A Touch of Business

How to Start a Grant Writing Business

Main Sections In This Post Steps To Starting A Grant Writing Business Points to Consider Knowledge Is Power Featured Video

This post offers a detailed step-by-step guide to kickstart your grant writing business.

It provides insight, examples, and samples to provide a comprehensive understanding.

The “Knowledge Is Power” section ensures access to up-to-date search results. These resources cater to both the startup and established phases of your venture.

Given the wealth of information, consider sharing and bookmarking this post for future reference—a valuable resource for aspiring and existing grant writers.

Let’s get started with the steps.

The Steps to Take To Start Your Grant Writing Business

Below are the steps to starting a grant writing business.

Each step is linked to a specific section, allowing you to jump to your desired section or scroll to follow the steps in order.

  • An Overview of What You’re Getting Into
  • Grant Writing Business Overview
  • Researching Your Grant Writing Business
  • Looking at Financials
  • Creating Your Mission Statement
  • Creating A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Choose a Grant Writing Business Name
  • Register Your Company
  • Create Your Corporate Identity
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Banking Considerations
  • Getting the Funds for Your Operation
  • Software Setup
  • Business Insurance Considerations
  • Supplier and Service Provider Considerations
  • Setting Your Prices
  • Physical Setup
  • Creating a Website
  • Create an External Support Team
  • Hiring Employees
  • Getting Customers Through the Door

1. An Overview of What You’re Getting Into

Working in a field you’re passionate about is a true blessing. Passion serves as the driving force behind your success. When you love what you do, challenges become opportunities for solutions rather than exit strategies.

Your level of passion profoundly influences your success, but it’s essential to reflect on a hypothetical scenario. Imagine having abundant wealth, a comfortable life, and no financial concerns. Would you still choose to run a grant writing business without monetary gain?

If your answer is a resounding “yes,” it signifies your unwavering passion for this endeavor. You’re on the right track.

Conversely, if your response is “no,” it raises an important question: What would you prefer to do instead? This introspection might lead you to a different path more aligned with your interests.

In conclusion, passion is the cornerstone of success when owning and operating a grant writing business. It’s the driving factor that fuels your determination and resilience. So, assess your passion and let it guide you toward a fulfilling career path.

For More, See How Passion Affects Your Business . Also, see Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify key points for a new business owner.

2. Gaining an Overview of Owning a Grant Writing Business

Next, let’s spend some time on key issues to give you an overview of what to expect from owning and running your business.

a.) A Quick Overview of Owning a Grant Writing Business

A grant writing business is a professional service that specializes in assisting organizations, non-profits, businesses, and individuals to secure funding through grants.

These grants can come from various sources, including government agencies, private foundations, and corporations.

The primary goal of a grant writing business is to help clients prepare compelling grant proposals that increase their chances of receiving funding.

Day-to-day tasks involved in running and managing a grant writing business can vary but typically encompass the following:

  • Client Consultations : Meet with potential clients to assess their needs, objectives, and funding requirements. This involves discussing project details and understanding their mission and goals.
  • Research and Grant Identification : Identifying relevant grant opportunities that align with the client’s objectives. This involves extensive research to find suitable grants and funding sources.
  • Proposal Writing : Creating persuasive grant proposals that effectively communicate the client’s project, objectives, and the impact of the proposed funding. This includes developing a compelling narrative, budgeting, and attaching required documents.
  • Client Communication : Maintaining clear and regular communication with clients to provide updates on the progress of grant applications, answer questions, and address concerns.
  • Networking : Building and maintaining relationships with potential grant providers, funders, and other organizations in the field. This involves attending conferences, workshops, and industry events.
  • Administrative Tasks : Managing administrative duties such as invoicing clients, tracking project timelines, and maintaining records of grant applications and outcomes.
  • Continuous Learning : Staying up-to-date with industry trends, changes in grant application guidelines, and emerging funding opportunities.
  • Marketing and Outreach : Promoting the grant writing business through various marketing channels, including social media, websites, and networking events.
  • Quality Control : Ensuring the quality and accuracy of grant proposals, including proofreading and editing, to enhance their competitiveness.
  • Financial Management : Overseeing the financial aspects of the business, including budgeting, expenses, and revenue generation.
  • Client Retention : Fostering long-term relationships with clients by delivering successful grant applications and providing ongoing support for grant management and reporting.

Running a grant writing business demands writing skills, research acumen, project management, and a deep understanding of the grant funding landscape.

Successful grant writers can translate their clients’ visions into persuasive proposals that secure the funding to advance their missions and initiatives.

b.) Grant Writing Business Models

Grant writing businesses can take various setups and business models depending on their focus and client base. Here are some common types:

  • Business Model : Sole proprietorship.
  • Description : Independent grant writers offer their services to multiple clients on a freelance basis. They charge per grant proposal or hourly rates.
  • Business Model : Consulting firm.
  • Description : Consultancies offer a range of grant-related services, including proposal writing, grant research, and program development. They often work with nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies.
  • Business Model : Nonprofit organization.
  • Description : Nonprofits focused on grant services assist other nonprofits in securing funding. They may charge fees or work on a percentage basis of the grants secured.
  • Business Model : Education and training.
  • Description : These businesses offer workshops, courses, and training sessions on grant writing. They generate revenue through course fees.
  • Business Model : Software as a Service (SaaS).
  • Description : Companies in this category develop and sell grant writing software and tools that assist grant writers in the proposal creation process. They charge subscription fees.
  • Business Model : Combination.
  • Description : Some grant writing businesses combine multiple models. For instance, a consultancy may also offer grant writing workshops or provide software tools to clients.

Choosing the right business model from the beginning is crucial, as switching your model later can be more challenging.

Consider your expertise, target market, competition, and the services you want to provide.

Identify a business model that aligns with your strengths and interests, as this will make the startup phase smoother and more planned.

Remember that flexibility in your business model can also allow adaptation as your grant writing business grows and evolves.

c.) Making Your Grant Writing Business Stand Out

Ideas to Make a Grant Writing Business Stand Out:

  • Niche Specialization : Focus on a specific niche or industry, such as education, healthcare, or environmental conservation. Specialization demonstrates expertise and attracts clients seeking tailored solutions.
  • Proven Track Record : Showcase a portfolio of successfully secured grants and highlight the impact these grants had on clients’ projects. Social proof is a powerful tool.
  • Client Testimonials : Encourage satisfied clients to provide testimonials that highlight your professionalism, reliability, and the results you delivered.
  • Partnerships : Collaborate with other businesses or organizations, such as nonprofits or consultants, to offer comprehensive grant solutions. Partnerships can expand your reach and service offerings.
  • Transparency : Be transparent about your pricing, processes, and timelines. Clients appreciate honesty and clarity in their interactions.
  • Educational Content : Create and share educational content through blogs, webinars, or workshops to position yourself as an industry thought leader and provide value to potential clients.
  • Exceptional Communication : Maintain open and consistent communication with clients. Promptly respond to inquiries and keep clients informed about the progress of their grant applications.
  • Diverse Funding Sources : Develop expertise in identifying and accessing diverse funding sources, including government grants, private foundations, and corporate giving programs.
  • Innovative Technology : Utilize grant management software and tools to streamline processes, enhance organization, and improve collaboration with clients.
  • Client-Centric Approach : Tailor your services to meet the unique needs and goals of each client. Demonstrating a client-centric approach fosters trust and satisfaction.

d.) Add-ons for a Grant Writing Business

  • Grant Research Services : Offer comprehensive grant research services to identify suitable client funding opportunities. This can include creating a customized grants database.
  • Grant Management Software : Develop or partner with software providers to offer grant management platforms that assist clients in tracking deadlines, requirements, and reporting.
  • Funding Strategy Consulting : Provide strategic consulting services to help clients develop long-term funding strategies aligned with their mission and goals.
  • Grant Review and Editing : Offer grant review and editing services for clients who have already drafted proposals. This ensures submissions are polished and competitive.
  • Grant Evaluation Services : Assist clients in evaluating the effectiveness of their grant-funded projects, including impact assessment and reporting.
  • Training Workshops : Host grant writing workshops and training sessions for clients and other professionals interested in improving their grant writing skills.
  • Grant Compliance Services : Help clients navigate complex grant compliance requirements, ensuring they meet all obligations and reporting standards.
  • Grant Marketing Services : Develop marketing and outreach strategies to promote clients’ grant-funded projects to potential donors, stakeholders, and the public.
  • Grant Proposal Templates : Create customizable grant proposal templates tailored to specific industries or funding sources, providing clients with a valuable resource.
  • Monthly Retainer Packages : Offer monthly retainer packages where clients can access ongoing grant writing support, consulting, and services as needed.
  • Grant Writing Certification : Develop and offer a grant writing certification program for individuals looking to enter the field or improve their skills.
  • Grant Funding Alerts : Provide clients with real-time grant funding alerts and updates on new opportunities that match their criteria.
  • Grant Workshops for Donors : Organize workshops and training sessions for potential grant donors, helping them understand the grant application process and criteria.
  • Social Impact Measurement Tools : Develop tools and services that help clients measure and communicate the social impact of their grant-funded projects.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Services : Assist clients in addressing diversity and inclusion aspects within their grant applications, aligning with the priorities of many grant providers.

By implementing these add-ons, a grant writing business can expand its service offerings, cater to diverse client needs, and create additional revenue streams while enhancing its reputation and value in the industry.

e.) Pros and Cons of Owning a Business

Starting and running a business comes with both advantages and challenges.

While the benefits are enticing, it’s crucial not to overlook the potential hurdles.

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Recognizing these challenges early on allows for better preparation and minimizes unexpected setbacks in your entrepreneurial journey.

For more, see Pros and Cons of Starting a Small Business.

f.) Challenges You Could Face When Starting and Operating a Grant Writing Business

Challenges When Starting a Grant Writing Business:

  • Competition : The grant writing industry is competitive, with many experienced professionals and firms. As a newcomer, establishing a reputation and winning clients can be challenging.
  • Building a Client Base : Acquiring the first clients can be daunting. Without a track record, potential clients may hesitate to entrust their grant proposals to a new business.
  • Legal and Regulatory Requirements : Navigating the legal aspects of business formation, contracts, and compliance with grant guidelines can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Financial Uncertainty : In the early stages, cash flow may be inconsistent. Securing steady revenue while covering startup costs can be stressful.
  • Learning Curve : Understanding the intricacies of various grants, industries, and effective proposal writing takes time and continuous learning.
  • Marketing and Branding : Building a strong online presence, marketing effectively, and establishing a brand identity require concerted effort and expertise.

Challenges When in Full Operation:

  • Client Retention : Maintaining long-term client relationships can be challenging, as clients may seek other grant writers or reduce their grant-seeking efforts.
  • Proposal Success Rates : Grant approval rates can be unpredictable, impacting the perceived effectiveness of your services.
  • Workload Management : Managing multiple clients and grant applications simultaneously demands strong organizational skills and efficient project management.
  • Changing Regulations : Grant guidelines and regulations may evolve, requiring ongoing adaptation and keeping up-to-date with compliance requirements.
  • Fee Structure : Determining pricing strategies that balance affordability for clients with profitability for the business can be complex.
  • Burnout : The workload and deadline pressures in grant writing can lead to burnout if not managed effectively.
  • Evolving Industry Trends : Staying updated with industry trends, technology, and best practices is crucial to remain competitive.
  • Economic Factors : Economic downturns can impact grant availability and funding priorities, affecting business stability.
  • Client Diversity : Serving clients from diverse sectors and industries necessitates versatility and adaptability in grant writing skills.
  • Legal Liabilities : Errors or omissions in grant proposals can lead to legal liabilities and reputation damage if not addressed properly.

Understanding these challenges at the startup phase and during full operation is essential for grant writing business owners.

Effective strategies, continuous learning, adaptability, and excellent client relationships are key to overcoming these obstacles and achieving long-term success in the field.

g.) Questions You Need to Consider for Your Grant Writing Business

Before embarking on your grant writing business journey, it’s essential to address crucial questions to ensure preparedness and success:

  • Business Model : Determine the grant writing business model that aligns with your goals, whether freelance, consultancy, or a hybrid approach.
  • Skills Assessment : Evaluate your grant writing skills and assess if you possess the necessary management and operational expertise.
  • Solo or Team : Decide if you’ll handle all aspects alone or hire employees or partners to share responsibilities.
  • Management : Consider if you’ll manage the business personally or hire a manager for day-to-day operations.
  • Customer Acquisition : Develop a customer acquisition strategy, including marketing, networking, and outreach.
  • Customer Retention : Plan how to maintain long-term client relationships and ensure repeat business through exceptional service.
  • Partnerships and Investors : Explore potential partnerships or investors who can enhance your business’s capabilities and reach.
  • Financing : Evaluate your startup costs and devise a financing strategy, considering loans, investments, or personal savings.
  • Profitability Timeline : Determine how long it may take to turn a profit, understanding the financial challenges during the early stages.
  • Personal Support : Identify how you’ll sustain yourself financially during the initial phase, which can be financially demanding.
  • Service Offerings : Define the range of products and services your business will offer, from grant writing to additional support.
  • Market Demand : Research market demand to ensure your offerings meet clients’ needs and preferences.
  • Unique Value Proposition : Clearly define what sets your grant writing business apart from competitors and emphasize your unique value.
  • Marketing and Branding : Establish a robust marketing and branding strategy to build a strong online presence and industry reputation.
  • Legal and Compliance : Address legal requirements, contracts, and compliance with grant guidelines to operate ethically and transparently.
  • Continuous Learning : Commit to ongoing learning and staying current with industry trends, regulations, and best practices.

By thoroughly addressing these questions, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of starting and operating a grant writing business, enhancing your chances of long-term success in this competitive field.

3. Research

Inside information grant writing business research.

Thorough Research is Essential

Before further steps, thorough research is necessary when starting a grant writing business. Quality information is your compass, guiding you through the complexities of this endeavor.

Learn from Experienced Professionals

Experienced grant writers can provide invaluable insights. Their knowledge and years of experience make them reliable sources of information. Spending time with them can be priceless for your business’s success.

Finding the Right Mentors

Discovering the right mentors goes beyond this post. Detailed strategies for identifying and approaching mentors are available in the article “An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start.”


I strongly advise reading “An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start” for comprehensive guidance on understanding and preparing for your journey into grant writing.  See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for all the details.

Supply, Demand, and Your Location

Assessing Market Demand for Your Grant Writing Business

Before launching your grant writing business, conducting a comprehensive assessment of market demand in your chosen location is crucial. Here are simple strategies to help you gauge demand effectively:

1. Market Research :

  • Online Tools : Utilize online market research tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner, and industry-specific databases to identify search trends and keyword volume related to grant writing services in your target location.
  • Competitor Analysis : Study your competitors in the area. Evaluate their client base, services offered, and customer reviews to understand the demand they’re meeting.

2. Customer Surveys :

  • Online Surveys : Create online surveys or questionnaires to gather insights from potential clients. Ask about their grant writing needs, pain points, and preferences.
  • Local Networking : Attend local business events, chamber of commerce meetings, or industry-specific gatherings to network with potential clients. Engage in conversations to uncover their grant-related challenges.

3. Focus Groups :

  • Organize Workshops : Host workshops or webinars on grant-related topics. This not only establishes your expertise but also allows you to interact with potential clients directly.
  • Feedback Sessions : Arrange focus group sessions where you present your grant writing ideas and gather feedback. This can provide valuable insights into demand.

4. Local Partnerships :

  • Collaborate with Organizations : Partner with local nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, or businesses. They often require grant writing services and can help you gauge demand.
  • Networking Events : Attend local business networking events and build relationships with organizations that might need your services.

5. Online Presence :

  • Website Analytics : If you have a website, analyze its traffic using tools like Google Analytics. Monitor the geographical location of visitors to assess interest in your services.
  • Social Media Engagement : Use social media platforms to engage with the local community. Observe the response to grant-related posts and inquiries from your target location.

6. Pilot Projects :

  • Offer Pilot Services : Consider offering discounted or trial grant writing services initially. This can attract clients and provide real-world data on demand.
  • Client Feedback : Collect feedback from pilot clients to refine your offerings and understand the market better.

7. Industry Reports :

  • Access Reports : Explore industry-specific reports and publications that highlight grant opportunities and trends in your chosen location.

8. Government Resources :

  • Local Government : Check with local government agencies and economic development offices for information on grant programs in the area. This can indicate the level of grant activity.

By employing these strategies, you’ll gain valuable insights into the demand for your grant writing services in your chosen location. This data will inform your business decisions and increase your chances of a successful venture.

For more, see the Demand for Your Products and Services and Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

Target Audience

Understanding Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is paramount for business success . Benefits include:

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  • Tailored Offerings: Customize products and services to meet customer needs.
  • Efficient Marketing: Focus marketing efforts on interested individuals.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Provide solutions aligned with customer preferences.

Target Market Ideas:

  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Small Businesses
  • Educational Institutions
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Government Agencies
  • Arts and Culture Organizations
  • Research Institutions
  • Community Development Organizations
  • Environmental Initiatives

For more, see How To Understand Your Target Market.

4. Looking at Financials:

Startup Cost Considerations

Starting a grant writing business requires meticulous planning, especially regarding startup costs.

Here’s a comprehensive overview:

Accurate Estimation : Precise estimation of startup costs is crucial for a smooth launch. Underestimating can lead to financial shortages while overestimating may deter potential investors.

Factors Influencing Costs :

  • Business Size : Costs vary depending on the scale of your operation.
  • Location : Your chosen location can significantly impact expenses.
  • Employees : Deciding whether to hire employees or work solo affects costs.
  • Equipment : Buying new or used equipment and office supplies is a cost consideration.
  • Leasing vs. Renting : Deciding between leasing or renting space affects financial planning.

Estimation Process :

  • Listing Expenses : Create a detailed list of everything you need to start your business.
  • Price Research : Research and gather prices for each item or service.
  • Unforeseen Issues : Anticipate unexpected expenses that may arise during the planning phase.

Sales and Profit Outlook :

The success of your grant writing business hinges on several factors:

  • Customer Service : Exceptional service fosters customer loyalty.
  • Product/Service Popularity : The demand for your offerings and their appeal to clients is vital.
  • Effective Marketing : Reaching and engaging your target audience drives sales.

For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue.

Profit Simplified :

To assess profitability, consider the following:

  • Profit per Sale : Calculate the profit generated from each transaction.
  • Sales Volume : Determine the number of sales you can realistically achieve.
  • Overhead Expenses : Account for all monthly expenses, including overhead.

Achieving profitability means balancing profit per sale and sales volume and managing monthly expenses.

For more detailed information, refer to my article on Estimating Startup Costs.

This holistic overview will guide your financial planning and set realistic expectations for your grant writing business.

Simple Sample: Financial Lists to Consider As a Starting Point

Note: Focus on the list items more than the numbers. The numbers are samples. Your estimates will differ due to how you set up your business, location, expenses, and revenues.

1. Start-Up Costs for a Mid-Sized Grant Writing Business:

2. Monthly Expenses for a Mid-Sized Grant Writing Business:

Please note that these sample estimates can vary based on location, specific business needs, and other factors.

It’s essential to conduct thorough research and consult with professionals in the field to get accurate figures for your specific situation.

Average Profits For Mid-Sized Grant Writing Business in The USA grant statistics, grant writing, and the grant industry.

  • Writing a single federal grant application takes between 80 and 200 hours for a nonprofit. Source
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the grant writer’s hourly wages range from $20 to $100. Source
  • The average salary for a Grant Writer in 2023 is $51,115. Source

To determine the average gross profit for a grant-writing business, one must consider various factors such as the number of grants written in a year, the success rate of obtaining those grants, the hourly or project-based fees charged, and any additional services offered.

Consider revisiting Step 3. Researching your grant writing business , where there is a technique to get inside information, will benefit you in this step.

5. Create Your Mission Statement

The Significance of a Mission Statement

A mission statement serves as a compass for your grant writing business. It crystallizes your business’s purpose and benefits, keeping you on the right path.

Clarity and Focus :

A well-crafted mission statement reminds you of your primary value to customers and the community, ensuring you stay committed to your core mission.

Examples of Mission Statements for a Grant Writing Business :

  • “Empowering nonprofit organizations with expert grant writing services to drive positive change in our community.”
  • “Dedicated to securing funding for innovative projects that make a lasting impact on society.”
  • “Enabling educational institutions to access vital resources through comprehensive grant solutions.”
  • “Committed to helping businesses thrive by securing grants that drive growth and sustainability.”
  • “Supporting the arts and cultural initiatives by connecting creative minds with grant opportunities.”

These mission statements emphasize the purpose and focus of a grant writing business, guiding its endeavors towards serving its clients and the broader community.

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For more, see How To Create a Mission Statement.

6. Creating A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The Power of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a distinct feature or quality that sets your grant writing business apart from the competition.

It’s a crucial tool for identifying what makes your business unique and enticing to customers.

Stand Out from the Crowd : A well-defined USP helps you break through the clutter of similar businesses by showcasing what makes your services unique.

Attract and Retain Customers : Your USP can resonate with your target audience, drawing them in and keeping them loyal because they recognize your value.

