Can You Apply for a Grant with No Prior Writing Experience?

If you have no grant writing experience, should you still apply for grants? Absolutely! In fact, as long as you have the passion and drive, we highly recommend applying for your first grant on your own. Hiring grant writers can cost upwards of $500, which is an expense many new organizations are unable to afford.

When it comes down to the basics of grant writing, it’s about:

  • setting aside enough time,
  • following grant instructions, and
  • being able to write in a clear, easy-to-understand manner
No Experience Necessary

For example, Debbie Hansen, founder and CEO of the Flora May Foundation, won her first grant after discovering it on

“I’ve tried at least 20 other grant-locating websites and they all fell short — they were nothing like GrantWatch whatsoever. So, it was our first attempt at gaining a grant, the very first time I’ve written a grant; and guess what? We won!”

The Flora May Foundation is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists parents & families in dire medical or emotional need. Their services include regular donations to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.


If your business or organization hasn’t yet begun its grant writing journey, you may want to start by applying for smaller grants before tackling larger ones. The application process for micro-grants and in-kind grants is generally simpler and faster. You’ll also have a better chance of getting funding, which will help to build your grant award history.

However, above all, you must meet the basic three requirements to give you the best chance to be awarded a grant. First, make sure you’re eligible to apply (for a grant). Second, you want to be ‘Grant-Ready. In other words, don’t begin applying for grants before you have the tools in place to properly write and submit a proposal. This includes your Tax ID number (or EIN) and proof of your 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Third, follow the specific grant application guidelines for each grant for which you’re applying. The majority of grant writing is making a statement and including supporting proof. Additionally, you will also need to be transparent about your financials. Above all – do not rush the process! It can take several days, even a good couple of weeks, to put your grant proposal together.

As long as you avoid the five common grant-writing mistakes, you’ll give yourself the best chance of being awarded the grant funding you want; even with absolutely no prior grant-writing experience!

Looking for grants? With more than 8,000 grants are currently available, 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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