How Hard is it to Write a Grant?

Whether you’re just beginning your grant-seeking journey, or you’ve already found a grant you want to apply for, you may be wondering; How hard is it to write a grant? Writing a grant proposal is not like filling out paperwork for a loan, and instead, is akin to writing an essay. For the best results, you should follow the directions as outlined by the funding source. If you are unable to follow directions or lack writing skills, you may find this challenging.

However, Libby Hikind, GrantWatch CEO, actually encourages grant-seekers to write their first grant themselves without a grant writer. “At the beginning, you don’t have a big budget to spend on hiring a grant writer. You can save money by gathering all the paperwork and supporting documents yourself. Start with a small grant where you can go through everything and learn the basics”, said Hikind.

What You Need To Write a Grant

First, what type of funding source is behind the grant you want to apply for? Foundations and the Government are two of the most common types of funding sources. Foundation grants are generally easier to write; however, they typically provide smaller grant awards. On the other hand, government grants — whether on the local, state or federal level — can fund heftier requests, they likely have a much more difficult application process.

Compiling a grant application takes time and patience. Depending on the type of grant you are applying for, it can require a proposal ranging anywhere from 3 pages to as many as 50 pages, or more. On average, putting together and writing a grant proposal takes more than five days for 40% of grant-seekers. As a result, the planning process is an extremely important process that should not be rushed. In addition, a funding source will not blindly award funds based on great writing alone, so you’ll also need to include additional supporting documentation to help make your case as strong as possible.

Though you aren’t expected to be an expert in grant writing, you should be confident in your writing skills. If you think your writing skills may not be sufficient, you can reach out to a colleague or friend to proofread the proposal on your behalf and offer tips on how to improve your proposal. Alternatively, you could hire a professional grant writer to give it a good polish and add some quality touches.

Don’t Be Hard on Yourself!

In conclusion, if you possess the passion and drive, you can write a grant on your own. However, don’t look to ‘put all your eggs in one basket. Unfortunately, less than 20% of grant proposals are funded. So, the more grants you apply for, the greater the likelihood of being awarded a grant. At the end of the day, it’s about setting aside the time to focus on the task at hand and follow the (grant funder’s) instructions, while at the same time demonstrating your passion and determination to obtain the grant funding you seek to fulfill your project or program objectives.

Want to know more in-depth about writing your own grant? Libby Hikind shares her expertise in the video below:

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