Examples of USPs for a Grant Writing Business :

  • “Guaranteed Grant Success: We promise a 95% success rate in securing funding for your project.”
  • “Tailored Solutions: Every grant proposal is customized to match your organization’s unique needs and goals.”
  • “Quick Turnaround: Our rapid-response grant writing team delivers results within 30 days, unmatched in the industry.”
  • “Affordable Excellence: Access top-tier grant writing expertise without breaking your budget.”
  • “Industry Expertise: Our grant writers specialize in healthcare, ensuring your medical facility secures vital funding.”

These USPs highlight the exceptional qualities that distinguish each grant writing business, whether it’s exceptional success rates, speedy service, affordability, or specialized expertise.

7. Choose a Business Name

Choosing the Right Business Name

Selecting a business name is a pivotal decision.

It should be catchy, industry-appropriate, easy to remember, and potentially stand the test of time.

Remember, your business name is a long-term commitment.

Online Presence : In today’s digital age, securing a matching domain name for your website is essential.

Avoid Conflicts : Ensure the name you choose isn’t already registered by another business to prevent legal issues.

Now, here’s a list of 30 ideas for Grant Writing Business names to ignite your creativity:

  • GrantCraft Pro
  • FundWrite Solutions
  • GrantWise Advisors
  • PhilanthroPro
  • GrantGuru Partners
  • FundingFocus Experts
  • GrantMasters Inc.
  • Purposeful Proposals
  • GrantWave Consultants
  • StellarGrant Strategies
  • FundingFusion LLC
  • GrantVista Services
  • GrantElevate Solutions
  • ProsperityPitch
  • GrantHorizon Group
  • Visionary Grants
  • ElevateFund Pros
  • FundForesight Experts
  • ImpactWrite Team
  • GrantSage Partners
  • GrantBoost Advisors
  • AscendGrant Solutions
  • AccessFunds Pro
  • QuestBridge Consultants
  • VisionCraft Grant Writers
  • SummitGrant Strategies
  • GrantLift Pros
  • VentureWrite Services
  • FundedFutures LLC
  • CatalystGrant Consultants

Use these suggestions as a starting point to brainstorm and create a unique and memorable name for your grant writing business.

For more, see the following articles:

  • How To Register a Business Name
  • Registering a Domain Name For Your Business

8. Register Your Company

Ensuring Legal Compliance for Your Grant Writing Business

Legal compliance is a fundamental aspect of starting and running any business. It’s essential to consult with a professional, such as an attorney or accountant, to ensure your grant writing business adheres to all legal requirements and tax considerations.

Common Types of Registrations :

  • Business Structure : Decide on your business structure, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.
  • Business Name : Register your chosen business name if required in your jurisdiction.

Permits and Licenses to Consider :

  • Business License : Obtain a general business license, often required by local governments.
  • Sales Tax Permit : If you sell services and your state has sales tax, you may need to apply for a sales tax permit.
  • Home Occupation Permit : Check for a home occupation permit if you operate from home.
  • Professional License : Depending on your location, you may require professional licensing or certifications in grant writing.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) : If you hire employees or operate as a corporation, you’ll need an EIN from the IRS.
  • State Grant Writing Associations : Some states may require membership in grant writing associations for certain activities.
  • Contracts and Agreements : Consult a legal professional to draft contracts, agreements, and terms of service.
  • Privacy and Data Protection : Ensure compliance with data protection laws when handling client information.
  • Insurance : Consider liability insurance to protect your business from legal claims.
  • Zoning Compliance : Check zoning regulations, especially if you operate from a commercial location.
  • Permit for Seminars/Workshops : If you host training events, workshops, or seminars, check if permits are needed.

Consulting with professionals and researching local regulations will help you navigate the legal aspects of your grant writing business effectively, ensuring compliance and mitigating legal risks.


  • How to Register Your Business
  • How To Register a DBA
  • How to Register a Trademark
  • How to Get a Business License

Business Structures:

  • How to Choose a Business Structure
  • Pros & Cons of a Sole Proprietorship
  • How To Form an LLC
  • How To Register a Business Partnership
  • How To Form a Corporation
  • How To Choose a Business Registration Service

9. Create Your Corporate Identity

Creating a Professional Corporate Identity

Building a strong corporate identity (ID) is essential for any business. It’s the visual representation of your brand and plays a significant role in how your business is perceived. Here are key components to consider:

Logo Design:

Your logo is the cornerstone of your corporate ID. Invest in a professionally designed logo that reflects your business’s values and personality. It should be simple, memorable, and versatile.

Banner Free Report No 4.

Business Cards:

Design eye-catching and informative business cards. They serve as a direct link between you and potential clients. Ensure they include your logo, contact information, and a clear description of your services.

A well-designed website is essential in today’s digital age. It’s often the first point of contact for potential clients. Make sure your website is user-friendly, informative, and visually appealing.

Business Signage:

If you have a physical location, invest in professional signage. Your business sign should prominently display your logo and business name, making it easy for customers to find you.


Consistency is key. Use your corporate ID on all your stationery, including letterheads, envelopes, and invoices. This reinforces your brand identity.

Promotional Materials:

Whether it’s brochures, flyers , or promotional products , ensure they align with your corporate ID. This consistency helps in brand recognition.

Brand Guidelines:

Create brand guidelines to maintain consistency in how your corporate ID is used. This includes specifying logo usage, color schemes, fonts, and more.

Professionalism Matters:

Invest in professional design services to create and maintain your corporate ID. Amateurish designs can harm your brand’s credibility.


Your corporate ID should be versatile enough to work across various mediums and platforms, from digital to print.

Evolve Over Time:

Consider refreshing your corporate ID to stay relevant and competitive as your business grows and evolves.

A well-crafted corporate identity enhances your brand’s reputation and makes a positive impression on customers. It’s a valuable investment that sets you apart from the competition.

You can see our page for an overview of your logo , business cards , website , and business sign , or see A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages.

10. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is a fundamental document serving multiple purposes.

It becomes invaluable when seeking financing or investors and acts as a guiding beacon throughout your business journey, whether in its infancy or full operation.

Crafting an effective business plan demands time and effort, as it involves envisioning your business’s future in intricate detail.

Despite the effort, the result is well worth it, providing you with a clear startup and operational success roadmap.

When creating your business plan, remember the flexibility in your approach. You can start from scratch, hire a professional, utilize templates, or leverage business plan software.

Regardless of your choice, active participation is crucial to convey your business’s nature and management strategy effectively.

Keep in mind that change is inevitable. Your business plan and operations may evolve as you gain experience or adapt to market shifts.

Regularly reviewing and updating your business plan ensures it remains a relevant and powerful tool in guiding your business toward continued success.

Business Plan Template for a Grant Writing Business

Executive Summary

  • Business Name and Overview : Concisely describe your grant writing business, its mission, and goals.
  • Key Highlights : Summarize the unique aspects of your business, such as your specialization, target market, and competitive advantages.
  • Financial Summary : Include a brief overview of your financial projections, startup costs, and funding requirements.

Business Description

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  • Business Structure : Detail whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation.
  • Mission and Vision : Define your business’s long-term mission and vision statements.
  • Business Goals : List specific short-term and long-term goals for your grant writing business.

Market Research

  • Industry Analysis : Provide an overview of the grant writing industry, including trends, challenges, and growth prospects.
  • Target Market : Define your ideal clients, including nonprofits, government agencies, or specific industries.
  • Competitive Analysis : Identify key competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and how you plan to differentiate your services.
  • SWOT Analysis : Conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Services and Solutions

  • Service Offerings : Detail the grant writing services you provide, including proposal writing, research, and consulting.
  • Pricing Strategy : Describe your pricing structure, including rates, packages, and discounts.
  • Value Proposition : Explain your unique value to clients and how your services address their needs.

Marketing and Sales

  • Marketing Strategy : Outline your marketing plan , including online and offline strategies, content marketing, and social media.
  • Sales Strategy : Describe your sales approach, lead generation methods, and the sales team’s structure (if applicable).
  • Client Acquisition : Explain how you intend to acquire and retain clients, highlighting your unique selling points.

See How to Write a Business Plan for information on creating your business plan.

11. Banking Considerations

Choosing the Right Bank for Your Grant Writing Business

Regarding your grant writing business, the choice of bank matters. Here’s why:

1. Local Focus on Small Businesses

Opt for a nearby bank with a strong commitment to supporting small businesses. They understand your unique needs.

2. Business Account Benefits

Having a dedicated business account offers multiple advantages:

  • Expense Tracking : Separating personal and business transactions makes expense tracking a breeze.
  • Accurate Reporting : Maintaining a clean ledger ensures accurate financial reporting.
  • Simplified Tax Filing : Come tax season, you’ll have everything neatly accounted for.

3. Building a Professional Relationship

Establishing a professional connection with your banker goes a long way:

  • Financial Advice : Your banker can provide valuable financial guidance tailored to your business.
  • Streamlined Transactions : They can help streamline loan applications and other financial services.

4. Embracing Card Payments

Consider having a merchant account or online service for card payments:

  • Increased Sales : Accepting credit and debit cards can boost sales.
  • Customer Convenience : It makes transactions more convenient for your clients.

Choosing the right bank and financial services sets a strong foundation for your grant writing business’s financial success.

For more, see How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

12. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

Tips for Securing Funding for Your Grant Writing Business

If you need a loan to kickstart your grant writing business, consider these options:

  • Traditional Lenders : Banks and credit unions often offer business loans with various terms and interest rates.
  • Private Loans : Seek loans from family, friends, or private lenders willing to invest in your venture.
  • Investors : Attract potential investors who believe in your business idea and are willing to provide financial support.
  • Asset Sales : Sell assets you own to generate capital for your business.

When meeting with a loan officer, consider the following:

  • Business Plan : Prepare a detailed business plan outlining your grant writing services, target market, and financial projections.
  • Credit History : Ensure your personal and business credit histories are in good standing.
  • Collateral : Be ready to discuss any assets you can use as collateral for the loan.
  • Financial Statements : Provide financial statements, including income statements and cash flow projections.
  • Use of Funds : Clearly define how you intend to use the loan proceeds.
  • Repayment Plan : Present a well-thought-out repayment plan, showcasing your ability to meet loan obligations.
  • Legal Documentation : Be prepared to provide legal documents such as business licenses and registrations.
  • Personal Information : Your loan officer may request personal information, including tax returns and identification.

A sample list of documents needed to apply for a NEW business loan:

  • Business Plan
  • Credit Report
  • Personal and Business Tax Returns
  • Financial Statements
  • Collateral Information
  • Repayment Plan
  • Legal Documents
  • Personal Identification

Prepare thoroughly and demonstrate your business’s viability to increase your chances of securing the funding needed to launch your grant writing business.

For more, see the following:

  • Getting a Small Business Loan
  • Search: Grant Writing Business Start-up Loans
  • Search: Grants For a Grant Writing Business

13. Software Setup

When selecting software for your grant writing business, thorough research is essential.

Implementing a program from scratch is far easier than switching systems after your data is already in another program.

Look for a company with a solid history, ensuring dependable future support. Take advantage of demos to test the software before committing. Software reviews and forums provide valuable insights from other users.

Additionally, consider software for expense tracking and financial document preparation for tax filing.

Consulting with a bookkeeper or accountant can aid in choosing the right accounting software tailored to your grant writing business.

Software types for grant writing business management and operations may include:

  • Grant Writing Software : Specialized tools to streamline the grant application process.
  • Project Management Software : Track grant projects, deadlines, and team collaboration.
  • Accounting Software : For financial management, expense tracking, and tax preparation.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software : To manage client relationships and communications.
  • Document Management Software : Organizing and securely storing grant proposals and related documents.
  • Marketing Software : Tools for online marketing and client outreach.
  • Time Tracking Software : For monitoring billable hours and project progress.
  • Communication Tools : Email clients, video conferencing, and messaging apps for client interactions.
  • Expense Tracking Software : To monitor business expenses and budgets.
  • File Backup and Storage Solutions : Cloud-based services to ensure data security and accessibility.

Choose software that aligns with your business needs, streamlines operations, and enhances productivity in your grant writing endeavors.

Banner Free Report No 6.

Check out Google’s latest search results for software packages for a grant writing business.

14. Get The Right Business Insurance

Having the right insurance in place for your grant writing business is non-negotiable.

Unforeseen incidents can occur anytime, and the right insurance safeguards your business, clients, employees, and assets.

  • General Liability Insurance : Protecting against accidents or injuries on your premises.
  • Professional Liability Insurance : Safeguarding you against lawsuits related to your grant writing services.
  • Property Insurance : Covering physical assets like computers, office furniture, and documents.
  • Business Interruption Insurance : A lifeline in case of involuntary shutdown due to incidents.
  • Home-Based Business Insurance : If you work from home, inform your home insurance agent to prevent nullifying your policy.

Consult a competent insurance broker to ensure you have adequate coverage tailored to your grant writing business’s needs. Being prepared with the right insurance provides peace of mind and financial security in case of unexpected events.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance . You can also browse the latest Google search results for grant writing business insurance .

15. Suppliers and Service Providers

Selecting Suppliers and Service Providers for Your Grant Writing Business

Establishing a reliable network of suppliers and service providers is essential when establishing a grant writing business. Here’s a list of items and services you might need from them:

  • Office Supplies : Reliable sources for paper, pens, notebooks, and other stationery.
  • Computers and Software : Suppliers for computers, laptops, and essential software applications.
  • Internet Service Provider : A reliable internet connection is fundamental for an online-based business.
  • Website Hosting : Hosting services to keep your website accessible and secure.
  • Printers and Scanners : Equipment suppliers for printing and scanning documents.
  • Marketing and Advertising Services : Graphic designers, advertising agencies, or freelancers to assist with promotional materials.
  • Legal Services : Lawyers for contract review and legal advice.
  • Accounting Services : Certified accountants or bookkeepers for financial management.
  • Office Furniture Suppliers : Furnishing providers for desks, chairs, and storage solutions.
  • Insurance Providers : Insurance companies for business liability and coverage.

Building strong relationships with suppliers and service providers is essential for business success. They can offer competitive prices, ensure a steady supply of necessary items, and contribute to your overall efficiency.

Respecting and benefiting them financially fosters trust and strengthens these crucial partnerships.

For More, See How To Choose a Supplier.

16. Setting Prices

Researching pricing when starting a grant writing business is paramount for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures a competitive edge.

Setting prices too high can deter potential clients, leading to lost sales.

Conversely, overly low prices might attract more customers but hinder profitability, making it challenging to cover expenses. Striking the right balance aligns your rates with the current market while emphasizing the value you offer.

This attracts clients and ensures you can sustain and grow your grant writing business while providing top-notch service. Pricing research guides your business toward a profitable and sustainable path.

See the following for more:

  • Setting the Price of Your Products and Services
  • Search Results for Pricing Strategies for a Grant Writing Business.

17. Physical Setup

Overview of a Grant Writing Business Setup

When establishing a grant writing business, even in the online realm, the layout and setup play a pivotal role in your operational efficiency and professionalism.

Signage: Making Your Presence Known

  • Main Business Sign : Begin with a prominent sign showcasing your business name and logo. This is your virtual storefront, making a memorable first impression.
  • Directional Signs : Install signs in relevant locations like parking lots, exits, and special areas. These guide clients smoothly through your digital landscape, ensuring they easily find what they need.

Office Setup: The Heart of Productivity

  • Organization : Managing a grant writing business can be time-consuming. An organized office is the cornerstone of productivity. Ensure everything has a designated place, from documents to office supplies.
  • Equipment : Invest in essential equipment like a reliable computer, printer, scanner, and comfortable ergonomic furniture . These are your tools of the trade, and their quality directly impacts your work.
  • Software : Equip your computer with necessary software, including word processing, project management, and accounting tools. This ensures seamless business operations.
  • Storage Solutions : Implement effective storage solutions for both physical and digital documents. Properly labeled files and digital organization systems streamline your workflow.
  • Communication : Set up efficient communication channels, including email, phone, and video conferencing tools for client consultations.
  • Internet Connection : A high-speed internet connection is paramount for online research and communication.
  • Security Measures : Implement robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive client data and maintain trust.
  • Ergonomics : Invest in ergonomic office furniture and accessories to create a comfortable and productive workspace.

In conclusion, setting up a grant writing business, even online, is crucial for conveying professionalism, enhancing productivity, and maintaining client trust.

Well-designed signage and an organized, fully equipped office are essential elements.

See Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

18. Creating a Website

The Vital Role of a Website

In the realm of grant writing businesses, having a website is non-negotiable. Here’s why it’s a pivotal asset:

1. Central Point of Contact

Your website is the primary hub for potential clients to learn about your services, expertise, and contact details.

2. Ownership and Control

Unlike social media profiles, your website is entirely owned and controlled by you when you register and host a domain name, ensuring independence and stability.

3. Marketing Powerhouse

Your website is a potent marketing tool. Utilize it to your advantage.

4. Blogging for Trust

Maintaining an active blog on your website allows you to share industry insights, tips, and expertise tailored to your audience. This positions you as an authoritative figure and builds trust among potential clients.

In summary, a well-structured website is more than an online presence—it’s the cornerstone of your grant writing business, a platform for client engagement, and a tool for establishing trust and expertise within your industry.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business .

19. Create an External Support Team

Building Your External Support Team

Creating an external support team of professionals is a strategic move for your grant writing business.

These experts provide advice and services without being on your payroll, expanding your business’s capabilities. Here’s how to build your support team:

1. Identify Key Roles

Determine the essential roles required to complement your grant writing business. Consider an accountant, lawyer, financial advisor, marketing specialist, and technical advisor.

2. Establish Relationships

Start by working with professionals in these fields. Collaborate on project tasks or consult hourly to build trust and rapport.

3. Formalize Agreements

Once you’ve established trust and dependability, formalize your relationships with contracts or retainer agreements. Clearly outline the scope of work and terms.

4. Ongoing Networking

Continuously expand your external support team. Attend industry events, network, and seek recommendations to identify new professionals who align with your business needs.

5. Strategic Engagement

Engage team members strategically for specific projects or tasks where their expertise is required, optimizing cost-effectiveness.

6. Nurturing Relationships

Cultivate professional relationships over time. Regularly communicate, seek advice, and maintain a strong rapport with your support team.

7. Adapt and Grow

As your grant writing business evolves, adjust your support team to meet changing needs. Consider additional roles or specialists when required.

Building an external support team is an ongoing process that enhances your business’s capabilities and resilience. These professionals provide valuable expertise, enabling your grant writing business to thrive.

For more, see Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

20. Hiring Employees

The following are job positions or outsourced services you may want to consider as your grant writing business grows:

  • Grant Writers : Additional grant writers to handle a higher volume of projects.
  • Administrative Assistant : To manage paperwork, emails, and scheduling.
  • Marketing Specialist : To enhance your online presence and promote services effectively.
  • Accountant/Bookkeeper : To handle financial records, taxes, and payroll.
  • Research Analyst : To assist in gathering data and information for grant proposals.
  • Customer Service Representative : To handle client inquiries and maintain client relationships.
  • Legal Counsel : For contract review, compliance, and legal matters.
  • IT Support : Manage technical aspects, including website maintenance and data security.
  • Content Writer : To produce blog posts, articles, and marketing materials.
  • Social Media Manager : To maintain and expand your social media presence.
  • Graphic Designer : For creating visually appealing proposals and marketing materials.
  • Public Relations Specialist : To manage your public image and media relations.
  • Virtual Assistant : For tasks that can be outsourced, like data entry and research.
  • Human Resources Manager : If you have a growing team, HR can handle hiring, onboarding, and employee relations.
  • Business Development Manager : To explore new opportunities and partnerships.
  • Project Manager : To oversee multiple grant projects and deadlines.

As your grant writing business expands, consider hiring or outsourcing these roles to maintain efficiency, professionalism, and quality of service.

Each position plays a crucial role in the growth and success of your business.

For more, see How and When to Hire a New Employee.

21. Getting Customers Through the Door

When you have reached this step, your business is set up and ready to go, with one more final step, which is important: getting customers through the door.

There are numerous ways to do this, like advertising, having a grand opening , word of mouth, etc.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the following sections.

Marketing Considerations

A grant writing business without customers is essentially just an idea. Success hinges on attracting the right clientele, especially in the early stages when your presence is unknown.

However, building a strong reputation over time and gaining marketing experience will ease this challenge. Marketing is a continuous effort that directly impacts revenue.

While you don’t always need a marketing agency, consider it if the fit is right. Simplify your marketing approach by focusing on raising awareness whenever the opportunity arises.

Simple methods to promote your grant writing business:

  • Social Media : Establish a presence on LinkedIn, X, and Facebook platforms. Share valuable content and engage with potential clients.
  • Networking : Attend industry events, join local business groups, and network online to build relationships and referrals.
  • Content Marketing : Create a blog or resource section on your website. Share informative articles and guides related to grant writing.
  • Email Marketing : Build an email list and send your subscribers newsletters with updates, tips, and success stories.
  • Online Directories : List your business on relevant online directories and platforms like Yelp and Google My Business.
  • Client Testimonials : Showcase satisfied client testimonials on your website and marketing materials.
  • Community Involvement : Participate in community events or offer free workshops on grant writing to establish a local presence.
  • Partnerships : Collaborate with related businesses, as mentioned earlier, for referrals and mutual promotion.
  • Online Ads : Consider pay-per-click advertising on Google or social media platforms to reach a broader audience.
  • Optimize Website : Ensure your website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and search engine optimized to appear in relevant online searches.
  • Webinars and Workshops : Host online webinars or workshops to demonstrate your expertise and attract potential clients.
  • Cold Outreach : Reach out to potential clients via email or phone with tailored proposals and offerings.

