10 Tenets of Good Grant Writing

Every year Coastal Community Foundation receives applications from nonprofits for grants. Last year Coastal Community Foundation allocated a total of $18 million in grants. An estimated $4 million was awarded through competitive grant programs.
We want every nonprofit to send in their best application. Through our years of experience of working with the community to effectively distribute funds we have developed ten principles of good grant writing. Here they are:
1. Appeal to your audience.
Select the program or organizational need that correlates best with the grant program’s goal.
2. Get acquainted
Become familiar to your funders in a positive way, but remember CCF staff is not the decision maker. Funding decisions are made by our hard working grant committee members.
3. Timing is everything
Consider your grant’s timeline so that you are not applying for funding that is incompatible with the timeline of your project.
4. Be mindful of the details
Are you applying for the correct program? Are you using the most recent application? Are you attaching the correct documents in the correct order? Is your application loaded with typos?
5. Get to the point
House language and acronyms are confusing. Avoid details that may be irrelevant to the application.
6. Demonstrate the change
Focus on the success within your program. Grants committees like to know they are investing in something that works.
7. Phone a friend
Be sure to have someone peer review your application or send it to us no later than two weeks before the application deadline!
8. Be fiscally transparent
Make sure you organize and clearly outline your program budget on your grant request.
9. Bring the right people to your site visit
Whoever is most relevant to the program you feature in your proposal should attend the site visit so that any questions that may be asked during the visit can be answered.
10. Steward your grant
If you send a thoughtful thank you note to the committee, our programs staff will pass it along. You can never thank someone enough for their generosity.

When writing a grant application you have to tell an elaborate story in a limited space. Keep these tenets in mind the next time your organization applies for a grant.
For more information regarding CCF’s grants contact Ali Titus at Ali@coastalcommunityfoundation.org.

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