substance, appending long documents, providing too much information, and gearing the project only to obtaining money.
  • Submit a Strong Proposal: Strong Proposals are those that have a compelling problem: are clearly written, organized and complete: describe an innovative approach: indicate the applicant has thoroughly researched the problem and solution: and come from a credible organization.
  • Be Forward Looking: Grant funding is usually only for a specified period of time. The applicant should provide information in their application on how they will continue the program once grants end.



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