Remember, the key is consistency and adaptability. Evaluate the effectiveness of each method and adjust your marketing strategy as needed to maximize your reach and impact.

See How To Get Customers Through the Door and our marketing section to provide ideas to help you bring awareness to your business.

Sample Ad Ideas:

1. Sample Ad: “Unlock Funding Opportunities with Expert Grant Writers!”

Tap into grants for your business success. Our seasoned grant writers will guide you through the process. Contact us today!

2. Sample Ad: “Your Grant Writing Partner – Turning Visions into Reality!”

Transform your projects into reality with our grant writing expertise. Let’s secure your funding together. Inquire now!

3. Sample Ad: “Grants Made Easy – Your Path to Financial Support!”

Navigating grants can be challenging. We simplify the process. Get started with us and secure the funding you need.

4. Sample Ad: “Grant Success Guaranteed! Join Our Winning Team!”

Join our portfolio of successful grant recipients. Discover how our experts can elevate your grant proposals to triumph!

5. Sample Ad: “Funding Dreams Starts Here – Your Grant Writing Partner!”

Dream big, fund bigger! Partner with us for grant writing excellence. Let’s make your vision a funded reality.

Creating strategic partnerships with other businesses can be beneficial for growing your grant writing business. Here are some types of businesses you can approach for collaboration:

  • Nonprofit Organizations : Nonprofits often require grant writing services to secure funding. Building relationships with local nonprofits can lead to referrals as they encounter grant-related needs.
  • Accounting Firms : Accountants and CPAs may have clients needing grant funding for their businesses or nonprofit organizations. A referral fee arrangement can incentivize them to refer clients to your grant writing services.
  • Law Firms : Law firms, especially those specializing in business or nonprofit law, often come across clients seeking grants. Establish partnerships with them and offer referrals in return.
  • Consulting Firms : Management or strategic consulting firms may have clients seeking grants to support their projects. Collaborate with them and offer to refer clients who require their services.
  • Chambers of Commerce : Local business chambers often connect businesses within a community. They can refer startups or small businesses to your grant writing services in exchange for promoting chamber events or services to your clients.
  • Marketing Agencies : Marketing agencies seeking to expand their service offerings can partner with you to provide grant writing services to their clients. This can enhance their portfolio and generate referrals.
  • Educational Institutions : Colleges and universities can refer faculty, researchers, or students seeking research grants or educational funding opportunities. Consider offering workshops or training programs in return.
  • Technology Incubators : Incubators and accelerators nurture startups that may require grants for growth. Collaborate with them and offer referrals to startups that could benefit from their services.
  • Social Media Influencers : Partner with influencers in the business or nonprofit sector. They can promote your grant writing services to their followers in exchange for exposure or referral fees.
  • Government Agencies : Some government programs require grant applications. Establish connections with relevant agencies, and they may refer individuals or businesses seeking grants.
  • Networking Groups : Attend local business networking events and join industry-specific groups. These connections can lead to referrals and partnerships.
  • Financial Institutions : Banks or credit unions may have clients seeking grants for business expansion. Explore opportunities to collaborate and cross-refer clients.

When approaching these businesses for partnerships, consider creating a win-win arrangement. Offer referral fees, reciprocal referrals, or promotional opportunities that benefit both parties.

Building strong relationships and providing excellent service will encourage ongoing referrals and mutual success.

Points To Consider

Next, let’s review essential points for more tips, insights, and considerations before starting your grant writing business.

We will cover sections, including skills to consider, points to focus on, and equipment. Then you’ll reach the “Knowledge Is Power,” section, where you will want to use the resources for valuable information.

A List of Equipment and Supplies to Consider for a Grant Writing Business:

A grant writing business requires minimal equipment, mostly standard office supplies and some technology tools. Here’s a detailed list:

  • Computer : A reliable desktop or laptop computer for research, writing, and communication.
  • High-Speed Internet : A stable internet connection for online research, client interactions, and submitting grant applications.
  • Printer : A printer for producing hard copies of documents and grant proposals when necessary.
  • Scanner : To digitize documents, especially signatures and other physical materials required for grant applications.
  • Telephone : A business phone line or mobile phone for client consultations and communication.
  • Headset : A comfortable headset for clear audio during phone or video calls.
  • Desk and Chair : Ergonomic office furniture for a comfortable workspace.
  • Filing Cabinet : To organize and store essential documents, grant applications, and client records securely.
  • Stationery : Basic office supplies such as pens, pencils, notepads, and paper.
  • Binders and Folders : For organizing and presenting grant proposals and documents professionally.
  • Whiteboard or Corkboard : For project planning, task management, and keeping track of deadlines.
  • Shredder : To dispose of confidential or sensitive information securely.
  • Backup Storage : External hard drives or cloud storage solutions for data backup.
  • Software : Essential software programs include word processing (e.g., Microsoft Word), spreadsheet (e.g., Microsoft Excel), and presentation (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint) software. Additionally, you may need project management tools, accounting software, and client management software.
  • Email Client : A professional email client for efficient communication.
  • Projector and Screen : If you plan to host workshops or presentations.
  • Security Software : Antivirus and firewall software to protect your computer and data.
  • Video Conferencing Tools : Software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings with clients or team members.
  • Digital Camera : For capturing images or documenting events if needed for grant applications.
  • Reference Books and Subscriptions : Industry-specific reference materials and subscriptions to grant databases or resources.
  • Business Cards : To distribute during networking events and meetings.
  • Office Decor : Items like artwork, plants, or decorations to create a pleasant workspace.

Remember that the specific equipment you need may vary depending on the scale and scope of your grant writing business and your personal preferences. This list covers the essentials to ensure a productive and professional workspace.

Key Points To Succeeding in a Grant Writing Business

Operating a successful grant writing business demands strategic focus and attention to various key points:

  • Niche Specialization : Concentrate on a specific grant writing niche to establish expertise and attract a targeted client base. This sets you apart in a competitive market.
  • Customer Base Building : Gaining clients can be challenging in the startup phase. Invest in marketing, networking, and showcasing your expertise to expand your customer base gradually.
  • Relationship Building : Forge strong relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees. Trust and reliability are pillars of long-term success.
  • Tailored Offerings : Provide products and services aligned with customer needs. Regularly solicit feedback to refine your offerings and stay relevant.
  • Customer Feedback : Act on credible customer feedback to enhance your operations. This valuable input can provide a competitive edge.
  • Customer Service Excellence : Prioritize top-notch customer service; your customers are your business’s lifeblood. Satisfied clients become loyal advocates.
  • Value-Centric Approach : Continuously focus on delivering value to customers. Ensure that your services meet or exceed their expectations.
  • Skilled Team : Hire the right people for each role. A capable team is pivotal to business success, contributing to efficiency and client satisfaction.
  • Effective Staff Management : Treat your staff respectfully, foster teamwork, and create a positive work environment. Employee retention is crucial.
  • Financial Management : Master cash flow management to maintain financial stability, enabling steady operations and growth.
  • Cost Efficiency : Keep costs low without compromising quality or customer service. Efficiency enhances profitability.
  • Adaptability : Stay adaptable to industry, process, and technological changes. Adapting promptly is vital for sustainability.
  • Revenue Fluctuations : Prepare for revenue fluctuations with a robust financial strategy, including savings and contingency plans.
  • Competition Handling : Address new and existing competition through differentiation and continuous improvement.
  • Effective Marketing : Implement effective marketing strategies to raise awareness. Marketing, whether in-house or professional, is essential for business growth.

Operating a grant writing business involves a multifaceted approach. You can navigate challenges, build a strong reputation, and succeed in this competitive industry by mastering these key points.

Evaluating your skill set for a grant writing business is vital. Without the necessary skills, success is elusive. If a crucial skill is lacking, consider learning or hiring expertise. Essential skills for a grant writing business owner include:

  • Writing Proficiency : Excellent written communication is a must.
  • Research Skills : Thoroughly researching grants and requirements.
  • Project Management : Organizing and managing multiple grant applications.
  • Communication : Effective interaction with clients and organizations.
  • Budgeting : Understanding financial aspects of grant proposals.
  • Networking : Building relationships in the industry.
  • Time Management : Meeting deadlines is critical.
  • Adaptability : Navigating changing grant landscapes.
  • Technical Skills : Utilizing grant software and tools.
  • Analytical Thinking : Assessing project feasibility and impact.
  • Ethical Integrity : Upholding ethical standards in grant writing.
  • Marketing : Promoting your services effectively.
  • Negotiation : Securing the best terms for clients.
  • Problem-Solving : Addressing challenges creatively.
  • Funding Knowledge : Staying updated on grant sources.
  • Attention to Detail : Eliminating errors in proposals.
  • Cultural Competency : Understanding diverse grant requirements.
  • Strategic Planning : Developing long-term grant strategies.
  • Legal Awareness : Knowledge of relevant regulations.
  • Self-Motivation : Maintaining drive and enthusiasm.

Assess your proficiency in these areas to ensure a strong foundation for running a successful grant writing business.

Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

Utilize knowledge as a powerful tool—access valuable industry information through provided links for the startup and operational phases of your business.

Trends and Statistics

Monitoring industry trends and statistics is essential for a grant writing business to adapt, identify opportunities, and make informed decisions.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to the grant writing industry.

Grant Writing Associations

Trade associations provide benefits like industry news updates and networking opportunities for professionals.

See the search results related to grant writing associations and the benefits of Joining the Chamber of Commerce.

The Top Grant Writing Businesses

Analyzing an established grant writing business can spark ideas, identify industry gaps for a competitive edge, and reveal overlooked services offered by competitors.

See the latest search results for the top grant writing businesses.

The Future of Grant Writing

Researching the industry’s future is crucial for aspiring grant writing business owners. It helps anticipate trends, challenges, and opportunities, guiding informed decisions.

See the search results for the future of the grant writing industry.

Customer Expectations

Examining search results for customer expectations in grant writing offers valuable insights to meet and exceed their needs. Uncover unaddressed issues and optimize your approach.

See the search results related to customer expectations for grant writing.

Expert Tips

Expert tips benefit both novices and experts in skill enhancement. Experts may discover new approaches, while novices gain valuable knowledge to improve their skills.

See the latest search results for grant writing to gain tips and insights.

Grant Writing Business Insights

Reviewing tips and insights can uncover valuable ideas and pitfalls to avoid, enhancing your grant writing business and industry knowledge.

See the latest search results about insights into running a grant writing business.

Grant Writing Publications

Publications are a vital source for the latest grant writing insights and ideas. Stay updated with valuable information in the field.

See the search results for grant writing publications.

Grant Writing Forums

Engage in grant writing forums to foster connections and gain insights. These platforms facilitate customer perspective understanding for improved business understanding.

See the latest search results related to grant writing forums.

Enroll in online or local courses to effectively enhance grant writing skills and business knowledge.

See the latest courses that could benefit a grant writing business owner . Also, see our management articles for tips and insights for managing your business.

Grant Writing Blogs

Subscribe to leading grant writing blogs for insights and updates. Curate your collection, ensuring value and relevance. Stay informed in the grant writing industry.

Look at the latest search results for top grant writing blogs to follow.

Grant Writing News

Stay updated on grant writing through news outlets. They cover relevant stories, providing valuable insights.

See the latest results for grant writing news.

Watching YouTube videos on grant writing is valuable for improving your knowledge in this area. Explore and learn more here: YouTube videos related to grant writing.

Privacy Overview

A woman looking up at a report.

How to Start a Grant Writing Business

Owners of grant writing businesses are adept at finding foundations, government entities and other funding sources and applying for funding on behalf of their non-profit clients. You will, in short, serve as a matchmaker, putting together funding sources and needs. You’ll continually seek grant opportunities and write succinctly, persuasively and in an organized manner in filling out requests for proposals (RFP) to win funding.

You may also be interested in additional side hustle ideas .

Learn how to start your own Grant Writing Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Grant Writing Business Image

Start a grant writing business by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Grant Writing Business
  • Form your Grant Writing Business into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Grant Writing Business for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Grant Writing Business
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Grant Writing Business
  • Get Grant Writing Business Insurance
  • Define your Grant Writing Business Brand
  • Create your Grant Writing Business Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your grant writing business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Grant Writing Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your grant writing business?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening a grant writing business.

Your startup costs should be minimal since you can work from your home and without employees at first. Let’s look at some possible startup costs.

  • Home office equipment—Your phone, computer and printer can be obtained for $1,000 if you don’t already own them.
  • Rent—Your first office is likely to be your home or apartment. If that’s too distractive, seek office space for one person in a modest space. Meetings can be held at client locations, so you don’t have to impress with your office. Depending on where you’re located, rent could be as little as a few hundred dollars a month and shouldn’t exceed $1,000.
  • Employee costs—You’ll likely be your sole employee, at least at first. What’s the least you can get by on? You might feel more financially secure if you have a working spouse, have saved a year’s salary beforehand or go into your business with at least one client signed up.
  • Professional services—See a lawyer and an accountant before startup to draw up contracts and advise on expenses and taxation issues. This might be a $500 investment or more depending on the complexity of your business.
  • Promotional and marketing materials—This includes everything from your website and blog to social media presence, business cards, logo development and collateral sales materials. Much of this can be done at low cost. For instance, your website and blog can be developed cost-free if you have basic digital skills, and you could find a competent graphic designer at your local community college. The investment of $500 to $1,000 should be enough in this area to launch your business.
  • Accreditation, memberships and licensing—Networking within your industry can cost as much as $1,000. While not mandatory, this can be a valuable investment in credibility and a source of critical relationships. Ask your lawyer or accountant if you’ll face any licensing or permit fees in your locality.

What are the ongoing expenses for a grant writing business?

Your ongoing expenses can be quite modest until you’re primed for growth. At that time, you’ll need an office (or one that’s larger than your current site) and you’ll undertake employee expenses.

At first, your most pressing need will be to meet your own income and healthcare demands. Other ongoing expenses will include event attendance, lunches, travel, entertainment and other costs associated with meeting clients and funders.

One source estimated that operational expenses for grant writers might take up 25-50 percent of revenue.

Who is the target market?

You’ll want to meet decision makers at non-profit, community and civic organizations, and occasionally even for-profit entities and others seeking to raise funds through grants. While some grant writers seek clients of all kinds, others focus on a preferred type. That might be organizations working to treat specific medical conditions or to advance a political or civic objective, or perhaps non-profits based within your geographic region.

How does a grant writing business make money?

You’ll generate revenue by charging clients a per-hour or flat rate for your various services. As you win grants and your reputation grows, more businesses will come in and you can increase your hourly or project rates.

Grant writers with little experience and few clients might charge as little as $25 an hour, while a rate of between $50 and $100 hourly is earned by those with more experience. Some grant writing businesses charge a flat fee for individual services. For instance, this business charges $3,500 for a grant proposal that can serve as a foundational document for responding to RFPs. The company charges additional fees for RFPs and basic funding-source research.

How much profit can a grant writing business make?

The compensation data website Payscale estimated that in-house grant writers earn an average annual income of about $45,000. Use this as only a starting point, because those who work on their own have more control over their income. It will only be limited by your success in generating clients, nurturing funding source relationships, winning grants and marketing your successes.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Some non-profit organizations employ in-house writers but still need help with other aspects of grant seeking. Consider breaking down your various services and offering non-profits who might not be interested in your full menu of services a cafeteria option. This might include such related services as funding research, training and writing consultancy.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your grant writing business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

In most states, grant writing businesses must obtain business permits. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits .

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .

Services Contract

Grant writing businesses should have a service contract between themselves and their clients to make the exchange of grant writing services for payment transparent.  Here is an example service agreement .

Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional service agreement for your grant writing business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on-call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Grant Writing Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Grant Writing Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a grant writing business

Use social media and self-promotional marketing materials to expound on your abilities and to highlight your accomplishments. You’ll also want to spend equal time engaging prospective clients and the funding sources that will serve their needs. Get involved volunteering within your target industry, attend fundraisers, sit on boards and otherwise interact with your audience and get to know decision makers.

How to keep customers coming back

It’s your grantmaking “wins” that will attract new clients and maintain the interest of your existing roster. However, this is only partially within your control. Every grant proposal you write must be comprehensive, logical and persuasive—and you still might not land the grant. That’s because of the intense competition for funding.

This fact underscores the need for self-promotion when strategically beneficial. Use social media to highlight your victories. And be sure to ask your clients to recommend you to others potential clients. It’s a small, insular community, putting you at an advantage if you can offer prospective new clients the commendation of people they know and respect.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com

Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

Is this Business Right For You?

Your talents will involve business writing and a clear understanding of the non-profit and funding worlds. In your writing, you must be able to take direction well because each RFP to which you respond requires clear and direct answers and attention to such details as word or page counts, writing style and, on occasion, even font and type size regulations.

It also helps if you currently volunteer, or have done so in the past, with non-profit organizations, or can network comfortably within that environment.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a grant writing business?

You’ll maintain regular phone, digital and face-to-face contact with nonprofits and grant makers at foundations and other funding sources. You’ll spend significant time researching new funding opportunities and nurturing relationships in the funding community.

You should also have a regular social media presence to salute your nonprofits and foundations with which you’ve established contact and to promote your own achievements in securing funding.

During busy times, much of your day will be spent researching grant makers and filling out RFPs. You should also meet other grant writers at networking events with whom you could strike up successful partnerships or seek contract help during busy times.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful grant writing business?

Your success will be built upon the proficiency of your writing within this area of expertise and your ability to navigate the nonprofit world. You must be socially adept and able to work the politics of your two communities—nonprofits and funders.

What is the growth potential for a grant writing business?

The more clients you add to your roster, the more income you might generate. Success breeds success in this industry. While every grant request is a longshot since so many nonprofits are competing for the same funding, grant writers who are recognized as being particularly successful are best positioned to win new business. That’s why it’s incumbent upon you to publicize your wins through social media and self-marketing opportunities.

As your business grows, you can consider hiring additional writers or others who are networked into the non-profit or funding communities to help you generate additional clients or grantmaking sources.

Not sure if a grant writing business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.

TRUiC's YouTube Channel

For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a grant writing business?

Don’t go into this field unless your business writing skills are impeccable. That said, you should also have entrée in the nonprofit world. You might gain this knowledge with a background in a non-profit organization, working as an in-house writer or in some other area of expertise as either a staffer or volunteer.

Also consider learning more about the specifics of grant writing through various web articles and online training programs or through industry groups and trade organizations. These include National Grants Management Association (NMGA) , Grant Professionals Association (GPA) , and Grant Professionals Certificate Institute (GPCI) .

How and when to build a team

One reason you need to network regularly is to meet other talented writers and insiders in the world of nonprofits and funding sources. You can expand gradually, as opportunity presents itself. If, at first, you have an excess of work, consider contracting with freelance grant writers to undertake parts of projects.

Only when you see that your business growth is ongoing, rather than a cyclical bump, should you consider part-time or full-time hires. You can also explore expansion through partnerships with other successful grant writers as a way to gain access to new client types or funding sources.

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

  • National Grants Management Association
  • American Grant Writers Association
  • Grant Professionals Association
  • Grant Professional Certification Institute

Real World Examples

  • New York-based grant writing business

Further Reading

  • Start-Up Guide for Grant Business
  • Learn about more Online Business Ideas

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

The Ultimate Grant Writing Guide (and How to Find and Apply for Grants)

Securing grants requires strategic planning. Identifying relevant opportunities, building collaborations, and crafting a comprehensive grant proposal are crucial steps. Read our ultimate guide on grant writing, finding grants, and applying for grants to get the funding for your research.

Updated on February 22, 2024

The Ultimate Grant Writing Guide (and How to Find and Apply for Grants)

Embarking on a journey of groundbreaking research and innovation always requires more than just passion and dedication, it demands financial support. In the academic and research domains, securing grants is a pivotal factor for transforming these ideas into tangible outcomes. 

Grant awards not only offer the backing needed for ambitious projects but also stand as a testament to the importance and potential impact of your work. The process of identifying, pursuing, and securing grants, however, is riddled with nuances that necessitate careful exploration. 

Whether you're a seasoned researcher or a budding academic, navigating this complex world of grants can be challenging, but we’re here to help. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps of applying for grants, providing expert tips and insights along the way.

Finding grant opportunities 

Prior to diving into the application phase, the process of finding grants involves researching and identifying those that are relevant and realistic to your project. While the initial step may seem as simple as entering a few keywords into a search engine, the full search phase takes a more thorough investigation.

By focusing efforts solely on the grants that align with your goals, this pre-application preparation streamlines the process while also increasing the likelihood of meeting all the requirements. In fact, having a well thought out plan and a clear understanding of the grants you seek both simplifies the entire activity and sets you and your team up for success.

Apply these steps when searching for appropriate grant opportunities:

1. Determine your need

Before embarking on the grant-seeking journey, clearly articulate why you need the funds and how they will be utilized. Understanding your financial requirements is crucial for effective grant research.

2. Know when you need the money

Grants operate on specific timelines with set award dates. Align your grant-seeking efforts with these timelines to enhance your chances of success.

