Grant writing tips for nonprofits

January 4, 2016

Grant writing tips for nonprofits








Securing funding is one of the most important task for any nonprofit organization, but the thought of writing a grant proposal can be overwhelming. There is a misconception that grants are easy and free money. Writing a proposal for a funder is a thought-provoking process that requires essential research as well as a thorough and well thought out plan. Here are a few tips to prepare for the 2016 granting season!


Make sure all proposals submitted meet each funder’s specific goals and mission.

Follow instructions

If the RFP (Request for Proposals) requires specific items be submitted with the proposal, be sure to include those details. Also, be clear about the guidelines of the RFP, follow directions precisely, and omit materials that are not required.

Be prepared and don’t wait till the last minute to submit

Leave ample time to ask the funder questions, allow time for their response and make an extra effort to double check the proposal before submitting it timely.

Make it easy to understand (clear and easy to read)

Your ideas should be presented in a clear, exciting, yet persuasive manner. Avoid using jargon that is unclear. Remember, a precise Abstract is the most important part of every proposal because it creates a noteworthy introduction plus a lasting impression with reviewers.

Plan your budget

Be exact about budgeting needs and certain the funding amount requested is accurately justified within the proposal.

Whether a first time grant writer or a seasoned veteran, these tips are essential in creating a successful proposal to obtain funding for every organization.

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Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO