20 Crucial Tips You Should Read Before Writing Your Grant Application

Grant funding is highly competitive. Assessors will be reviewing many applications, so it’s crucial that you present a concise and easy-to-read application that meets all the requirements. Below, we’ve listed a total of 20 tips to help you prepare a winning grant proposal.

Prior to Writing Your Application

1. Familiarize yourself with the grant funding guidelines, process requirements, and application forms.

2. Check that you meet the eligibility criteria.

3. Read any accompanying documents (e.g. terms and conditions).

4. Check that you have enough time to submit your application ahead of the closing date.

5. Gather your base documents (such as your financials and tax returns).

6. Additionally, gather or ask relevant parties to provide supporting documents, such as quotes and invoices.

When Writing Your Grant Application

7. Write in a consistent writing style and tone.

8. Use concise language – keep your answers and paragraphs short.

9. Write your application so that it’s easily understood by an assessor who may be unfamiliar with your industry.

10. Use headings and sub-headings to help the assessor quickly review the content.

11. Include keywords from the guidelines and assessment criteria where appropriate.

12. Write factually – the information you submit must be accurate as it may be audited.

13. Avoid using vague, speculative, or emotive words (e.g. believe, hope, expect, may, could, might).

14. Write unique answers to all questions. You never want to copy and paste sentences.

15. Avoid exaggerated claims, but be bold and positive in explaining what your project will achieve if funded.

16. In addition, you can build trust by demonstrating your project’s likelihood of success and how risks will be managed.

17. Identify the range of project outcomes that may be achieved based on best to worst-case scenarios.

18. You also want to provide project budget details down to the last dollar.

19. Include a glossary at the end of your application for words or acronyms that may be unfamiliar to the assessor.

20. And finally, double-check that you have answered all the questions outlined by the funder and formatted the documents to the correct specifications.


In conclusion, these key points will help you create a logical and easy-to-read application. You also want to be able to guide your reader through your application by:

  • stating your main points;
  • providing background and introducing concepts early;
  • establishing and maintaining consistent themes throughout;
  • progressing logically and concisely from simple to complex aspects of your project.

Because applying for a grant can be challenging, it is not uncommon for organizations to hire a professional writer to assist with preparing and submitting their application. Grant writers can also assist with the research, development, and overall polishing of your grant application. 

Looking for grants? With more than 7,000 grants currently available, GrantWatch.com is the leading grant listing directoryMemberPlus+ subscription is required to view the full grant details, including the eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page, and to see the great value with the top 20 GrantWatch features, click here.

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