3. Search strategically

Build a checklist of your most important, non-negotiable search criteria for quickly weeding out grant options that absolutely do not fit your project. Then, utilize the following resources to identify potential grants:

  • Online directories
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Foundations

4. Develop a tracking tool

After familiarizing yourself with the criteria of each grant, including paperwork, deadlines, and award amounts, make a spreadsheet or use a project management tool to stay organized. Share this with your team to ensure that everyone can contribute to the grant cycle.

Here are a few popular grant management tools to try: 

  • Jotform : spreadsheet template
  • Airtable : table template
  • Instrumentl : software
  • Submit : software

Tips for Finding Research Grants

Consider large funding sources : Explore major agencies like NSF and NIH.

Reach out to experts : Consult experienced researchers and your institution's grant office.

Stay informed : Regularly check news in your field for novel funding sources.

Know agency requirements : Research and align your proposal with their requisites.

Ask questions : Use the available resources to get insights into the process.

Demonstrate expertise : Showcase your team's knowledge and background.

Neglect lesser-known sources : Cast a wide net to diversify opportunities.

Name drop reviewers : Prevent potential conflicts of interest.

Miss your chance : Find field-specific grant options.

Forget refinement : Improve proposal language, grammar, and clarity.

Ignore grant support services : Enhance the quality of your proposal.

Overlook co-investigators : Enhance your application by adding experience.

Grant collaboration 

Now that you’ve taken the initial step of identifying potential grant opportunities, it’s time to find collaborators. The application process is lengthy and arduous. It requires a diverse set of skills. This phase is crucial for success.

With their valuable expertise and unique perspectives, these collaborators play instrumental roles in navigating the complexities of grant writing. While exploring the judiciousness that goes into building these partnerships, we will underscore why collaboration is both advantageous and indispensable to the pursuit of securing grants.

Why is collaboration important to the grant process?

Some grant funding agencies outline collaboration as an outright requirement for acceptable applications. However, the condition is more implied with others. Funders may simply favor or seek out applications that represent multidisciplinary and multinational projects.

To get an idea of the types of collaboration major funders prefer, try searching “collaborative research grants” to uncover countless possibilities, such as:

  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • American Brain Tumor Association

For exploring grants specifically for international collaboration, check out this blog:

  • 30+ Research Funding Agencies That Support International Collaboration

Either way, proposing an interdisciplinary research project substantially increases your funding opportunities. Teaming up with multiple collaborators who offer diverse backgrounds and skill sets enhances the robustness of your research project and increases credibility.

This is especially true for early career researchers, who can leverage collaboration with industry, international, or community partners to boost their research profile. The key lies in recognizing the multifaceted advantages of collaboration in the context of obtaining funding and maximizing the impact of your research efforts.

How can I find collaborators?

Before embarking on the search for a collaborative partner, it's essential to crystallize your objectives for the grant proposal and identify the type of support needed. Ask yourself these questions: 

1)Which facet of the grant process do I need assistance with:

2) Is my knowledge lacking in a specific: 

  • Population?

3) Do I have access to the necessary:

Use these questions to compile a detailed list of your needs and prioritize them based on magnitude and ramification. These preliminary step ensure that search for an ideal collaborator is focused and effective.

Once you identify targeted criteria for the most appropriate partners, it’s time to make your approach. While a practical starting point involves reaching out to peers, mentors, and other colleagues with shared interests and research goals, we encourage you to go outside your comfort zone.

Beyond the first line of potential collaborators exists a world of opportunities to expand your network. Uncover partnership possibilities by engaging with speakers and attendees at events, workshops, webinars, and conferences related to grant writing or your field.

Also, consider joining online communities that facilitate connections among grant writers and researchers. These communities offer a space to exchange ideas and information. Sites like Collaboratory , NIH RePorter , and upwork provide channels for canvassing and engaging with feasible collaborators who are good fits for your project. 

Like any other partnership, carefully weigh your vetted options before committing to a collaboration. Talk with individuals about their qualifications and experience, availability and work style, and terms for grant writing collaborations.

Transparency on both sides of this partnership is imperative to forging a positive work environment where goals, values, and expectations align for a strong grant proposal.

Putting together a winning grant proposal

It’s time to assemble the bulk of your grant application packet – the proposal itself. Each funder is unique in outlining the details for specific grants, but here are several elements fundamental to every proposal:

  • Executive Summary
  • Needs assessment
  • Project description
  • Evaluation plan
  • Team introduction
  • Sustainability plan 

This list of multi-faceted components may seem daunting, but careful research and planning will make it manageable. 

Start by reading about the grant funder to learn:

  • What their mission and goals are,
  • Which types of projects they have funded in the past, and
  • How they evaluate and score applications.

Next, view sample applications to get a feel for the length, flow, and tone the evaluators are looking for. Many funders offer samples to peruse, like these from the NIH , while others are curated by online platforms , such as Grantstation.

Also, closely evaluate the grant application’s requirements. they vary between funding organizations and opportunities, and also from one grant cycle to the next. Take notes and make a checklist of these requirements to add to an Excel spreadsheet, Google smartsheet, or management system for organizing and tracking your grant process.

Finally, understand how you will submit the final grant application. Many funders use online portals with character or word limits for each section. Be aware of these limits beforehand. Simplify the editing process by first writing each section in a Word document to be copy and pasted into the corresponding submission fields.

If there is no online application platform, the funder will usually offer a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) to guide the structure of your grant proposal. The RFP: 

  • Specifies page constraints
  • Delineates specific sections
  • Outlines additional attachments
  • Provides other pertinent details

Components of a grant proposal

Cover letter.

Though not always explicitly requested, including a cover letter is a strategic maneuver that could be the factor determining whether or not grant funders engage with your proposal. It’s an opportunity to give your best first impression by grabbing the reviewer’s attention and compelling them to read further. 

Cover letters are not the place for excessive emotion or detail, keep it brief and direct, stating your financial needs and purpose confidently from the outset. Also, try to clearly demonstrate the connection between your project and the funder’s mission to create additional value beyond the formal proposal.

Executive summary

Like an abstract for your research manuscript, the executive summary is a brief synopsis that encapsulates the overarching topics and key points of your grant proposal. It must set the tone for the main body of the proposal while providing enough information to stand alone if necessary.

Refer to How to Write an Executive Summary for a Grant Proposal for detailed guidance like:

  • Give a clear and concise account of your identity, funding needs, and project roadmap.
  • Write in an instructive manner aiming for an objective and persuasive tone
  • Be convincing and pragmatic about your research team's ability.
  • Follow the logical flow of main points in your proposal.
  • Use subheadings and bulleted lists for clarity.
  • Write the executive summary at the end of the proposal process.
  • Reference detailed information explained in the proposal body.
  • Address the funder directly.
  • Provide excessive details about your project's accomplishments or management plans.
  • Write in the first person.
  • Disclose confidential information that could be accessed by competitors.
  • Focus excessively on problems rather than proposed solutions.
  • Deviate from the logical flow of the main proposal.
  • Forget to align with evaluation criteria if specified

Project narrative

After the executive summary is the project narrative . This is the main body of your grant proposal and encompasses several distinct elements that work together to tell the story of your project and justify the need for funding. 

Include these primary components:

Introduction of the project team

Briefly outline the names, positions, and credentials of the project’s directors, key personnel, contributors, and advisors in a format that clearly defines their roles and responsibilities. Showing your team’s capacity and ability to meet all deliverables builds confidence and trust with the reviewers.

Needs assessment or problem statement

A compelling needs assessment (or problem statement) clearly articulates a problem that must be urgently addressed. It also offers a well-defined project idea as a possible solution. This statement emphasizes the pressing situation and highlights existing gaps and their consequences to illustrate how your project will make a difference.

To begin, ask yourself these questions:

  • What urgent need are we focusing on with this project?
  • Which unique solution does our project offer to this urgent need? 
  • How will this project positively impact the world once completed?

Here are some helpful examples and templates.

Goals and objectives

Goals are broad statements that are fairly abstract and intangible. Objectives are more narrow statements that are concrete and measurable. For example :

  • Goal : “To explore the impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance in college students.”
  • Objective : “To compare cognitive test scores of students with less than six hours of sleep and those with 8 or more hours of sleep.”

Focus on outcomes, not processes, when crafting goals and objectives. Use the SMART acronym to align them with the proposal's mission while emphasizing their impact on the target audience.

Methods and strategies

It is vitally important to explain how you intend to use the grant funds to fulfill the project’s objectives. Detail the resources and activities that will be employed. Methods and strategies are the bridge between idea and action. They must prove to reviewers the plausibility of your project and the significance of their possible funding.

Here are some useful guidelines for writing your methods section that are outlined in " Winning Grants: Step by Step ."

  • Firmly tie your methods to the proposed project's objectives and needs assessment.
  • Clearly link them to the resources you are requesting in the proposal budget.
  • Thoroughly explain why you chose these methods by including research, expert opinion, and your experience.
  • Precisely list the facilities and capital equipment that you will use in the project.
  • Carefully structure activities so that the program moves toward the desired results in a time-bound manner.

A comprehensive evaluation plan underscores the effectiveness and accountability of a project for both the funders and your team. An evaluation is used for tracking progress and success. The evaluation process shows how to determine the success of your project and measure the impact of the grant award by systematically gauging and analyzing each phase of your project as it compares to the set objectives.

Evaluations typically fall into two standard categories:

1. Formative evaluation : extending from project development through implementation, continuously provides feedback for necessary adjustments and improvements. 

2. Summative evaluation : conducted post-project completion, critically assesses overall success and impact by compiling information on activities and outcomes.

Creating a conceptual model of your project is helpful when identifying these key evaluation points. Then, you must consider exactly who will do the evaluations, what specific skills and resources they need, how long it will take, and how much it will cost.


Presenting a solid plan that illustrates exactly how your project will continue to thrive after the grant money is gone builds the funder's confidence in the project’s longevity and significance. In this sustainability section, it is vital to demonstrate a diversified funding strategy for securing the long-term viability of your program.

There are three possible long term outcomes for projects with correlated sustainability options:

  • Short term projects: Though only implemented once, will have ongoing maintenance costs, such as monitoring, training, and updates.

(E.g., digitizing records, cleaning up after an oil spill)

  • Projects that will generate income at some point in the future: must be funded until your product or service can cover operating costs with an alternative plan in place for deficits.

(E.g., medical device, technology, farming method)

  • Ongoing projects: will eventually need a continuous stream of funding from a government entity or large organization.

(E.g., space exploration, hurricane tracking)

Along with strategies for funding your program beyond the initial grant,  reference your access to institutional infrastructure and resources that will reduce costs.

Also, submit multi-year budgets that reflect how sustainability factors are integrated into the project’s design.

The budget section of your grant proposal, comprising both a spreadsheet and a narrative, is the most influential component. It should be able to stand independently as a suitable representation of the entire endeavor. Providing a detailed plan to outline how grant funds will be utilized is crucial for illustrating cost-effectiveness and careful consideration of project expenses. 

A comprehensive grant budget offers numerous benefits to both the grantor , or entity funding the grant, and the grantee , those receiving the funding, such as:

  • Grantor : The budget facilitates objective evaluation and comparison between multiple proposals by conveying a project's story through responsible fund management and financial transparency.
  • Grantee : The budget serves as a tracking tool for monitoring and adjusting expenses throughout the project and cultivates trust with funders by answering questions before they arise.

Because the grant proposal budget is all-encompassing and integral to your efforts for securing funding, it can seem overwhelming. Start by listing all anticipated expenditures within two broad categories, direct and indirect expenses , where:

  • Direct : are essential for successful project implementation, are measurable project-associated costs, such as salaries, equipment, supplies, travel, and external consultants, and are itemized and detailed in various categories within the grant budget.
  • Indirect : includes administrative costs not directly or exclusively tied to your project, but necessary for its completion, like rent, utilities, and insurance, think about lab or meeting spaces that are shared by multiple project teams, or Directors who oversee several ongoing projects.

After compiling your list, review sample budgets to understand the typical layout and complexity. Focus closely on the budget narratives , where you have the opportunity to justify each aspect of the spreadsheet to ensure clarity and validity.

budget example

While not always needed, the appendices consist of relevant supplementary materials that are clearly referenced within your grant application. These might include: 

  • Updated resumes that emphasize staff members' current positions and accomplishments. 
  • Letters of support from people or organizations that have authority in the field of your research, or community members that may benefit from the project.
  • Visual aids like charts, graphs, and maps that contribute directly to your project’s story and are referred to previously in the application. 

Finalizing your grant application

Now that your grant application is finished, make sure it's not just another document in the stack Aim for a grant proposal that captivates the evaluator. It should stand out not only for presenting an excellent project, but for being engaging and easily comprehended . 

Keep the language simple. Avoid jargon. Prioritizing accuracy and conciseness. Opt for reader-friendly formatting with white space, headings, standard fonts, and illustrations to enhance readability.

Always take time for thorough proofreading and editing. You can even set your proposal aside for a few days before revisiting it for additional edits and improvements. At this stage, it is helpful to seek outside feedback from those familiar with the subject matter as well as novices to catch unnoticed mistakes and improve clarity.

If you want to be absolutely sure your grant proposal is polished, consider getting it edited by AJE .

How can AI help the grant process?

When used efficiently, AI is a powerful tool for streamlining and enhancing various aspects of the grant process.

  • Use AI algorithms to review related studies and identify knowledge gaps.
  • Employ AI for quick analysis of complex datasets to identify patterns and trends.
  • Leverage AI algorithms to match your project with relevant grant opportunities.
  • Apply Natural Language Processing for analyzing grant guidelines and tailoring proposals accordingly.
  • Utilize AI-powered tools for efficient project planning and execution.
  • Employ AI for tracking project progress and generating reports.
  • Take advantage of AI tools for improving the clarity, coherence, and quality of your proposal.
  • Rely solely on manual efforts that are less comprehensive and more time consuming.
  • Overlook the fact that AI is designed to find patterns and trends within large datasets.
  • Minimize AI’s ability to use set parameters for sifting through vast amounts of data quickly.
  • Forget that the strength of AI lies in its capacity to follow your prompts without divergence.
  • Neglect tools that assist with scheduling, resource allocation, and milestone tracking.
  • Settle for software that is not intuitive with automated reminders and updates.
  • Hesitate to use AI tools for improving grammar, spelling, and composition throughout the writing process.

Remember that AI provides a diverse array of tools; there is no universal solution. Identify the most suitable tool for your specific task. Also, like a screwdriver or a hammer, AI needs informed human direction and control to work effectively.

Looking for tips when writing your grant application? 

Check out these resources:

  • 4 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Grant Proposal
  • Writing Effective Grant Applications
  • 7 Tips for Writing an Effective Grant Proposal
  • The best-kept secrets to winning grants
  • The Best Grant Writing Books for Beginner Grant Writers
  • Research Grant Proposal Funding: How I got $1 Million

Final thoughts

The bottom line – applying for grants is challenging. It requires passion, dedication, and a set of diverse skills rarely found within one human being.

Therefore, collaboration is key to a successful grant process . It encourages everyone’s strengths to shine. Be honest and ask yourself, “Which elements of this grant application do I really need help with?” Seek out experts in those areas.

Keep this guide on hand to reference as you work your way through this funding journey. Use the resources contained within. Seek out answers to all the questions that will inevitably arise throughout the process.

The grants are out there just waiting for the right project to present itself – one that shares the funder’s mission and is a benefit to our communities. Find grants that align with your project goals, tell your story through a compelling proposal, and get ready to make the world a better place with your research.

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How To Start A Grant Writing Business

  • Last Updated: October 12, 2023
  • By: Greg Bouhl

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grant writing business plan sample

Starting a grant writing business is a dream for many who love both the written word and the chance to make a real impact at a local, regional, or even international level. Moreover, as a self-employed grant writer, you can pick causes that speak to your values.

A grant writer should have a sense of curiosity, ideally knowledge of the donations, grants & endowment industry, and especially non-profits. To be successful in this business, you need to be a solid researcher, pay attention to detail, and be an excellent wordsmith.  Basic knowledge of business management practices will be a plus when starting your own company.

A grant writing business can be run full-time or part-time to make some additional income. If you are unsure whether managing a grant writing business is for you, read on to learn more about the industry, costs, and steps to get started.

Business Overview

A grant writing business offers specialized writing services that help organizations obtain funding for research projects, aid efforts, community projects, training, education, or new products.. Typically, these clients are non-profits, educational institutions, and small businesses seeking to apply for grants from governmental agencies or private foundations. While excellent writing skills are essential, you’ll also need strong research capabilities to identify suitable grants, as well as an understanding of budgeting and project management to help your clients implement their grant-funded projects successfully.

Grant writers research the grants available, assess all the funding criteria, and then craft a compelling grant proposal on behalf of their clients to help them win the funding. The awarding of grants is a competitive selection process. Grant writers are tasked to highlight an applicant’s profile and competencies and showcase how these fit the donor’s values and criteria.

Although a degree is not necessary, grant consultants have typically earned an undergraduate degree at a minimum. You can also add to your credentials by attaining a grant writing certification and developing a portfolio of successful grants awarded.

Related Business Ideas

Data Entry Freelance Writing Private Tutoring Proofreading Resume Writing Transcription Translation Tutoring Virtual Assistant See the full library of business ideas >>

Industry Summary

The grant writing industry is closely tied to the broader nonprofit sector and the availability of government and private funding. As social issues gain attention and the non-profit sector grows, so does the demand for skilled grant writers. While there are no strict qualifications for entering this field, a background in journalism, communications, or a specialized area like healthcare or education can give you an edge. Additionally, understanding the intricacies of compliance, transparency, and documentation is crucial.

Target Market

Your target market will be any organization, community group, change agent, or business reliant on additional funding to support an initiative, project, or additional resources.

Health, education, animal welfare, arts and cultures, community development, civil rights, public policy and research, and international aid and development programs are all services and sectors that depend heavily on grants.

It pays to specialize in a specific area and know what grants might be available for certain sectors. For example, agricultural or research grants will likely vary significantly from international aid or arts and culture funding.

Specialized sector knowledge and solid connections within these networks will help you set your business apart from the competition and will also allow you to charge accordingly.

Steps To Start A Grant Writing Business

Starting a grant writing business can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it takes more than just good writing skills. Here is a list of common steps to take to get your business off on the right foot.

Step 1:  Research the Market

You’ve decided to start your grant proposal writing company. You might have discussed your ideas with family and friends, perhaps even with a business mentor. The first step before you dive in is to figure out if there’s even a market for your services. Understanding demand isn’t just about ensuring there are enough customers; it can also be about finding a unique space in the marketplace.

So, why is it crucial to look into the demand for grant writing services before you go full steam ahead? Simple: no customers, no business. But beyond that, knowing the demand helps you target your services more precisely. Even though being a general grant writer can be quite lucrative, by researching the market, you’ll get a sense of what sectors, such as healthcare, education, or non-profits, need grant writers the most. This will allow you to specialize, offering your services to a niche that not only has a demand but also aligns with your expertise.

How do you actually assess demand, though? You start by listening. Tap into your professional network, attend industry events, and conduct surveys to collect data. Look for how often grants are needed and what kinds of organizations are looking for these services. The internet is your friend, so use it to find statistics and reports on grant funding in your desired sectors. You can even start locally, by meeting with community organizations, small businesses, and educational institutions to gauge their need for a grant writer.

Sometimes, you’ll find that the demand isn’t where you initially thought, and that’s okay. The research you conduct will help you pivot and focus your services on a niche that really needs it. This can save you a lot of time, effort, and money down the road.

Step 2:  Write a Business Plan

The next step should be to write a business plan. You might think a plan is not that important because starting a grant writing business doesn’t require a large sum of capital upfront. But, the business plan is more than a document for funding. It is like laying down the blueprint for a house. Even if building that house doesn’t require a loan from the bank, you still need the blueprint to make sure everything stands up as it should.

Putting your business idea down on paper forces you to define your grant writing business: the services you’ll offer, the customers you’ll target, the costs to start, and the goals you aim to achieve. By the time you’re done writing this plan, you should have a much clearer picture of what your business will look like and what steps you need to take to get there.

Related:   How to write a business plan

Step 3:  Secure Funding

Starting a grant writing business isn’t just about having the right skill set; it’s also about having the financial resources to get your service off the ground.

In the business plan, you would have calculated the costs to start your business. If you skipped that step, you really should list all of the startup expenses. Once you have a handle on the costs, you can see if you have the funding to get started. With that number in mind, you are able to narrow down which funding sources are most appropriate. These include:

Bootstrapping: The most cost-effective way to fund a transcription business is to bootstrap, meaning relying on your own personal savings. Starting costs are relatively low, mostly just a computer, headphones, transcription software, and marketing materials.

Business loans: Banks and alternative lenders offer small business loans and lines of credit. These require good credit and will have repayment terms like interest and set monthly payments.

Business credit cards: A business credit card with a 0% introductory APR can help defer some upfront costs like equipment and website development. Make sure you can pay off the balance before interest kicks in.

Microloans: Another option is microloans, which are smaller loans often offered by economic development agencies and can be accompanied by business training and other forms of support.

Step 4:  Register the Business

Starting a grant writing business involves several steps to ensure it is properly registered and legal. Here are some suggestions:

Forming a business structure: There are four main types of business structures: sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). The type of structure you choose will impact your liability, paperwork, and taxes.

