The Do’s and Do Not’s of Grant Writing

Do you want some Grant Writing reminders? Here are some of the most common do’s and do not’s of grant writing!

The Do’s and Do Not’s of Grant Writing

Do: Take time while writing grants and make sure to edit and revise your grant multiple times.

Do Not: Never submit a first draft of a grant for funding. Never give a grant writer less than adequate time to write a grant (usually no less than two months). Grants take time and so does writing. Don’t expect to be funded if you don’t put the forethought and work into the application. It is an insult to the funder as well as the grant writer.


Do: You want to show your strengths in every grant application.

Do Not: Do not tell me how hopeless the situation is and how you can only reach .05% of those affected by the issue. Tell me how you are helping 10,000 people and what good you are doing. I proof read an application from an organization helping the homeless and more than once they mentioned how 2 people they tried to reach out to have ended up in jail. This is not something that is going to impress the funder. They could have focused on the 700 people they have helped off the streets and kept out of jail, but they mentioned these two people multiple times.


Do: You want to set goals with your grant writing that are reasonable. Make sure to give yourself enough time to complete each grant.

Do Not: Do not take on more than you can handle with grant applications. Grant applications take a lot of time to write well and you do not want to deminish your ability to get funded by not spending enough time on each individual grant.


Do: Do set up a Google Drive Folder and start compiling the information you will need for grants before you start the grant writing process. Also, before you start writing the grant go through the application a few times and familiarize youself with what it is asking to ensure that you have all the necessary information.

Do Not: Too often, organizations throw themselves into applying for a grant before they are sufficiently prepared. Often, the grant writer in these cases is left with blanks on the grant application that they do not now and no one else knows them either.


Do: Make sure your organization is ready to take on grants before you start the grant writing process.

Do Not: Do not begin looking for grants until you are sure your organization is ready.


Do: It is best to look for grants that are at least 6 months away from their deadline.

Do Not: Do not apply for grants that are due within a week or two. This is not fair to the foundation, the grant writer, or the beneficiaries that might have been affected if you had spent more time on the grant and been awarded the money.


Do: Make sure to read through all the rules for applying for each grant. Some funders welcome organizations applying for overhead and existing projects, while others do not.

Do Not: Do not apply for grants that you know your organization does not have a chance of getting funded. Do not apply for grants that typically fund art projects when yours is an international development project.


Do: Explain everything clearly in your grant.

Do Not: Do not make assumptions when you write. This is especially important with the need. You might be fully aware of the Dung Beetle crisis in Alaska, but the funder is not, so make sure to explain it.


Do: Turn in every application on time.

Do Not: Turn in an application past the deadline.


Do: Answer all the application questions completely.

Do Not: Do not leave questions blank.


Do: Follow all of the instructions on the grant applications.

Do Not: Do not ignore instructions and do not turn in applications in the format that you think would be better than the one the foundation has asked you to fill out.


Do you want a downloadable version of this list to keep?

Do’s and Do Not’s of Grant Writing


Looking for other grant writing articles?

Grant Tutoring: The Revision Process

Grant Revising Priorities

Grant Writing Tips

3 Keys to Effective Grant Writing

Also, check out my grant writing course!

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