3 Secret Weapons for Writing a Successful Grant Proposal

A woman writing grant proposals for a nonprofit at her desk.

Grants are an essential component of any nonprofit organization’s funding structure. However, finding and securing grant funding successfully can be competitive, time-consuming, and difficult. To make your grant proposal stand out from the rest of the pack, use our three secret weapons for grant writing:

Recycle Content – But Only When Appropriate

Writing a good grant proposal takes time – and a lot of it. Grants can require pages and pages of narrative content, financial information, and supporting documents to be considered complete and competitive. The more grants your nonprofit organization applies for, the more time it takes. After applying to several grants, you may start to notice a pattern. Most grants have at least a few questions in common, usually focusing on organizational history, a summary of current programs, and an operating budget. To save time, recycle content from previous grant applications on questions like these – but only if it makes sense and truly answers their questions. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for every grant application!

Find Your Why to Write a Grant Proposal

Do some deep, critical thinking to think beyond your organization’s stated mission, vision, and values. If you can articulate in writing exactly why your organization does what it does, you will have unlocked the key to writing grant proposals that resonate on a human level with funders. Most grant applications are still reviewed by humans, so doing this will give your application a leg up on others. For example, a community theatre’s stated mission might be to produce plays and musicals, but their “why” is because they believe that theatre can unite their struggling community and create meaningful relationships.

Only Apply to Grants that Fit Your Mission and Existing Programming

Did we mention writing grants is a time-consuming process? If you’re stretching your mission in an attempt to fit into a grant funder’s priorities, you probably aren’t going to get it. Stop wasting time by applying to each and every grant you come across. Instead, devote more time to writing a few really strong grant proposals for funding that fits your organization. And be careful about creating new programming just to get a new grant – soon you will run out of time and money!

Learn More About Writing a Successful Grant Proposal

Some of these approaches may be unconventional. However, if you use these three secret weapons, you will be creating unique narratives that help your organization stand out. Still feeling overwhelmed? The grant writing team at Mainstream Nonprofit Solutions is here to help. Contact us today for help with identifying potential funding sources, navigating eligibility, grant application feedback, and more. We’re here to help you, so you can help others.