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest structure, where the business is owned and operated by one person. It’s easy to start and has lower costs, but the owner is personally liable for all business debts and obligations.
  • General partnership: This involves two or more people sharing ownership of a single business. Like a sole proprietorship, owners are personally liable for business debts and obligations.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners, providing them with personal liability protection. However, it is more complex and costly to set up than a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC combines features of corporations and sole proprietorships/partnerships. Owners have personal liability protection, and it’s easier to manage than a corporation.

For grant writing businesses, the sole proprietorship is a popular choice to start with because it is easy and inexpensive to get started, and the potential liabilities are low.

Related: Comparison of business structures

Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.

Some popular LLC formation services include:

IncFile  - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

ZenBusiness  - Best for beginners. $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Northwest  - Best privacy protection. $39 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Business name registration: After registering the business structure, you may need to register your business name. This process will vary depending on what business structure you pick. Sole proprietors and partnerships will often be required to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA), while corporations and LLCs register with the state during the formation process.

During this time, it’s also a good idea to check if the name you want is available as a web domain, even if you’re not ready to set up a website yet.

Related: Finding a domain name for your business

Obtain business licenses and permits: Depending on your location, there will likely be a variety of general licenses or permits needed before opening. This could include a business license and seller’s permit.

Related: State guides for general business licensing

Step 5:  Set Up the Office

Setting up an office for a grant writing business involves careful planning and organization. If you have a spare room, that would be an ideal place to set up a dedicated workspace. A dedicated space helps you separate work from personal life, making it easier to get into a “work mode” when you step into that room. You’ll need a desk with ample space for your computer and any additional monitors, as well as room to spread out grant documents or proposal drafts. Purchasing a comfortable, ergonomic chair is worth the investment as you’ll be spending a lot of time sitting, so invest in one that supports good posture.

When it comes to equipment, a reliable computer is a must. You’ll also need strong internet connectivity, as a lot of your research and submissions will be online. Depending on your work style, a second monitor can be incredibly helpful for multitasking, like keeping a grant application open on one screen while researching or reviewing guidelines on the other, for instance. Storage solutions are also important; you’ll need a place to keep essential paper documents, so consider a filing cabinet. While not strictly equipment, good lighting is vital. Invest in good-quality, adjustable lighting to reduce eye strain.

Step 6:  Determine Pricing

Setting the right price for your grant writing services can be a complex process that takes into consideration several factors. Here are some common pricing models and considerations grant writers often use:

  • Flat fee : Some grant writers charge a flat fee for a complete project. This fee usually includes research, writing, and submission. For example, you might charge $2,000 to $5,000 for a federal grant proposal.
  • Hourly rate : This model is often used for smaller projects or for projects where the scope is not well-defined. Rates can vary widely, from $25 to $100 per hour, based on experience, location, and demand.
  • Retainer : Some clients prefer to keep a grant writer on retainer, ensuring availability. Retainer fees can be a monthly flat rate or a reduced hourly rate for guaranteed hours.
  • Success fees:  Some grant writers charge a percentage of the grant award if they are successful in helping their client win the grant. This percentage typically ranges from 5% to 15%.

Step 7: Market Your Services

The grant writing market is highly competitive, and it can be challenging to stand out and attract potential clients, especially as a new business.

One effective way to get the word out is through social media platforms like LinkedIn, which can position you as an expert in the field. Share valuable content, network with nonprofits, and join groups where your potential clients may hang out. This approach not only educates potential clients about the importance and process of grant writing but also builds your credibility in the field.

Email marketing can also be incredibly effective. Consider sending out a regular newsletter with grant tips and success stories to keep your audience engaged and showcase your expertise. A well-designed website with a blog section can also be a great asset. Here, you can post articles, updates, and useful tips about grant writing, which not only adds value but also improves your site’s search engine rankings.

You could also give seminars or workshops on grant writing, which not only positions you as an expert but can also lead to direct business inquiries.

Another way to find clients is to set up a profile on platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer and get started with smaller projects to build experience and a customer base.

It may also be worth researching available funding sources and working backward to find potential companies and not-for-profits that could benefit from grant proposals. You could also find lists of successful grant recipients and reach out to see if they are looking for a  grant writer to assist with writing additional grant proposals.

Step 8:  Prepare to Launch!

As you put the finishing touches on your grant writing business, there are several additional steps you may still need to consider. Every business is different, but here are some common items:

Acquire credentials: While not required to be a grant writer, certifications from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute can provide professional development training and demonstrate your expertise to clients.

Business insurance : Though you may be tempted to overlook it, business insurance is important for safeguarding your operations. Errors and Omissions insurance, in particular, can protect you in case you make a mistake in a grant application that costs your client money.

Setting up bookkeeping : Accurate record-keeping is essential. Whether you decide to use software like Wave Accounting (FREE) or Quickbooks or hire a part-time accountant, keeping track of your income, expenses, and tax liabilities is a must.

Contracts : Having legally binding contracts is crucial. In this industry, you may encounter contracts for retainer services, project-based agreements, and non-disclosure agreements to protect proprietary client information.   RocketLawyer and Law Depot have free and inexpensive templates that may be helpful.

Opening a business bank account : Separating your personal finances from your business finances makes bookkeeping easier and is generally considered a best practice.

Joining industry associations : Associations like the American Grant Writers Association (AGWA)and the Grant Professionals Association (GPA) offer opportunities for networking, continued education, and credibility.

Greg's Business Tip

Common Questions When Starting A Grant Writing Business

How much does it cost to start a grant writing business.

Starting your own grant writing business should not break the bank, with costs typically ranging from $500 to $3,500. Your main cost will be investing in time. Time to gather experience, learn by doing, and build a portfolio and credentials.

The cost to set up an office from home is usually minimal, as you may already have a computer, desk, etc.

Business insurance is another cost to consider. The premium for professional liability insurance can range from $500 to $1,000 per year, depending on your coverage needs. Remember that this is a yearly cost, so you’ll only count the first payment as part of your startup costs.

Marketing costs can also vary widely depending on your approach. If you’re starting small, you could set up a professional website for around $200 and spend another $300 on initial promotional activities like business cards, flyers, or online ads.

Additionally, there are other smaller costs to consider, such as setting up your bookkeeping, getting a business license, and grant writing software.

How profitable is a grant writing business?

Considering that your original outlay and ongoing business costs are relatively low and potentially high revenues, starting a grant writing business can be a lucrative opportunity.

Generally, grant writers charge either a flat fee, which can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per grant, or an hourly rate that can be anywhere from $25 to $100. Let’s consider a scenario where a grant writer manages to secure contracts for 20 flat-fee projects in a year, each billed at an average rate of $3,000. The annual revenue would be 20 projects x $3,000 each, totaling $60,000.

Expenses for a grant writing business are relatively low if you’re operating from home. A yearly breakdown might include software subscriptions costing around $200, marketing around $500, insurance at $500, and miscellaneous costs like office supplies and better internet adding another $300. So, yearly expenses could be about $1,500.

Subtracting these expenses from your revenue, you would have: $60,000 (Revenue) – $1,500 (Expenses) = $58,500 in annual profit before taxes.

Keep in mind these figures are a basic example, and the actual numbers could be higher or lower based on your individual circumstances, specialization, and success in securing grant contracts.

It is worthwhile to know that non-profit organizations often prefer to offer long-term contracts with reliable writers. These allow for better business planning as you can count on a steady income.

What skills are needed to run a grant writing business?

Grant experience: The grant and donations industry is a highly competitive environment. Any specialized knowledge you can offer as well as excellent people skills will be a plus. Even though you don’t need a qualification to become a grant writer, consider getting an industry certification.

If you aren’t yet an experienced grant writer, one way to get started is by volunteering with a non-profit. Volunteer to help with writing applications and word will likely spread quickly about your services. Some groups will have in-house grant writers, and some will rely on freelancers or even other volunteers. It’s good to be prepared as many organizations will ask for you to volunteer more time, but remember that you still need to make a profit – and a living.

Researching, writing, and interpersonal skills: Having solid research skills helps find grant opportunities that fit the applicant’s profile. Your interpersonal skills will help you gather relevant information and be an effective conduit between your client and potential donors. Finally, to run a successful grant consulting business, you’ll need to be able to take all that information gathered and transform it into a succinct and persuasive proposal. Your job is to express ideas and outcomes clearly and use your writing skills to help the proposal stand out.

Self-motivation and organizational skills: A positive can-do attitude and discipline are vital to running your grant writing business successfully. You might have to juggle multiple or last-minute funding applications at times. You’ll need to be detail-oriented and organized to ensure you have answered all questions concisely, have gathered all the supporting documentation required, and can meet all of the grant’s deadlines and guidelines.

Don’t forget to set aside time to look after your own business management needs, meet with potential clients, work on marketing, and keep on top of invoicing.

Computer skills and competence: The funding application process can run through several rounds before a decision is made, especially for more significant funding requests. Typically, these grant applications are made online. Therefore, make sure you are familiar with file-sharing functions, online teamwork, and discussion tools, know how to upload files, and have a well-working, well-protected computer with up-to-date programs and apps.

Stay up to date and on top of trends: The fundraising network is often a tight-knit community. Understanding what is happening in the funding, fundraising, and donation landscape is crucial to running a successful grant writing business.

Know when and where to look for new grants available. Attend conferences and events relevant to your expertise. Stay connected with your networks and professional associations.  They offer a raft of resources, certification options, and workshops.

What is the NAICS code for a grant writing business?

The NAICS code for a grant writing business is 813,219, which is classified as Other Grantmaking and Giving Services.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code and how to find yours

Resources :

American Grant Writers’ Association Grant Professional’s Association

Greg Bouhl

With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

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10 Free Grant Proposal Templates for Stellar Grant Writing

Praburam Srinivasan

Growth Marketing Manager

February 13, 2024

Are you on the hunt for a grant?

Whether you need funding for an educational program or you’re ready to start a nonprofit, venturing into the world of grant writing isn’t for the faint of heart. But you’re here to make a difference, and that’s why you need a solid, well-structured proposal to get the funding you need. 

A polished grant proposal persuades potential grantees of your project’s viability. Maybe you’re sitting at your computer, trying to start the grant writing process, but you’ve got serious writer’s block.

You could be unsure how to format an entire grant proposal from beginning to end. Wherever you are in your journey, there’s a grant proposal template to help you.

In this guide, we’ll look at how grant proposals work, explain what you should look for in grant writing templates, and share our top 10 templates to use. ✨

What makes a winning grant proposal template? 3 tips to remember

1. clickup grant proposal template, 2. clickup grant writing scope of work template, 3. clickup chatgpt prompts for grant writing template, 4. clickup nih grant statement of work template, 5. clickup non-profit organization project proposal template, 6. clickup non-profit organization work breakdown structure template, 7. clickup community assistance program project proposal template, 8. pdf grant proposal template by signaturely, 9. word grant proposal template by wise, 10. grant proposal template by pandadoc.

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What Is a Grant Proposal?

A grant proposal is a formal document outlining a request for funding. It’s usually submitted to a government agency, corporation, or any other organization offering grant funds or budget opportunities.

Successful grant proposals share information about your proposed project in a persuasive way. Not only do you need to share pertinent information about your project, but you also need to make a pretty good case for why you deserve this funding—especially if you’re asking for a lot of money. 

Every project is different, but writing grant proposals usually include:

  • Cover letter: A brief intro that offers an overview of why you’re requesting funding and your eligibility for this research grant
  • Executive summary: A concise paragraph detailing the problem, solution, requested grant funding amount, and expected outcomes
  • Statement of need : This is a detailed explanation of the problem the project should solve
  • Project description: This gives grant reviewers an outline of the project itself, detailing a timeline and methods
  • Grant budget : Create an itemized financial plan showing how much you need, for what, and why
  • Organizational information: This briefly explains who you are, your track record, and why you’re equipped to handle this project

Not to spook you, but grant writing is super competitive. That’s why it’s best to use a grant proposal template to lay out your ideas in the clearest, most persuasive way possible. 📚

Templates can be huge time-savers, but not all templates are helpful. If you’re on the hunt for a time-saving template, follow these tips to find the best option for your project:

  • Go for an AI proposal writing tool : Struggling with writer’s block? AI tools like ClickUp AI take your project details and magically fill in your template. You should still review this copy, of course, but AI will definitely keep you on track
  • Sound structure: Grant proposals can get pretty long and dry if you aren’t careful, so look for templates with built-in organization. They should have a table of contents and plenty of headings to break up the text
  • Collaboration: You probably aren’t writing a proposal solo. Look for templates that allow collaborators, key personnel, and stakeholders to view and edit the proposal at the same time

10 Free Grant Proposal Templates to Get You More Grants

Sure, you could create your own grant proposal. But why spend hours making your own proposal when there are so many high-quality templates out there for the taking? 

When you need funding in a jiffy, use these 10 grant proposal templates to make your case with less time and hassle. 

ClickUp Grant Proposal Template

Need a template that not only organizes your proposal but the application process itself? Look no further than the ClickUp Grant Proposal Template . 

This free template comes with plenty of helpful features, including custom statuses, like Open and Complete , to track every element of the grant proposal. If you’re writing proposals as a team and need to track which parts are done—and which still need your attention—this template is a major time-saver. 

Toggle between four different views to display your grant application in different formats. This template also integrates with ClickUp project management tools , so it’s perfect for adding structure to the proposal process. 

Add comments and reactions, track the time you spend working on the grant proposal, and tag staff members in just a few clicks. Leverage ClickUp’s 100+ Automations to keep your grant proposal process moving and hand off tasks between team members at the speed of light. ⚡

ClickUp Grant Writing Scope of Work Template

A project’s scope of work should outline the project itself, its goals, activities, and end results. Potential funders want to see time frames, milestones, and amount of funding in the scope of work too. 

If that sounds like a lot of information to gather on your own, we’ve got you covered. The ClickUp Grant Writing Scope of Work Template provides a step-by-step framework for you to write a solid, organized scope of work. 

This template helps you include all the necessary information to write airtight scopes of work. It comes with statuses like Draft , In review , and Finalized so you can easily track the progress of the grant writing project itself.

Add Custom Fields like Grant Name, Funding Organization, Application Deadline, and Budget Allocation to track the details of multiple grant programs without getting confused.

Best of all, this template is 100% customizable. You’re free to use the premade structure, colors, and fonts, but it’s best to drop in your own branding to make a good first impression on the funding agency.

ClickUp ChatGPT Prompts For Grant Writing Template

Look, we aren’t saying you should let ChatGPT handle every aspect of your grants, but you can definitely use it to speed up the writing process. The trick to AI writing tools like ChatGPT is knowing how to prompt the AI to get quality answers, and that’s where the ClickUp ChatGPT Prompts For Grant Writing Template comes in handy. 

This guide includes tons of helpful prompts to feed to ChatGPT and generate high-quality copy for your grants, cover letter, and more. If you’re fighting writer’s block and need that proposal written, like, yesterday , this template will help you write everything at light speed with AI.

As long as you fill in the variables with your information, you’re golden. The template includes prompts like: 

  • “I’m looking for tips on how to write a successful grant proposal that will convince the [grant-giving organization] to fund our [goal]”
  • “I need to create a narrative that outlines the need for our [project or initiative] and why it should be funded by the [grant-giving organization]”
  • “I’m looking for strategies to ensure our grant proposal stands out from the competition and will be chosen for funding”

If you don’t want to waste time flipping between ClickUp and ChatGPT, simplify things by using ClickUp AI to write your template lickety-split.

lickUp NIH Grant Statement of Work Template

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant is the major league of grants. If you need a research grant or work for a health-related organization, this specific grant is a must-have.

NIH grants have their quirks, which is why we created the ClickUp NIH Grant Statement of Work Template . You’ll likely need more templates for the other portions of your grant request, but if you’re looking for help with your statement of work (SOW), you’re in the right place, friend. 

This SOW template:

  • Defines project goals, deliverables, and project timelines
  • Outlines your strategy
  • Defines responsibilities for all team members

It includes statuses, Custom Fields, and different views to make this template your own. 

ClickUp Non-Profit Organization Project Proposal Template

As a non-profit, you know how critical it is to secure funding to support your mission. Write more effective grant proposals with the ClickUp Non-Profit Organization Project Proposal Template .

It’s tailored to the needs of non-profit grants and includes:

  • Project objectives
  • A budget section
  • Social impact visualizations
  • An actionable plan for implementation

This sample grant proposal comes with custom statuses and Custom Fields, but we’re really proud of the Whiteboard view. Use the Project Proposal view to brainstorm project ideas and follow the Getting Started Guide view to kickstart your grant proposal. 

ClickUp Non-profit Organization Work Breakdown Structure Template

We know how all-consuming proposals can be. But it’s still important to keep your eyes on the prize even while you’re writing a project proposal . Make sure you have the structure in place to manage projects once you secure funding—you never know when it will be showtime!

The ClickUp Non-profit Organization Work Breakdown Structure Template breaks even the most complex non-profit tasks down into more manageable tasks. Use this template to create tasks and assign them to your team. 

It will even keep track of your progress, manage your project budget , and track expenses in the same dashboard. If you’re a scrappy nonprofit organization trying to do more with few resources, this all-in-one template is a must-have for project descriptions, research projects, and so much more.

ClickUp Community Assistance Program Project Proposal Template

A community assistance program (CAP) provides support to members of a specific community. CAPs provide financial aid, food, educational resources, housing assistance, support groups, and much more.

Are you looking to launch a community assistance program? The ClickUp Community Assistance Program Project Proposal Template is just the template for you. 🌻

Use the Project Proposal View to outline your specific goals and key deliverables in one place. ClickUp makes it a cinch to collaborate with your team and brainstorm ideas within the project so you create an effective grant proposal that secures funding. 

PDF Grant Proposal Template by Signaturely

Need something with fewer bells and whistles? The PDF Grant Proposal Template by Signaturely is a free download in either Word Doc or PDF format. 

This generic grant proposal template includes formatting, headers, and sections, although it does lack the pretty colors, visuals, and collaboration features you’ll find with the other templates on this list. Even so, it’s a perfect option for anyone who wants a simpler proposal template with just the essentials. 

Bonus: Proposal Management Tools

Word Grant Proposal Template by Wise

Wise’s Word Grant Proposal Template is a Word Doc template that comes with everything you need to win funding, including:

  • Executive summary
  • Project overview
  • Scope of work
  • Terms and conditions

This is a bare-bones generic grant proposal template, though, and you’ll need to supply pretty much all of the copy for this business proposal template . We recommend using a tool like ClickUp AI to write relevant content for this free template—just be sure to double-check the copy before sending it to the grantors.

PandaDoc’s Grant Proposal Template

PandaDoc created a gorgeous proposal template with both formatting and content prompts. With well over 10,000 uses, this template is a popular option for creating show-stopping proposals that turn heads. 

This template works like Mad Libs, where you fill in the blank with your details. If you don’t have this information or just aren’t sure what to say, you can always use AI-powered grant proposal writing tools for inspiration. 

Just make sure you personalize this grant proposal with your own unique flair. It comes with fonts and a color scheme out of the box, but feel free to customize this document so it looks like it’s actually from your organization.

Score Grant Funding and Manage Projects on One Platform

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Grant Writing for Small Business: A Step-by-Step Success Guide

  • Post author By awesome
  • Post date September 5, 2023

grant writing business plan sample

Grant writing for small businesses involves identifying relevant funding opportunities and crafting compelling proposals that demonstrate the business’s need, viability, and potential impact.

Successful grant applications require a clear understanding of the business’s goals, a well-researched and persuasive narrative, detailed budgets and timelines, and strict adherence to the grant provider’s guidelines and submission requirements.

Understanding Grant Proposals

Proposal components.

Grant proposals are crucial for securing funding. They must include a cover letter, an executive summary, project description, game plan, eligibility requirements, specific programs, and budget. Each component, including specific programs, specific business, team, and technical assistance, serves a unique purpose in making a strong case for support.

The executive summary introduces the business and its goals. The project description outlines how objectives will be achieved. The budget details financial needs and allocations. Tailoring these elements to meet specific funder guidelines, including eligibility for grant funding and formula grants , is essential for success in the grant writing process .

Key Elements

Cover letter.

A personalized cover letter is your first impression. It should introduce your business and outline the grant amount requested, specifying if it’s for formula grants or local grants, and the project’s impact, serving as a game plan for applicants. Keep it concise and aligned with the funder’s mission to make a strong initial connection, following instructions for grant funding support during the grant writing process.

Executive Summary

The executive summary summarizes your proposal’s main points, including objectives, methods, and expected outcomes, vital in the grant writing process for following instructions and securing grant funding. It should be compelling to encourage further reading. Clarity, brevity, and effective use of resources such as information and instructions are key in the writing process of presenting your business case effectively.

Types Explained

Federal grants.

Federal grants, offering resources and information, award significant opportunities for small businesses in need, especially in research and development. Navigating federal grant applications requires understanding of compliance requirements. Use federal databases and their website information to find suitable grants, get help, and ensure alignment with your business goals by following the provided instructions.

Corporate Grants

Corporate grants award funding opportunities for small businesses and startups, with instructions and information available on their website. Understand corporate grantmakers’ goals and align your proposal accordingly. Networking and building relationships with small business corporations can open doors to valuable funding sources , help with grant writing, and award opportunities.

Preparing Your Proposal

Research first.

Before diving into writing, thorough research is crucial . It ensures your proposal aligns with the funder’s mission. Look into past award winners and review their grant funding proposals for valuable insights and information, following the provided instructions. This can help give you a clear idea of what information you need to succeed in grant funding.

