Are you just starting your non-profit organization and you need funding support? Do you have a creative idea of how something can be improved or advanced? Or do you want to hop on valuable research and you think applying for a grant is a good idea?

Well, Yes, it is. Being awarded a grant is a great feeling of accomplishment but the process of writing an application letter can be a lot of challenge especially if it’s your first time doing it. 

So while grants are important to most organizations, you shouldn’t ruin your chances by not writing the perfect proposal. In this article, we’ll discuss how to write a winning grant application. 

What Is A Grant? 

A grant is a monetary award provided to support nonprofits, organizations, projects, initiatives, or individuals by government agencies, or foundations. Unlike a loan, grants do not require repayment( not meant to be paid back).  Grants are often awarded to people based on specific standards, such as the nature of the project or the qualifications of the individual or organization among many others. They can be allocated for various purposes, including education, research, community development, and charitable activities.

What Is A Grant Application Letter? 

 A grant application letter is a formally written request to a grantor or funding organization, seeking financial support. The letter is a crucial component of the grant application process because it serves as a persuasive document that aims to convince and persuade the grantor that the proposed project is worthy of funding. The letter should be clear and concise. 

How To Write A Winning Grant Application

To craft a winning grant application, follow these key steps:

Start With Your Executive Summary

The executive summary also called the proposal summary is the first section that your finders will read to decide whether to read through your whole proposal or not. This section usually provides a brief overview or summary of your entire proposal. This section should be given the scope of ‘elevator pitch’ because you are expected to describe the most important aspects and features of your proposal in just a few sentences(maybe a paragraph or two).  Anyone should be able to read your executive summary and immediately grasp and understand the concept behind your entire proposal.

Your executive summary provides an image of how your overall proposal should look like 

  • A brief overview of the problem or need you aim to address 
  • A brief description of the project. 
  • A brief Information about your organization

Detailed Organizational Information

This section should answer the question ‘What does your organization do and why’. You should provide as much information about your organization without leaving out important details. This is where you disciple your mission, a detailed organizational history, and past and present projects, you can further highlight your nonprofit’s(if you have a non-profit) achievements over the years. It’s also important that you include in this section a unique mission to persuade the finder that your organization is capable and can solve problems when awarded the grant. 

Statement Of Need

The statement of need or the problem statement is the section where you outline and provide in-depth information about the problems you aim to solve through your project. You can create a sense of urgency and peak your funder’s interest by providing a data-driven solution, statistics, and stories that make your need worth funding. Your new employee should be able to answer this question: If your project is funded, how will it improve things for people, and why should the funder be interested? Finders want to make sure their money goes to a worthy cause so this section can either be a primary motivation for finders or not- depending on you. 

Project Description

Your project description Should dive deeper into how each activity and project would be carried out. This section should include an outline that explains how, when, and by whom the project will be carried out and also any collaborations and partnerships between your organization and other organizations working together in- this would help you boost your credibility. 

Project Goals And Objectives: 

If you want your application to be successful and effective, you must carefully analyze your organization’s clear goals and objectives. Firstly, there’s a difference between goals and objectives: In defining project goals, identify the broad approach of your initiative. These are the significant, long-term outcomes you intend to achieve. Objectives, on the other hand, are specific, measurable steps that lead to your goals. They provide clear milestones, guiding your project’s progress. For instance, if your goal is to improve literacy rates by 20% in your community, an objective could be implementing a reading program in local schools. Each objective contributes to the broader goal. 

Project Budget

This section is the reason for this grant-where you propose the money you need to solve your problem. You’ll provide a detailed list of all anticipated expenses and income to ensure financial viability. Start by listing all project costs, including materials, labor, and overhead. Allocate funds for unforeseen expenses or emergencies.  Use budgeting tools or templates to organize and calculate each line item. Be transparent and realistic, ensuring your budget aligns with the project’s scope and goals. Regularly monitor and adjust the budget as needed during the project to maintain financial control. Finally, present the budget in a clear, understandable format when submitting your grant application.

Conclude By Signing The Document 

This is the last stage of your application process and you should wrap it up by signing and printing your name. You should use essential details about you and your organization.  This section adds a personal touch and provides a point of contact for any inquiries. Lastly, specify the intended date of sending the grant to potential grantees. This final step ensures clarity and professionalism, making it easier for the grantor to reach out or respond promptly to your application.

In conclusion, writing a top-notch grant is like telling a captivating story about your project. It’s important because it can turn your ideas into reality. To get better at it, keep learning more tips and always do your research before writing. Researching helps you understand what the grant provider wants. So, think of each grant application as a chance to share your project’s potential impact and make your story shine. It’s not just about asking for money – it’s about creating a connection that makes your project irresistible.

Oluwatosin Oguntunde

Founder and CEO of

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