Many non-profit organizations and foundations rely almost exclusively on grants to fund specific efforts, events, and causes for the betterment of their communities. The application process for nonprofit grants can be complicated, time-consuming, and overwhelming, especially if you are a new foundation or applying for a grant for the first time.

Tips for Writing Successful Grant Applications

Wiring a successful grant application takes effort, time, and a little bit of homework. The following are some tips and suggestions as you head into the process.

Review Other Successful Grant Proposals

Requesting copies of successful grants from previous grant winners will give you the chance to find the common threads to success that you can adapt to your specific circumstances and needs. Most organizations will be happy to discuss their approach and how their grant program is working. Just remember to pay it back to those applying for grants after yours is approved.

Address All Grant Criteria

It is crucial to speak to each item reviewers use to score your grant application in a clear, concise manner. Making reviewers search for specific criteria regarding the project’s sustainability and other indicators used to make grant selections. Volunteering to be a grant reader will help you gain even greater insight into how the scoring process works so you can model your application after what will score highest.

Focus on the People You Help Rather Than the Things You Need

Avoid merely explaining what you want and focus on the people your project is designed to help and the impact it will have on those who need it most. The specific items you are requesting should be explained clearly in the context of the benefits they will bring to the community at large.

Become an Expert in the Field

Do your home and research the field in which you are seeking grant dollars. Becoming an expert in the area will allow to speak with more confidence and credibility on the subject, allowing you to cite research to support your application. You will be able to present yourself as a competent and capable steward of the grant and able to fully execute the plan you are proposing.

Follow the Rules

It should go without saying that following the rules of the grant application process will enhance your chances of getting the grant approved. If your application does not properly follow the clearly posted rules and guidelines, the application will not make it past the first round, even if it solves all of the world’s problems at one time.

Steps to Online Grant Application Process

Step 1: General Information

Every grant is different, and every application process requires a unique set of information. Most will ask for some sort of letter of interest outlining your organization and identifying your needs that this particular grant would address. All pertinent organizational and contact information should be included in this letter.

Additional supplemental information may be requested depending on the nature of the grant and the specific parameters of the application process. Among materials that may be requested include:

  • IRS Determination Letter or 501(c)(3) certificate, if applicable
  • Additional tax forms as needed
  • Audited and unaudited financial statements
  • Organizational budget
  • Program budget information

Step 2: Organizational Information

Be prepared to provide detailed information regarding your organization, its operation, and its financial status. The more detailed information you can include, the better your chances are your application will be seriously taken into consideration. In addition to basic organizational and contact information, the grant application form may require you to provide:

  • The number of participants, staff, and volunteers involved in the project
  • Organization’s mission statement
  • Organizational goals
  • Specific past and anticipated future operational and financial challenges

Step 3: Program Information

This is where you will need to break down all the specifics of the program or programs your grant applications are for. You will need to layout the needs the program will address, and how it will succeed in addressing those needs. Financial and organizational information for the specific programs will ask to be detailed, what you will do if the grant request is denied, and the metrics you will use to evaluate the program.

Step 4: Assurances and Signatures

You will need to make signed, legal assurances to the grant committee that any funds awarded will be used only for the activities and applications you laid out on the application.

Step 5: Review and Submit

Finally, you will be given the chance to review all the information you are providing before the final submission. Take the time to read it all over to check for:

  • All information is correct and complete
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes
  • All sections are filled out completely, properly, and accurately
  • All grant application submission criteria have been addressed clearly and concisely
  • All documents requiring signatures have been signed

Intrackt helps nonprofits build online grant application

We work with nonprofits to create an essential, online flow of documents and information. These websites and forms can assist an organization in managing its grant application process.

Contact us for more information contact us at