Check the eligibility criteria and grant objectives meticulously. Every grant has specific requirements. Meeting these increases your chances of success.

Team Collaboration

Involving a diverse team in the grant writing process brings numerous benefits, including help for small businesses that need information. Different skills contribute to a stronger proposal. Assign roles based on expertise, such as financial planning or project management, to help use information on grant funding.

Hold regular meetings to discuss progress. This ensures everyone stays aligned with the proposal’s objectives. Collaboration fosters creativity and innovation, essential for a standout proposal that can help secure grant funding for a small business with the right information.

Writing Process

Needs statements.

Crafting a compelling needs statement is vital. It should outline the problem clearly, the need for help, and how the grant will address it by using the information. Use data and research to back up your claims.

Link this need directly to the funder’s priorities for a stronger connection, emphasizing how grant funding can help meet this need with information beneficial to small businesses. This shows you understand what they value and how your project aligns with their goals, demonstrating the need for grant funding and how this information can help.

Project Description

Detailing your project’s objectives, methodology, timeline, and personnel involved is next, which will help provide the information small businesses need. Demonstrate its feasibility and potential for success clearly. Funders want to invest in projects that show promise.

Highlight how the project aligns with the funder’s goals. This reinforces your understanding of their mission and how your project contributes to it, by providing information, help, grant, and the need.

Budgeting Strategies

Detailed budget.

A clear and justified budget is crucial in grant writing to help small businesses in need of information. It should outline all project costs and funding sources. Accuracy is key. Make sure your budget aligns with the funder’s guidelines. This shows you understand their requirements.

A budget narrative is equally important. It explains why each cost item is necessary. This transparency builds trust with funders. They see where their money goes.

Financial Planning

After crafting your proposal, focus on the project’s future. A solid financial plan demonstrates sustainability post-grant. It reassures funders that their grant investment has a lasting impact, providing the information and help they need.

Include a plan for future funding or revenue generation . This shows you’re thinking ahead. Detail your financial management practices too. Funders need to know you’ll spend responsibly.

Submission Guidelines

Final review.

A thorough final review of your small business grant proposal is crucial if you need help. It ensures the proposal’s coherence, completeness, and compliance with the submission guidelines, helping small businesses in need to secure grant funding. This step should never be overlooked. It ties directly to the budgeting strategies outlined previously, as any discrepancies between the budget and project description can lead to rejection, especially when the need for a grant to help a small business is involved.

Seeking external feedback is highly beneficial. Reach out to peers or mentors who have experience in grant writing to help your small business if you need it. Their insights can provide invaluable perspectives and help that you might have missed, especially for small businesses seeking to grant opportunities. They can help spot weaknesses in your argument or suggest improvements that make your small business grant proposal more compelling.

Proofreading is another essential step in the final review process. Look for grammatical errors and ensure your ideas are clear and concise. A well-written grant proposal not only communicates professionalism but also makes it easier for reviewers to understand your objectives and how you plan to achieve them, thereby offering help to small business.

Tracking Applications

Once your small business grant proposal is submitted, setting up a system to help track its progress is vital. This helps manage multiple applications efficiently for small business grants, ensuring you meet all deadlines and follow up appropriately.

Maintain detailed records of all grant submissions and correspondence with funders to help small business. This includes dates of submission for grant help, responses received for small business assistance, additional documents requested, and any other relevant interactions. Such records are invaluable for tracking your small business grant application’s status and preparing for future communications with the funder, which can help.

Analyzing unsuccessful small business grant applications offers a golden opportunity for learning and improvement, which can help. Identify areas where your business proposal may have fallen short by comparing it against the eligibility criteria and instructions provided by the grant funders to help you. Use these insights to strengthen future applications.

Enhancing Writing Skills

Strategic game plan.

Developing a long-term strategy for grant seeking is crucial to help your business. It involves targeting specific grant opportunities that align with your business’s needs and planning your submissions well in advance. This approach ensures you’re not just throwing darts in the dark but aiming with precision in your business grant strategy.

Setting realistic goals and timelines for each business grant application can significantly increase your chances of success. It’s important to allocate enough time for research, writing, and revision stages in the business grant process. Rushed applications are rarely successful.

Continuously refining your strategy based on outcomes and feedback is key. If an application is unsuccessful, learn from it. Adjust your approach accordingly for future submissions.

Using Rich Media

Incorporating images, videos, or infographics can make your business grant proposal stand out. These elements should not be added just for the sake of visual appeal but must be directly relevant to the business grant proposal. They should enhance the narrative and help explain complex ideas more simply.

Ensure any media used is professional and high-quality. Poorly presented visuals can harm credibility more than help it. Visuals must complement the written content in a business grant application, providing a cohesive and compelling application.

Research Winners

Studying successful grant proposals offers invaluable insights. It allows you to see what worked for others in the business and grant sectors and how you can adapt those strategies to fit your proposal. Look for patterns or common elements among business grant winners that could be applied to your own strategy.

Reaching out to past grant winners for business tips and advice can also be beneficial. They may offer practical suggestions or highlight pitfalls to avoid in business or grant applications based on their personal experiences.

Analyzing winning strategies isn’t about copying them verbatim but understanding why they were effective. Adapt these strategies to suit your unique business proposition and grant objectives.

Applying Strategically

Local grants first.

Starting with local grant opportunities for your business can be a wise move. These grants often come with less competition and are more accessible to small businesses. By focusing on these business grant opportunities, you increase your chances of success.

It’s beneficial to build relationships with local grantmakers. Understanding their business goals for community impact can give you an edge in grant applications. They look for business projects that align with their vision, making your grant application stand out.

Leverage your local networks and resources for support. Many communities have organizations dedicated to helping small businesses thrive, often through grant assistance. They can offer invaluable business advice and assistance throughout the grant application process .

Grants of All Sizes

Applying for business grants of various sizes is crucial in diversifying your funding sources. It’s a business strategy that balances risk and opportunity, ensuring a steady flow of resources and grant opportunities.

Small grants should not be overlooked. Despite their size, business grants can add up and often come with less competition. They might also require less comprehensive business grant applications, saving you time and effort.

Balancing efforts between large and small grant applications is key. Consider the potential return on investment (ROI) for each business grant opportunity. This approach ensures that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket but rather spreading your efforts wisely in business and grant applications.

After Submission

Common mistakes.

After submitting a grant proposal, many small businesses wait anxiously for a response. However, this period can be used to reflect on the business grant application process and identify any potential errors that could have been made. Common mistakes in business grant applications include missing deadlines , which immediately disqualifies the proposal. It’s crucial to double-check all business grant submission dates in future applications.

Another pitfall in the grant application process for businesses is failing to follow the funder’s instructions or submitting incomplete applications. These oversights can lead to an automatic rejection. Businesses should ensure every question is answered and every required document, including grant applications, is included before submission.

Using overly technical language can also be detrimental. It might obscure the grant proposal’s objectives, making it hard for reviewers to understand the project’s value. Instead, aim for clarity and simplicity in describing your grant project’s goals and how they align with the funder’s priorities.

Lastly, not tailoring the grant proposal to directly address the funder’s criteria is a missed opportunity. Reviewers look for grant proposals that closely match their interests and objectives. Therefore, understanding and reflecting these grant priorities in your application is key.

Requirements Post-Grant

Understanding post-grant requirements is as important as securing the grant itself. Small businesses must prepare for reporting and audits that come with most grants. They should familiarize themselves with these grant requirements early on to ensure compliance throughout the project duration.

Maintaining good communication with the funder cannot be overstated. It builds trust and may pave the way for future grant funding opportunities. Regular updates on project progress demonstrate your commitment and responsibility towards the grant-funded project.

Setting up internal processes for monitoring and reporting on grant project progress is essential. This includes establishing clear roles within your team for who will handle reporting duties and how data on project outcomes will be collected, analyzed, and grant-related information managed. Such measures ensure you meet all post-grant requirements efficiently.

Additional Resources

Finding grants, federal databases.

Federal databases, such as Grants.gov, are treasure troves for finding government grant opportunities. They offer a comprehensive list of available grants across various sectors. Small businesses should dive deep into these resources . Familiarizing oneself with the search features is crucial. It helps in narrowing down the vast options to those most relevant.

The application processes on these platforms can be intricate. Hence, it’s advisable to understand them well ahead of time. Regular checks for updates and new grant announcements are essential. This ensures businesses don’t miss out on timely opportunities.

Corporate Databases

Corporate grant databases and websites are equally valuable for finding private funding opportunities. Many companies run corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that include grants for small businesses. Researching these can open up new avenues for support.

Creating alerts or subscribing to newsletters from these entities can keep you informed about new grant opportunities as soon as they arise. This proactive approach can give businesses an edge in the competitive grant application process.

Grant Proposal Templates

Using templates can significantly ease the process of structuring grant proposals. They serve as a solid starting point for a grant, ensuring all fundamental aspects of a proposal are covered. However, customization is key. Each grant funder has specific requirements and guidelines that your proposal needs to meet.

It’s beneficial to review multiple grant templates to find the one that best suits your proposal’s needs. This not only saves time but also increases the chances of your grant proposal standing out.

Final Remarks

Navigating the world of grant writing for your small business can seem daunting, but armed with the right knowledge on proposal understanding, budgeting strategies, and submission guidelines, you’re set for success. Remember, enhancing your writing skills and applying strategically for grants are key steps. Don’t let the grant process after submission deter you; use it as a learning curve. The resources provided are there to guide you further.

Taking this journey can significantly impact your business’s growth, sustainability, and grant opportunities. It’s all about making smart moves, leveraging available opportunities, and utilizing grants. So, dive in, apply what you’ve learned, and remember—the effort you put in now can lead to substantial rewards down the line. Ready to make your mark? Start crafting that winning proposal today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i start writing a grant proposal for my small business.

Begin by understanding the grant requirements thoroughly. Then, outline your project’s goals, objectives, and how it aligns with the grantor’s mission. This initial step is crucial for a successful proposal.

What are key elements to include in my grant proposal?

Your grant proposal should clearly articulate your project description, objectives, target population, budget details, and the impact it will have. Transparency and specificity are key to standing out.

How can I create an effective budget for my grant proposal?

Start by itemizing all project costs realistically and justify each expense for the grant. Ensure your budget aligns with the project’s goals and the grant funder’s guidelines. Clarity and accuracy in this section are vital.

What are some tips for submitting a grant proposal?

Carefully follow the grant submission guidelines provided by the funding agency. Double-check your grant proposal for completeness and compliance with all requirements before submitting it on time.

How can I improve my grant writing skills?

Practice regularly, seek feedback from experienced grant writers , and consider attending workshops or courses on grant writing. Reading successful grant proposals can also provide valuable insights.

Is there a strategic approach to applying for grants?

Yes, research extensively to find grants that closely match your business needs and goals. Tailor each grant application to reflect how your project aligns with the funder’s priorities. Applying selectively but thoughtfully increases your chances of success.

What should I do after submitting a grant proposal?

Follow up with the grant funding agency if they allow it, but be patient as grant review processes can take time. Use this period to gather additional data or refine project plans that could strengthen future proposals.

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How to Write a Grant Proposal for a Small Business

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Like a business plan, it is a challenge to complete a winning grant proposal, but if you are passionate about your business, then it is a small hurdle to overcome. Each grant is different in its requirements, but most of them ask for the same basic things as follows.

What is a Grant Proposal?

A grant proposal is a formal written request that someone, typically a potential donor willing to give grant money to an organization or cause based on merit, gives you financial assistance. There are many kinds of small business grants: for social service organizations by local and state government agencies and private organizations, for research projects and public health initiatives, and even for business ventures.  

Steps To Write a Grant Proposal for Small Business

Below are the steps to guide you through the process:

1. Research Grant Opportunities:

Start by researching available grant opportunities that align with your small business’s industry, goals, and needs. Look for grants from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private foundations that support businesses like yours.

2. Read Guidelines and Requirements:

Once you’ve identified potential grants, thoroughly read and understand their guidelines and requirements. Each grant may have specific eligibility criteria, funding amounts, application formats, and deadlines.

3. Define Your Project or Business Need:

Clearly articulate the purpose of your grant proposal. Describe the project or business need that the grant will support and how it aligns with your company’s mission and objectives.

4. Craft a Compelling Executive Summary:

Write an engaging executive summary that succinctly summarizes your grant proposal. This section should highlight the most critical points of your project, emphasizing its significance and potential impact.

5. Outline Project Goals and Objectives:

Outline the specific goals and objectives of your project. Clearly state what you aim to achieve through the grant funding and how it will benefit your small business and the community.

6. Explain the Methodology:

Detail the methods and strategies you plan to use to accomplish your project goals. Provide a step-by-step explanation of how you will execute the project and measure its success.

7. Create a Budget:

Develop a detailed budget for your project, including all the expenses you anticipate. Be thorough and realistic in your estimates. Some grants may have specific budget formats that you must follow.

8. Demonstrate Sustainability:

Show how your small business plans to sustain the project’s impact beyond the grant period. Grant providers often look for initiatives that can continue making a difference even after the funding ends.

9. Include a Strong Organizational Profile:

Highlight your small business’s history, achievements, and expertise in the field. Demonstrate your business’s capability to successfully implement the proposed project.

10. Emphasize the Impact:

Clearly communicate the potential positive impact of your project on your small business, the community, or the industry. Use data and evidence to support your claims.

11. Review and Edit:

Go through your grant proposal multiple times to check for errors, consistency, and clarity. Consider having someone else review it as well to get a fresh perspective.

12. Submit the Proposal on Time:

Submit your grant proposal before the deadline. Late submissions are generally not accepted, so make sure you allow enough time for any unforeseen delays.

13. Follow Up:

After submitting the proposal, follow up with the grant provider if you don’t receive a response within the expected timeframe. Some grants may have a specific review process, and it’s essential to stay informed.

Why Write a Grant Proposal?

Grant funding can be a great way to get the money you need to start or expand your business. They are typically less restrictive than small business loans, and the application process is usually simpler. In addition, if your grant proposal is accepted, you may have access to other resources such as mentorship, networking opportunities, and workshops.

Who Can Apply For a Grant?

Not every cause will be eligible for grant funding. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the grant proposal guidelines, which means that they must fit into a certain category.

For example, an organization offering free job training to people who are physically or mentally disabled would be instantly eligible for grants by many granting agencies if it could prove its work ethic, validity, and financial stability. However, a new business start-up would not be as easily funded, since it is difficult to judge the potential success or failure of a company that has yet to go into operation.

What Are the Requirements?

Every grant proposal has different requirements, but most ask for the same basic information. These typically include:

  • The organization’s history and mission
  • What the grant money will be used for
  • A detailed budget
  • The impact the grant will have
  • The organization’s financial stability
  • A cover letter

It is important that your plan clearly states the specific purposes for which grant funds were requested, along with all the details about how they will be used and how much money will be required. Your proposal should also contain some personal information about yourself or your company, as well as your contact information.

What is the Grant Proposal Process?

  • Your first step is to identify the grant you want to apply for and read the guidelines carefully.
  • Gather all the necessary information – this will typically include your business plan, financial statements, resumes, and letters of recommendation.
  • Complete the grant application and make sure you submit everything on time.
  • Wait to hear back – if you are successful, congratulations! If not, don’t be discouraged and reapply the next year.

Types of Small Business Grants Available

There are many different types of grants that small businesses can apply for. The most common are federal grants, state grants, and local grants.

Federal Grants : These grants are awarded by the United States government to eligible organizations and individuals to support specific programs and projects. There are many different types of federal grants, and the application process is typically very competitive.

State Grants : State grants are awarded by state governments to eligible organizations and individuals to support specific programs and projects. The grant application process for state grants is typically less competitive than for grants from the federal government, but the awards are typically smaller in size.

Local Grants : Local grants are awarded by local governments to eligible organizations and individuals to support specific programs and projects. These grants typically have less stringent qualifications than federal or state grants, but the application process is typically more intensive due to the smaller number of available funds.

How Can I Find Grants for My Business?

There are many ways you can find grants for your business. The first step is to conduct an internet search for “grants for small businesses.” This will yield a variety of results, including government websites, private grant-making organizations, and online directories.

The next step is to identify which grants are best suited for your business. The most important factor to consider is the eligibility criteria of the grant. Each grant has its own set of qualifications, so take the time to review these guidelines carefully.

The final step is to complete and submit your grant application form before the deadline has passed. Although it may seem intimidating, completing a grant requires only a few hours of work and can have substantial benefits for your business down the road.

How to Write a Grant Letter for Small Business?

Although there is no set standard for a successful grant proposal, it usually includes a combination of all or most of the same elements. Here are some tips for writing a grant proposal for your nonprofit or small business.

To write an effective grant proposal, you should include the following elements:

Cover Letter

Table of contents, executive summary.

  • Needs Statement & Problem Statement

Project Description

  • Methods, Project Management Plans & Timelines

A good cover letter introduces the grantor to the business and extols its virtues about why the business is ideal for the grant. Make sure to cater to the specific grant and not speak in generalities as if you are applying to every financing source under the sun (even if you are).

This section helps the grantor flip right through to the specific section he wants to see. Make the grantor’s life easier and display your professionalism and courtesy at the same time. Our non-profit business plan template includes each of the items to include in your Table of Contents.

The executive summary of a document summarizes the rest of it. In this document, you should pinpoint the main reasons the grant is needed and how it will solve the problems of the grantee. The amount of small business funding, as well as information about the venture, should also be listed. Use this part of the document to convince the grantor that funding your business is the greatest idea ever and they’ll continue reading the rest of the proposal.

Needs Statement & Problem Statement

In this section of the document, detail the needs and problems that the project or venture is fulfilling and solving. Conduct research and show that you have done your homework. Answer key questions: What is the scope of the problem? What will your business do that someone hasn’t or can’t easily do in the future? Show that you fill a void in the market and that you need the grant to do so. Be concise and to the point.

The project description section is the main section of the small business grant proposal. This section is written best by separating different issues and ideas into separate sections. This will make it easier for you to write the section by focusing on one idea at a time and make it easier on the reader as well since the section won’t jump all over the place.

Goals & Objectives

The project goals section doesn’t list anything in intense detail but gives the reader an idea of what the potential grantee is trying to achieve.

The objectives section includes measurable aspirations of the venture such as achieving a hold of a certain percentage of the estimated market. Break down objectives in a bulleted list so it’s easier to read.

Methods, Project Management Plans, & Timelines

This section will show the reader how objectives will be achieved. The methods, plans, and timeline of implementation for those methods and plans will also be shown. Visual timelines are best to show the reader exactly where everything fits into the scheme of things as well as when. This section shows the reader you not only have goals and objectives but that you also know how to achieve them using a detailed well thought out plan.

Many government grants will have stringent personnel requirements because they want you to create employment with the money that they are giving you. If the grant needs specific information or provisions regarding personnel, make sure your personnel planning matches those requirements. Also, make sure that your objectives match personnel planning. Aggressive objectives might have to be matched with substantial growth in employment in certain industries.

The process of writing a grant proposal can seem daunting, but with careful preparation and organization, it can be a relatively easy task. By following these simple steps, you can increase your chances of being awarded the grant money you need to help your small business grow.  

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Home › Writing › What is Grant Writing? › 10 Successful Grant Writing Examples that Win Grants

10 Successful Grant Writing Examples that Win Grants

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What does it take to win a grant? This is the question that many people ask when they are trying to get funding for their project. There are many different factors, but one of the most important ones is the quality of your writing. If you have incredible writing skills and can create an interesting proposal, then it will be much easier to win grants. 

Preparing a winning proposal may seem overwhelming at first; however, once you have reviewed a couple of examples, the process becomes much within reach. This list of 10 successful grant writing examples will help you to create a grant-worthy proposal in no time. In addition, each time you follow the pattern of these samples, you are one step closer to achieving your goal.  

Grant Proposal Objectives

Zeroing in on the ‘why’ behind a grant approval has to be your top priority. If your grant proposal highlights the why clearly, it is already on its way to winning it.

It also ensures explaining your objectives to the grant funding body in a much more accurate and precise fashion.

Don’t underestimate the power of the first few sentences in your grant writing. If you want to get it right, make sure that your initial paragraphs are as compelling and engaging as possible.

This will help set up what is going to come in subsequent sections without becoming too wordy or burdensome.  

Successful Grant Proposal Examples

By reviewing the examples below, you may give yourself the best chance at winning the grant for your project or organization. 

Whether you are looking to reach out to a government agency or private organization, there are some basics to remember to ensure your grant proposal is a success. 

Many organizations believe in giving back to the community; hence, your project could provide the stimulus for them to act. It is only a matter of time for the grant to be yours, provided the grant application meets all the writing guidelines.

Winning Grant Examples for Schools, Colleges, and Universities

If you seek funding for an educational project, you can look into the following examples without hesitation. Grant writing is an organized process with various sections to fill up before finally submitting and securing funding.

1.      Kurzweil Educational Systems

Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides educational programs and services for people with disabilities or the elderly. This grant example is about how acquiring their software would help children with reading difficulties. That way, they will compete with their peers and not fall behind due to poor reading skills. 

This sample grant writing example has everything you need for writing a worthwhile proposal. Alongside solid grant writing skills , your grant application has a high chance of acceptance if you follow the sample letter format, cover letter, and other portions given inside. It takes you through the whole grant writing process in an organized manner to seek funds from private foundations. 

2.      Salem Education Foundation

It provides grants and scholarships to teachers, principals, students, and organizations that share its vision for bettering public education.

History is a difficult subject to teach that’s why some schools want the funds for enrichment opportunities. That will in turn help them provide students with an excellent education. Salem’s example , in particular, takes you through a school’s effort for an enrichment grant.

3.      National Language Resource Center

This proposal seeks funds for a National Language Resource Center to support foreign language instructors in K-12 and post-secondary institutions. It teaches a thing or two about professional grant writing.

George Washington University/Center of Applied Linguistics grant proposal sought funding to establish a National Language Resource Center : this would provide much-needed resources and services that were sorely lacking then.

Grant Samples for Youth Empowerment

Science is the future, and funding exists to support programs designed to help youth reach their potential. If that’s what you’re looking for, review these examples of research grants for young people in need.

4.      William T. Grant Foundation

The William T. Grant Foundation provides fellowships for researchers focusing on improving the lives of kids living in America today. It does that via grant-based projects relevant to child welfare issues such as drug abuse prevention or delinquency treatment – all while providing a stipend so they can conduct an independent inquiry into any field related to children’s health and wellbeing.

5.      Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The Youth Development Block Grant is one of the most competitive and sought-after CDBGs , so it’s important to write a proposal that captures its essence. This well-written effort by Family Service Association in Riverside can be used as inspiration for your own bid.

Before we dive deeper, if you’re interested in getting feedback from grant writing experts on a grant proposal that you write, then check out our grant writing certification course.

Want to Become a Great Grant Writer

Individual and Family Sustenance Grant Applications

Below is a classic grant writing example to activate resources and acquire funding for underprivileged, handicapped, and senior citizens. 

6.      Kennett Area Senior Center 

It sought funding to provide much-needed services and assistance for local seniors. A grant would help the Kennett Area Senior Center meet needs that currently exist, as well as fund programs designed to better serve clients in need – including those with limited resources or mobility challenges.

It says they are looking for a community foundation that wants to make a difference by providing funds for essentials like clothing and medical equipment. In that way, the senior citizens can afford these things on their budgets.  

Grant Proposal Samples for Art Projects

Not only does a grant benefit a noble cause, but it also creates a feeling of satisfaction to work for the good of people. For artists with tight budgets, we have the following examples to address their documentation needs.

7.      Imagine Fund

These are excerpts from compelling grant proposals submitted to the University of Minnesota’s Imagine Fund program. They are all for art-related endeavors, and they provide support so that the journey towards self-fulfillment moves on regardless of how small or big those desires may seem.

8.      Individual Artist Growth Grant

The arts councils can be a great way to get funding for your project. That is because of the assistance they provide and their understanding of what artists need to thrive.

If you’re an artist seeking individual funding through one of those organizations, I recommend checking out this sample proposal from Region 2 Arts Council .  

Grant Examples for Science-related Endeavors

Scientists seeking funding to conduct research is one of the most sought-after types of grant writing endeavors. Science-related projects are often difficult to fund through traditional methods because of their more complicated nature.

If you, as a scientist, seek financial aid from government agencies or private organizations, the following examples would help you build an effective case. 

9.      NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) is a top-of-the-line resource for those looking to secure funding for scientific research related to healthcare. The NIAID offers several examples of winning grant proposal applications that will help you get your foot in the door with all sorts of organizations that are willing to invest their money into making people healthy.

For professional, polite, and accurate proposal writing, it is advisable to hire the services of an experienced grant writer on either a full-time or freelance basis. Not only do they search for opportunities, but they grab them as soon as they appear with their command in writing. 

10.  Association of Zoos and Aquariums

This site is a goldmine for anyone looking to study up on funding grant proposals that actually worked. It includes many examples of highly successful projects ranging from animal health to their management, all the way through breeding and genetics. All are in pdf format, so save this link as your go-to resource when you need some major inspiration.  

Aspects of Successful Grants

For a good chance at winning grant money, the applicant must be thorough in their research and find an organization that will fund their project type. Some of the aspects include:

  • The preliminary proposal is covered with every detail of the project from start to finish 
  • Make sure your application fits each funding organization’s criteria before submission 
  • Analyze the prior grants in your field for ideas on what they are looking to fund 
  • Isolate the cause and provide innovative solutions to address it based upon your personal experience or expertise 
  • Be diligent in following the funding agency’s writing guidelines when creating their proposal and submit it by the deadline 
  • The proposal should explain every section of the project – particularly sections that describe the need for initiative, resources needed to complete this work, goals, and budget 
  • In response to any possible question about what they are proposing or how much money is involved with achieving these goals, there is an answer in detail within ‘The Narrative Section’

Once you keep the above characteristics in mind while writing your grant proposals, you are sure to come up with a convincing piece that is bound to bring success.

Anatomy of a Grant Proposal

In general, every grant proposal is made up of various sections. Therefore, it helps to be mindful of these portions while writing yours.

First Three Parts

They include: proposal summary, organization introduction, statement of the problem – these are all parts and components that you need to have in your grant proposal. They’re like a roadmap for it.

Fourth Part

Next are project objectives – what does this project aim to do? How is it going improve our community overall or make life easier for specific groups within society? 

Then are the methods – how will we go about getting there? 

Think long-term questions as well: future funding options (i.e., would funders be interested in continuing their support?) 

Seventh and Eighth Parts

Lastly, talk about evaluation (does everyone love you?) and budget estimation.

Stick to Your Plan; Stay Focused on Requirements

When you stick to your plan and also follow your funder’s requirements to the letter, then you will probably receive the grant. 

In some cases your idea may already exist from another organization’s work (like Habitat) so review their resources first before starting yours; they can offer tips and advice since it isn’t new territory for them like it would be for you. 

Contacting experts in this field may help you on your way to grant acceptance.

Tips on How to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Grant

  • Start early and be organized
  • Do your research, read books , and make sure you know what’s been done about your topic in the past so that you don’t have to redo work that someone else may already have completed
  • Have an actionable plan of where it will go once funded; this way they can see how their dollar will get invested if granted (don’t forget other funding sources, though) 
  • Even just pitching a rough idea with potential benefits has its merits too. It might not always result in being awarded grant money, but it could lead them on a path towards something better down the line, which would’ve never happened without, at least, putting forth some effort first
  • Are they going to get the best bang for their buck? The funders need to know if their money is in good hands and the applicants know their way around funds management; you should have basic accounting skills to manage funds effectively 
  • Do they have a realistic timeline in place? Applicants should know how to manage their time and meet deadlines. The funder will want to know how much of an impact this project would make at what point in time – so better be honest about it from the get-go
  • Is there any potential for fraud or misuse of funds? For example, will they use grant funding as personal expenses (e.g., building materials)? If yes, then you might want to think twice before applying for that particular grant. These issues should be addressed ASAP if discovered rather than waiting until after receiving grant money – it’ll only cause problems down the line when things start falling through
  • Some applicants may use a grant proposal template as an organizational tool for their submission, in case there’s no specific format that the funder speaks of on their website

In the world of grant-seeking, locally funded grants outrank other options in terms of success rates. Local backers are more likely to support your cause because they too have a vested interest in how their community is shaped and what kind of businesses it attracts or retains.


The grant writing examples above show you the best ways to win grants. When applying for funding, it’s vital that your proposal meets each criterion and is in accordance with what they are looking to fund.

Grants are a great way to get your project funded, but it can be an uphill battle if you don’t know how to write one. The grant proposal process is in-depth and requires careful thought before writing the actual document. Now that you have this article, we hope you feel more confident about your ability to win a grant. 

What type of grant funding are you looking for?

If you are new to grant writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Grant Writing Certification Course , where you will learn the fundamentals of being a grant writer, how to write proposals that win grants, and how to stand out as a grant writing candidate.

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How to write the business plan for a grant application?

business plan for a grant application

Small business grants give free money to startups and existing businesses to help them flourish. 

Free money doesn’t come easy, though. You’ll need to first research and find the right grant for your business. Then you need to persuade the body offering the grant why they should give one to your business.

Most grants have their own specific application process, where businesses provide information so the body can decide whether it fits their specific funding criteria.

It’s important to accompany your grant application with a strong business plan. Besides, including most of the basic information that goes into a grant application (like the service or product you’re offering and your staffing plan) it also includes a financial forecast - showing the funding body how profitable your business is likely to be. 

Writing a business plan also provides another opportunity to convince them that your business objectives align with the grant’s purpose.

If you haven’t written a business plan for a grant application before, don’t worry. 

From information on where to find small business grants, to what you need to include in a business plan for a grant application, here are some key points to consider when applying for a small business grant.

In this guide:

What’s the difference between a small business grant and a loan?

What are the main types of small business grants, where can i find small business grants in the uk, where can i find small business grants in the us, what is a grant application, what information do i need to have before applying for a small business grant, why do you need a business plan for a grant application, what should you include in a business plan for a grant application.

  • How long should a business plan be for a grant application?

What tool should I use to write my grant application business plan?

Business plan templates for a grant application, key takeaways.

Let's first define what a small business grant is, explore why they are given out and then compare it to a business loan.

What is a small business grant?

Small business grants are financial assistance provided by governments, organizations, or institutions to support small businesses in various stages of their development.

Unlike loans, which require repayment with interest, grants are typically awarded as non-repayable funds.

These grants aim to encourage entrepreneurship, stimulate economic growth, and address specific societal needs.

For example, a small retail store might receive a grant to upgrade its storefront and enhance its customer experience, while a local farmer could obtain a grant to invest in sustainable farming practices.

Grants come in different forms and may target specific industries, demographics, or geographic regions.

They can cover a wide range of expenses, including equipment purchases, marketing efforts, research and development projects, and employee training.

Small business owners often apply for grants to access resources that would otherwise be financially out of reach.

However, it's important to note that grant funding is competitive, and applicants typically need to meet certain criteria and demonstrate the potential impact of their proposed projects.

How it differs from a business loan?

While both grants and loans provide financial assistance to businesses, there are key differences between the two.

Unlike grants, business loans must be repaid over time, usually with interest.

Loans are typically provided by banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions, and they require collateral or a good credit history to secure.

For example, a small manufacturing company might take out a loan to purchase new machinery or expand its production facilities.

One of the main advantages of grants over loans is that they do not need to be repaid, which can significantly reduce the financial burden on small businesses, especially those in the early stages of development.

Additionally, grants often come with fewer restrictions on how the funds can be used compared to loans, which may have specific repayment terms and conditions.

However, grants are typically more competitive to obtain, and applicants may need to undergo a rigorous application process, including demonstrating the feasibility and impact of their proposed projects.

Understanding these differences will help you determine the most suitable financing option for your business needs and goals.

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There are four main types of small business grants:

Government grants

Research and development grants, startup grants, non-profit grants.

Let's take a look at each one in more detail.

Government grants are funds provided by the government to support various types of businesses, ranging from start-ups to established enterprises.

These grants are often aimed at fostering economic growth, innovation, and job creation within specific industries or communities.

For instance, a government grant might support a small retail business in upgrading its technology infrastructure to enhance online sales, or it could help a local farmer invest in sustainable agricultural practices.

In the UK, small business owners can explore grants offered by entities such as Innovate UK , which provide financial support for innovation and business expansion.

Similarly, in the US, the Small Business Administration (SBA ) offers grants like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which funds research and development projects with commercial potential.

These grants can significantly alleviate financial burdens and provide crucial resources for small businesses to thrive.

Research and development (R&D) grants are specifically designed to support businesses in conducting innovative research and developing new products or services.

Small businesses engaged in R&D activities can benefit from these grants to cover the costs associated with experimentation, prototyping, and market testing.

For example, a small manufacturing company may receive an R&D grant to explore and develop eco-friendly materials for its product line.

In the UK, organizations like the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) offer funding opportunities for small businesses involved in cutting-edge research projects.

In the US, the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides grants to small businesses conducting high-risk, high-reward R&D initiatives.

By tapping into these resources, small business owners can accelerate their innovation efforts and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.

business plan for a grant application

Startup grants are tailored to support aspiring entrepreneurs in launching their new ventures.

These grants provide essential financial assistance during the early stages of business development, helping entrepreneurs cover initial expenses such as equipment purchases, marketing efforts, and operational costs.

For instance, a budding entrepreneur in the hospitality industry might receive a startup grant to renovate a space for a new café or restaurant concept.

In the UK, organizations like The Prince's Trust offer startup grants and mentorship programs to young entrepreneurs looking to turn their business ideas into reality.

These startup grants not only provide crucial financial support but also offer valuable guidance and networking opportunities for new business owners.

Non-profit grants are funds awarded by charitable organizations, foundations, or government agencies to support the initiatives of non-profit organizations.

These grants are typically aimed at addressing social, environmental, or community needs, rather than generating profit.

Non-profit organizations can use these grants to fund programs, projects, or operational expenses.

For example, a non-profit focused on environmental conservation might receive a grant to implement a recycling education program in local schools.

In the UK, non-profit organizations can explore grant opportunities from entities like the National Lottery Community Fund  which supports a wide range of community projects and initiatives.

In the US, organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or the Ford Foundation offer grants to non-profits working on issues such as healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation.

These grants play a crucial role in enabling non-profit organizations to make a positive impact on society and address pressing social challenges.

The financial aid available to your business will depend on where in the UK you're based, your business’ size, your industry and whether you’re a startup or looking to expand your business.

By tapping into these resources, you can uncover potential funding sources to support your business endeavors in the UK market.

Need inspiration for your business plan?

The Business Plan Shop has dozens of business plan templates that you can use to get a clear idea of what a complete business plan looks like.

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Small business grants in the US can be valuable resources for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.

Understanding where to find these grants is essential for accessing financial support.

In this section, we'll explore some key avenues where small business owners can discover grant opportunities.

Government agencies

Government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels often offer grant programs to support small businesses.

For example, the Small Business Administration (SBA) administers various grant initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and economic development.

Small business owners can visit the SBA's website or contact their local SBA office to explore available grant programs.

Additionally, state economic development agencies and local chambers of commerce may also provide information on grants tailored to businesses within their jurisdiction.

Private foundations and Non-profit organizations

Private foundations and Non-profit organizations also play a significant role in providing grants to small businesses.

These entities may focus on specific industries, geographical regions, or social causes.

For instance, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women-owned businesses might offer grant opportunities exclusively for female entrepreneurs.

Small business owners can research and identify relevant foundations and nonprofits that align with their business goals and values.

Online platforms like GrantWatch or Foundation Directory Online can help streamline the search process by providing comprehensive databases of grant opportunities.

A grant application is a document or set of documents that is submitted to a grant-giving body with the purpose of securing funding for a startup or an existing business venture. 

Normally, grants are awarded to small businesses with the aim of generating jobs, energizing local communities and strengthening the economy.

While there’s an abundance of grants available to small businesses, obtaining one from the government can be quite tricky. Government grants are renowned for being quite complex and have a lot of stages. 

Each grant will come with its own unique criteria for applying, too. For example, if you’re applying for a research grant from a UK-based foundation then they may require that all your research is carried out within the UK. Or if you’re seeking funding as part of an initiative to make your business more sustainable, you might need to prove your business’s dedication to carrying out eco-friendly practices.

Whether you’re a startup or an existing business, the same rule applies when taking your first step in applying for a grant: research the funding body and the grant in question as thoroughly as possible so you know exactly what they’re looking for in a grant application.

entrepreneur reviewing feedback for their grant application business plan on their laptop

According to Swoop , businesses should prepare the following information before applying for a small business grant:

  • Create a realistic financial forecast to show your business’ financial position
  • Provide evidence that shows how your business meets the specific grant qualifying criteria
  • Specify exactly what your business plans to do with the money allocated
  • Provide evidence that your team will be able to successfully meet this objective
  • Be clear about the exact outcome you expect and whether there will be a return on the grant funder’s investment. This enables them to evaluate the efficiency of their grant.

The rationale behind writing a business plan for a grant application is simple: funding bodies want to know that they’re giving their money to a business they can trust. 

Writing a business plan will be an opportunity for you to neatly present all the information listed above. If you're not sure how to go about structuring a business plan, you can use business plan software. Most business plan software comes equipped with an inbuilt structure and instructions, ensuring you include all the information a funding body expects to see.

If you’re a start-up, a business plan also provides the perfect opportunity to show the grant-giving body that your business’ mission aligns with its own specific mission and purpose. 

If you’re already in operation, a business plan will show your business’ financial position and, if applicable, the positive impact it’s had on your community thus far. This helps alleviate any fear that your business is at risk of going under, making them more likely to get involved. 

Understanding the importance of a business plan is paramount when it comes to securing grant funding for your small business.

Crafting a compelling business plan is crucial when applying for a grant, as it provides potential funders with a comprehensive understanding of your business and its potential impact.

Let's delve into the key components that should be included in your business plan for a grant application.

Executive summary

The executive summary serves as an overview of your entire business plan, highlighting key aspects of your business in a concise manner.

It should include a brief introduction to your business, its mission, objectives, target market, and unique selling proposition.

For example, a small retail business seeking a grant to expand its operations might include information about its successful track record, customer base, and growth potential in the executive summary.

Company description

The company overview provides detailed information about your business, including its history, legal structure, ownership, and management team.

For example, you could state that your business is owned by four shareholders, each contributing 25% to total equity and that it is a limited liability company based in London.

Description of your product/service

This section outlines the products or services offered by your business, emphasizing their unique features and benefits.

Small business owners should clearly define their offerings and explain how they address the needs of their target market.

For example, a small manufacturing company applying for a grant might showcase its innovative product design or eco-friendly manufacturing processes to demonstrate its competitive edge.

cosmetic brand entrepreneur: grant application business plan products and services section

Market analysis

A thorough market analysis is essential for demonstrating market demand and identifying potential opportunities and challenges.

Small business owners should research their target market, industry trends, competitors, and customer demographics.

For instance, a construction company seeking a grant may analyze local housing trends, demand for specific construction services, and competitor pricing strategies to inform its market strategy.

The strategy section outlines your business's approach to achieving its objectives and gaining a competitive advantage.

Small business owners should define their marketing, sales, and operational strategies, as well as any plans for expansion or diversification.

For example, a business services firm applying for a grant may detail its digital marketing strategy, networking efforts, and plans to introduce new service offerings to attract clients.

This section provides insight into the day-to-day operations of your business, including production processes, staffing requirements, and facilities management.

Small business owners should describe how their operations support the delivery of products or services to customers efficiently and effectively.

For example, a hospitality business applying for a grant may outline its staffing structure, customer service protocols, and inventory management systems to showcase its operational capabilities.

Financial forecast

The financial forecast projects your business's future financial performance, including revenue, expenses, and cash flow.

Small business owners should include detailed financial projections, such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, to demonstrate the viability of their business model.

For example, a small agriculture business applying for a grant may forecast revenue growth based on anticipated crop yields, pricing trends, and market demand for its products.

business plan for a grant application balance sheet

Whilst writing your business plan, we recommend that you have the grant-giving body’s mission and purpose open on a separate tab. Where possible, refer back to the foundation’s mission in your business plan to show how it aligns with your business’ own values. 

You could even go a step further by adding buzzwords from the funding body’s mission statement in your plan to show how much you’ve thought it out. 

How long should a business plan for a grant application be?

The length of a business plan for a grant application can vary depending on the specific requirements of the grant provider.

In general, however, it's best to keep your business plan concise and focused, typically ranging from 10 to 20 pages.

Small business owners should prioritize clarity and relevance, focusing on presenting essential information in a compelling manner.

By keeping the business plan concise, applicants can ensure that funders can easily grasp the key aspects of their business and make informed decisions regarding grant funding.

Need a solid financial forecast?

The Business Plan Shop does the maths for you. Simply enter your revenues, costs and investments. Click save and our online tool builds a three-way forecast for you instantly.

Screenshot from The Business Plan Shop's Financial Forecasting Software

If you haven’t written a business plan for a grant application before, the process can feel a little overwhelming. 

Using business plan software is a great way to create a high-quality business plan quickly and efficiently.

There are many business planning software out there, so it’s important to choose the right one for you. 

Most business plan software generate three full financial statements for you, helping you give the foundation as realistic a picture of your business’ finances as possible. 

For grant applications, we recommend going with a business plan software that lets you model grants. This gives the funding body total transparency as to how exactly their grant would be used within the business. 

Attractive visuals and a striking cover page with your business’s name and logo will also help your business stand out. So we recommend choosing a business plan software that breaks your numbers into colourful, easy-to-read charts and tables and automatically generates a cover page for you. 

If you’re not sure which business plan software to go for to create your business plan for a grant application, we recommend trying The Business Plan Shop . 

As well as having the features listed above, our online business plan software enables you to:

  • Create a financial forecast to show your business’ financial potential
  • Run a quality check to identify any issues with your forecast before sending it to a funding body
  • Follow clear instructions to write a professional business plan
  • Draw inspiration from the templates stored within our business plan software
  • Track your actuals against your forecast

The Business Plan Shop's online business planning software: PDF document

Above is an example of how your business plan for a grant application might like look in PDF format, including a table of contents and stylish cover page.

By leveraging these tools, you can streamline the process of creating your business plan and present a compelling case for grant funding.

When applying for a grant, having a well-structured business plan is essential to showcase your business's potential and suitability for funding.

Whilst our current business plan templates aren’t designed solely for grant applications, they can easily be tweaked to make it for that purpose.

The structure remains the same as illustrated in the outline above - all you need to do is replace the numbers and text with your own details!

The Business Plan Shop offers you templates for most industries, including retail, hospitality and services.

business plan templates by The Business Plan Shop

Now that we've covered the essential aspects of preparing a business plan for a grant application, let's recap the key points to remember.

  • Use business plan software such as The Business Plan Shop to turn writing a business plan for a grant application into a breeze.
  • Understand the different types of small business grants available: government grants, research and development grants, startup grants, and non-profit grants offer various opportunities for financial assistance.
  • Thoroughly research grant opportunities: explore government agencies, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations to find suitable grant programs for your business.
  • Tailor your business plan to the grant requirements: customize your business plan to align with the specific criteria and objectives of the grant you're applying for.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate financial viability: provide realistic financial projections and evidence of your business's ability to generate revenue and sustain operations.
  • Follow application guidelines carefully: pay attention to the requirements and deadlines specified by the grant provider, and ensure your application meets all criteria for consideration.
  • Seek assistance if needed: don't hesitate to reach out to business advisors, mentors, or grant specialists for guidance and support throughout the grant application process.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to do market research for a business plan
  • How to write a business plan for a bank loan
  • How investors analyse business plans
  • The difference between a business plan and a business case

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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Successful Grant Proposal Examples: The Ultimate List for 2024

Reviewed by:

September 13, 2021

Last Updated:

January 29, 2024

Table of Contents

Writing grant proposals can be a stressful process for many organizations. However, it's also an exciting time for your nonprofit to secure the funds needed to deliver or expand your services.

In this article, we'll dig into successful grant proposal examples to show how you can start winning grant funding for your organization.

By the time you finish reading this, you'll understand the characteristics of successful proposals, examples of grant proposals in a variety of program areas, and know exactly where you can find more sample grant proposals for nonprofit organizations .

Ready? Let's dig in! ‍

Grant Proposal Template for Nonprofits (+5 Tips Included)

Why Should You Find Successful Grant Proposal Examples?

Finding Successful Grant Proposal Examples

Whether you are a seasoned grant writer or are preparing your first proposal ever, grant writing can be an intimidating endeavor. Grant writing is like any skill in that if you apply yourself, practice, and practice some more, you are sure to increase your ability to write compelling proposals.

Successful grant proposals not only convey the great idea you have for your organization but convince others to get excited about the future you envision. Many follow similar structures and developing a process that works best for your writing style can help make the task of preparing proposals much easier.

In addition to showing what to and not to do, finding successful grant proposals can help you see significant trends and structures that can help you develop your grant writing capabilities.

What Characteristics Make a Grant Proposal Successful?

Characteristics of a Successful Grant Proposal

"Grant writing is science, but it's not rocket science." - Meredith Noble

There's a lot that goes into creating a successful grant proposal. If you're feeling overwhelmed, Meredith Noble, grant writing expert, shares a straightforward step-by-step process to win funding.

1. Successful grant proposals have a clear focus.

Your first step when searching for funds is to clearly understand why you need those funds and what they will accomplish. Funders want to invest in programs they believe will be successful and impactful.

In your proposals, you want to instill confidence in your organization's commitment to the issue, dedication to the communities you serve, and capacity to fulfill the proposed grant activities.

Some questions that you may want to consider include:

  • Are you looking for funds to establish a new program, launch a pilot project, or expand an existing program?
  • Will your proposed program be finished in a year, or will it take multiple years to achieve your goal?
  • Who is involved in your program, and who will benefit from its success?
  • What problem will the proposed program address, and how is that solution unique?
  • What are the specific, tangible goals that you hope to accomplish with the potential grant award?

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2. Successful grant proposals are supported with relevant data.

Before starting your grant proposal, you want to take the time to do your research and make sure that your action plan is realistic and well-supported with data. By presenting yourself as capable and knowledgeable with reliable data, a thorough action plan, and a clear understanding of the subject matter.

It can also be beneficial to include data that your organization has collected to show program impacts and staff successes. Conduct regular analysis of program activities, grant deliverables, and collect success stories from clients and community members.

Some tips for when you collect your grant research :

  • Make sure that you gather data from reputable sources. For example, at government sites such as Data.Census.gov , the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for demographic data, or the U.S. Small Business, Explore Census Data Administration for industry analyses. ‍

Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Include diverse data. There may be some statistics where the numbers are enough to grab the reader's attention; other times, it may be helpful to have illustrations, graphs, or maps.
  • In addition to quantitative data, qualitative data such as a story from an impacted community member may be extremely compelling.
  • Make sure that the data you include is relevant. Throwing random numbers or statistics into the proposal does not make it impressive. All of the included data should directly support the main point of your proposal.
  • You may find it useful to log important notes around what data you want to include in your grant proposal using a grant tracking tool such as Instrumentl .

By the way, check out our post on grant statistics after you finish this one!

3. Successful grant proposals are well-organized

Make sure to pay close attention to all of the requirements that a potential funder includes in their grant details and/or request for proposals (RFP). Your submission and all accompanying attachments, which may also include any graphs and illustrations, should adhere precisely to these guidelines.

Frequently the RFP or grant description will include directions for dividing and organizing your proposal. If, however, it does not, it is still best practice to break your proposal into clear sections with concise headings. You can include a table of contents with page numbers as well.

Standard grant proposal sections include:

  • Proposal Summary: Also called the Executive Summary, this is a very brief statement (1-3 paragraphs) that explains your proposal and specifically states the amount of funding requested.
  • Project Narrative: The bulk of your proposal, the Project Narrative, will do most of the work introducing your organization, the program, and describing your project. - Organization History: Who you are, what you do, where and how you do it. - Statement of the Problem: Background information on the problem and how it will be solved through the grant. - Project Description: Detailed explanation of the program you intend to implement with the grant, including a detailed timeline.
  • Budget and Budget Justification: A breakdown of the project resources into specific budget categories, the amount allocated to each category, and appropriate reasons for that breakdown.

4. Successful grant proposals are tailored to the funder.

In addition to finding the basic details on the funding opportunity and application guidelines, you should also look into the funder, their giving priorities, and history.

Funders are much more likely to select your organization among others if they clearly understand and empathize with your cause and recognize the impact your work has in the community.

For more details on establishing meaningful relationships with funders, check out our article on How to Approach and Build Grant Funder Relationships .

The first step in determining whether a funding opportunity is a good fit, do some research to ensure your organization's programs and financial needs meet the funder’s interests and resources.

A few questions to ask include:

  • What are the organization’s values, written mission, and goals?
  • How is what you want to do aligned with the overall mission of this agency?
  • Do their giving priorities match with the vision of your proposed program?
  • Will this grant cover the entire cost of your program, or will you need to find additional funds?
  • Does the grant timeline meet the budget needs of your organization?
  • Are there other considerations that might be useful for us to know in preparing your application?

5. Successful grant proposals are proofread!

If you have been in the grant writing game for any extended period of time, chances are that you’ve dealt with tight deadlines. Nonprofit staff often have a lot on their plates, and if you happen to find an attractive funding opportunity when there’s only a handful of days before its deadline, it may be difficult to walk away.

It is crucial to plan an appropriate amount of time to review and proofread your proposal. Grammar mistakes can make or break your submission and they are easy to fix.

General strategies for editing your proposal include:

  • Use one of the many available grammar-checking software such as Grammarly or GrammarCheck.me . These online tools are often free to use and can help you quickly and accurately review your work. ‍

Grammarly Preview

  • Ask other members of your team to peer-review the proposal. It is especially important to have staff working on or who are directly impacted by the program proposed to ensure everyone is on the same page. Additionally, these staff members have the most information about the program's implementation and can catch inconsistency or unrealistic promises in the proposal.
  • It is also helpful to ask someone unfamiliar with your program and the subject matter discussed in the proposal. Sometimes the grant reviewer may not have the same level of knowledge you or your staff have about the subject matter, and so you want to ensure you stay away from overly-specific jargon and undefined acronyms.
  • Read through it (again!). A final read-through, maybe out loud, after all the edits have been made, can help you catch overlooked mistakes or inconsistencies in the proposal.

If you're looking to start building your own nonprofit financial statement and nonprofit membership application, get started quickly by using our Nonprofit Financial Statement Template and Nonprofit Membership Application Template . The template is made in Canva, an an easy-to-use creative design tool. You can jump right in, change colors, add your logo, and adjust the copy so it fits your brand.Why start from scratch when you can use one of our templates?

The Ultimate List of Grant Proposal Examples

List of Grant Proposal Examples

As stated early on in the article, every grant proposal is unique. We have curated a list of sample grants for various types of projects or nonprofit organizations. This list is in no way exhaustive, but several examples cover common program designs and focus areas that receive philanthropic support through grants.

Research Grant Proposal Samples

Finding a grant opportunity to fund research can be a challenge. These types of grants are typically intensive and require in-depth expertise, a proposed research design, explanation of methodology, project timelines, and evidence of the principal investigator(s) qualifications.

The following are examples of grant proposals in support of research projects or studies.

Harvard University - Proposal to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2009) :

Researchers at Harvard University proposed to research the “growth of policies in the United States around the use of genomic science in medicine and racial identity.”

For grants focused on research, it is important to ensure that the proposal can be understood by different kinds of stakeholders. While the research may be very specific and require some expertise to understand, the purpose and need for the research undertaken should be able to be understood by anyone.

For example, being cognizant of jargon and when it is and isn’t appropriate to use is incredibly important when developing a research grant proposal.

This proposal to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, while very detailed and specific, still lays out the intent of the proposal in laymans terms and includes the appropriate amount of detail while ensuring that a broader audience can read and understand the request and purpose of the study.

Northwestern University - Annotated Grant Proposal Sample (2016)

For individuals or organizations who are interested in developing a great grant proposal in support of a research project, Northwestern University has a catalog of grant proposal samples with annotations denoting notable strengths and weaknesses of the application.

Linked above is one such example, a grant proposal in support of a project titled “Understanding the Stability of Barium-Containing Ceramic Glazes”. Review Northwestern University’s catalog of sample proposals here for additional guidance and inspiration.

Clinical Trial Grant Proposal Sample

Clinical trials are important research projects that test medical, behavioral, or surgical inventions to prove or disprove hypotheses about their efficacy. These trials are an important component of scientific and medical advancement. Oftentimes, hospitals or research institutions require robust funding from grants to initiate a trial of this kind.

While clinical trials are highly specific and require a great deal of expert input to develop, reviewing a grant proposal sample can help you prepare should your nonprofit organization decide to pursue a funding opportunity of this kind.

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Center for Clinical and Translational Science – NIH Grant R Series Samples :

If your nonprofit organization is seeking funding for a clinical trial, a great place to begin for tools and resources is the University of Alabama’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

The Center’s website has several sample proposals submitted to the National Institutes of Health. For professionals hoping to submit a grant proposal in support of a clinical trial, you may find one among these excellent examples that aligns closely with your work and can guide the grant development process.

Community Garden Grant Proposal Sample

Community gardens are idyllic cornerstones of their neighborhoods, cultivating lush, green spaces where residents can build a thriving community. Some community gardens are run by nonprofits such as land trusts or are born out of special projects initiated by nonprofit organizations.

Either way, to ensure the sustainability of local community gardens, gardeners and community garden managers may need to apply for funding through grant opportunities. Below is just one grant proposal sample in support of a community garden that may help you develop your own winning community garden grant application.

Stockton University – Community Garden 2020 Proposal :

This grant proposal submitted on behalf of Stockton University does an excellent job of illustrating the success of their community garden project and justifies the need for funding to sustain the momentum of the project going forward.

This proposal is also visually compelling and well-designed, incorporating photos and color schemes that directly evoke the image of a flourishing community garden. Ensuring your proposal document is easy to read and incorporates a strong layout and design can sometimes make or break an otherwise strong proposal that is being judged in a competitive pool of applicants. Strong design elements can set your proposal apart and make it shine!

Government Grant Proposal Samples

Government grants are some of the most complex and challenging funding opportunities that a person can come across. Funding from government entities is allocated from tax-payer dollars, and as such the government employs strict requirements and rigorous oversight over the grantmaking process.

Having a successful template or sample in hand can help position you for success when you need help applying for a government grant.

National Endowment for the Humanities - Challenge Grant Proposal Narrative Sample :

Developing a grant narrative is a challenge regardless of the opportunity. Government grants, which require very specific detail, can pose an even greater challenge than most opportunities. Linked here is a successfully funded project of the Alexandria Archive Institute, Inc . through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

This project is a great example of how to develop a grant narrative that successfully addresses the stringent requirements associated with grant proposals. Note how each section is laid out, the double spacing, citations, and other key elements that are required in a government proposal to adhere to specific standards.

Even though this is a great example, also be aware that every government agency is different and while this proposal was a successful application for the NEH, other agencies may have different requirements including specific narrative sections, attachments and work plans, among other key items. ‍

Alexandria Archive Institute, Inc

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – City of Pleasantville Clean School Bus, Clean Snow Removal Trucks and Clean Bulldozers Project Proposal Sample :

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers an example grant for potential grantees to review. This sample proposal envisions a project by a local municipality to procure buses, snow removal trucks, and bulldozers that produce less emissions thereby decreasing air pollution in the region. This sample proposal is a great guide for developing a compelling narrative and weaving in evidence-based data and information to support throughout.

Conference Grant Proposal Sample

Conferences are an important aspect of a nonprofit or educational institution's operations. Conferences can help bring together like minded individuals across sectors to find solutions and sharpen their skills, and they can facilitate the formation of powerful coalitions and advocacy groups.

Identifying funding for conferences can be difficult, and requires a thoughtful, strategic approach to achieve success. Following a template or grant proposal sample can help guide you through the application process and strengthen your chances of submitting a successful application.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – American Urological Associations Quality Improvement Summit :

This sample proposal provides an extensive template to follow for writing a successful conference grant proposal. The proposal follows an easily understood, structured narrative, and includes a detailed budget and key personnel profiles that will help anyone applying for grant support strengthen their chances of developing a high-quality application.

Dance Grant Proposal Sample

There are countless arts and cultural nonprofit organizations in the United States. According to Americans for the Arts , there are over 113,000 organizations (nonprofit or otherwise) devoted to promoting arts and culture in communities throughout the country—including dance.

Whether a theater that focuses on dance performance or a studio that teaches beginners how to appreciate the art form, there are a variety of dance-focused nonprofits that exist. Identifying strong grant proposal samples for dance-focused organizations or projects can be helpful as you work to help your dance program grow and gain revenue.

Mass Cultural Council – Dance/Theater Project Grant Sample :

This is an example proposal for an interactive dance/theatrical puppet project that focuses on engaging families. While this example captures a very unique and specific project, it also provides a good example of how to craft a case statement , write a strong project description, and develop a detailed project budget.

Daycare Grant Proposal Sample

In the United States, daycares are a vital component of childhood development, but unfortunately many families are unable to access them due to cost or accessibility. Studies show that in 2020 alone, over 57% of working families spent more than $10,000 on childcare while 51% U.S. residents live in regions classified as “childcare deserts”.

Given this, nonprofit daycares are vital to supporting future generations and providing accessible and affordable childcare for parents throughout the country. Many nonprofit daycares rely on generous funding through grants. Nonprofit day care professionals can use all the help they can get to submit winning proposals and sustain their daycare’s operations.

Relying on a high-quality grant proposal sample or template can be a huge help when working on a grant application or writing a proposal in support of a daycare.

AWE - Digital Learning Solutions – Grant Proposal Template :

While not a straightforward grant proposal sample, this grant template provides detailed guidance and helpful examples of how to respond to common questions and how to craft essential elements of a grant proposal focused on childcare and childhood development.

For example, the template provides easy to understand steps and bulleted lists for every key component of the grant proposal including a case statement, organizational capacity and information, project sustainability, project budget, and project evaluation. ‍

AWE - Digital Learning Solutions – Grant Proposal Template

Literacy Grant Proposal Sample

Promoting literacy is a very common mission for nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and the world. Literacy projects and programs are typically provided by educational institutions or education focused nonprofits.

In fact, according to the Urban Institute , Education focused nonprofits made up 17.2% of all public charities. With numbers like these, it can be helpful to gain insights from a grant proposal sample that will help you win grants and grow your organization.

Suburban Council of International Literacy (Reading) Association “Simply Reading” – Grant Proposal Sample :

This sample proposal to the Suburban Council of International Literacy (Reading) Association (SCIRA) is a great example of a strongly developed narrative that makes a powerful case for how fostering a love for reading among young students can result in improved educational outcomes. This helpful guide provides a framework for drafting a high-quality grant narrative while also giving examples of other key proposal elements such as a project budget.

Successful Educational Grant Proposals

Educational programming can be highly diverse in its delivery. Check out these examples of successful grant proposals for education to help you get started winning funds for your next educational program.

Kurzweil Educational Systems : In addition to this being a successful grant proposal, this example also includes detailed explanations of each section and provides useful guidelines that can help you frame your proposal.

Salem Education Foundation : This foundation has posted a sample application of a school seeking funding for increasing youth enrichment opportunities for their annual grant.

This is a great example for funding opportunities that ask specific questions about your organization and the proposed project instead of requesting a general proposal or narrative. ‍

Salem Education Foundation Successful Grant Proposal Example

Successful Youth Grant Proposals

These examples of grant proposals for youth programs can help you tap into one of the largest categories of charitable dollars.

Family Service Association (FSA): This example of a grant proposal that is well-written and comprehensive. It is for a community block grant focused on youth development to expand services and cover staff salaries.

The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA): This is a sample produced by the national office of the BGCA to assist local branches in securing funds for youth programming and expanding services.

Successful Health-Related Grant Proposals

There is a large amount of funding for health-related initiatives, from healthcare grants to individuals, operational support for organizations or clinicians, and supporting researchers advancing the field. These sample grants give a bit of insight into this diverse sphere.

Centerville Community Center : Follow this link to read a grant to support community-based programming to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease prevention. This proposal does a great job of breaking down the project description, proposed activities, tracking measures, and timeline.

Prevention Plus Wellness : This is a sample grant proposal for nonprofit organizations to assist those looking to secure funds to address substance use and wellness programming for youth and young adults. ‍

Prevention Plus Wellness Successful Grant Proposal Example

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID): The NIAID has released several examples of proposal applications and scientific research grant proposal samples that successfully secured funding for scientific research related to healthcare.

Other Successful Grant Proposals

Of the over 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the United States , your funding requests may fall out of the three general categories described above. We have included additional grants that may help meet your diverse needs.

Kennett Area Senior Center : Submitted to a local community foundation, this proposal requests funding between the range of $1,000 to $10,000 to provide critical services and assistance to local seniors.

In addition to being very detailed in describing the program details it also carefully describes the problem to be addressed.

Region 2 Arts Council: This comprehensive grant proposal requests funds to support an artist to continue expanding their skills and professional experience. This is a useful example for individual grants or scholarships for professional or scholastic opportunities in supported fields.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church: This is an excellent example of a faith-based organization’s proposal to secure funds for a capital project to repair their building. The framing of this proposal and the language in the narrative can be used to help shape proposal letters to individual donors and to foundations, which can be especially useful for faith-based organizations or other groups looking to secure funds.

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Tips to Get More Successful Grant Proposal Examples

Successful Grant Proposal Examples Tips

If you are interested in finding more grant proposal examples, especially those directly related to your organization's priorities and service area, you can look at a few places.

1st: Foundation Websites

Sometimes a foundation will include past proposal submissions publicly on the website. These are especially useful if you are seeking grants from the organization. You can see exactly what kind of proposals they found compelling enough to fund and see if there are any trends in their structure or language.

2nd: Online Tools and Workshops

Sites like the Community Tool Box or Non-Profit Guides offer free online resources for organizations working to support healthier communities and support social change. They provide helpful advice for new nonprofits and provide a whole suite of sample grants to help you start winning grants step by step.

You may also be able to ask other members of the Instrumentl community for their past successful grant proposals by attending our next live workshop. Hundreds of grant proposals attend these every few weeks. To RSVP, go here .

3rd: Collect your own! 

As you start submitting grants, you are also creating a collection of sample grants tailored to your subject area. Every response offers an invaluable learning opportunity that can help you strengthen your grant writing skills.

Perhaps there are similarities among proposals that do exceptionally well. If a submission is rejected, ask for feedback or a score breakdown. Then, you may be able to see what areas need improvement for the future. Read our post on grant writing best practices for more on how to evaluate your past proposals.

Wrapping Things Up: Successful Grant Proposal Examples

Successful Grant Proposal Examples

Grant writing is a skill that anyone can learn. And as you begin to build your skills and prepare to write your next proposal, let these examples of successful grant proposals act as a guide to successful grant writing. Don’t however mistake a useful example as the ultimate guide to winning a grant for your organization.

Make sure to keep your unique mission, vision, and voice in the proposal!

Are you ready to get started? ‍

Try Instrumentl free for 14-days now to start finding funders that fit your organization’s needs. Our unique matching algorithm will only show you active open grant opportunities that your nonprofit can apply for so you can start winning more grant funding.

Instrumentl's Tracker makes saving all your grant proposals to one place easy and encourages more collaboration across your team. To get started, click the button below.

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