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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Working with Marshal Whittey at First Nonprofit has been a great experience. He handles our request as a priority and goes above and beyond to resolve any issues we have in a timely manner. Marshall follows through to the end and ensures our needs are met. He has been a great resource for LSC and our “go to” for any tax questions we may have. With LSC transitioning several facilities into one federal tax identification number, First Nonprofit was able to assist and provide guidance with best practices resolving claims to each entity. Additionally First Nonprofit provided knowledge (information materials) and one on one training to HRS group with best practices to handle claims state adjudicated, fraudulent claims, and appeals. And processing information in the First Nonprofit [unemployment claims] system allows for timely information can be collected.

Lutheran Services Carolinas, Salisbury, NC

My experience with FNP has been wonderful. Unemployment in general is quite confusing and FNP has simplified the process for us. Everyone we have reached out to or worked with has been very helpful and follows up to be sure we understand the information. I am so happy we made the switch to FNP!

Stone Valley Community Charter School, Huntingdon, PA

First Nonprofit smoothed the unemployment perils for our organization during Covid. Without the ability to cap our UI exposure, we would not have been able to weather the storm. The program worked perfectly and we have come out of the pandemic ready to forge on. Thanks FNP!

Jewish Silicon Valley, Los Gatos, CA

My experience with the FNP has been fantastic. The idea of setting funds aside for the unemployment tax liability is a bedrock for nonprofit organizations like mine, namely ASHBA; what is even more advantageous is having the FNP as a custodian of those funds. 100% recommended!

American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association, Inc., Lexington, KY

I would like to comment on my experience with FNP….to date our District has saved $1,000’s of dollars by being enrolled in the First Nonprofit program. My only regret is that we did not know about this method of paying unemployment tax years ago….as I had figured about five years

ago, had we enrolled 15-20 years ago, we could have saved our small school district upwards of $500,000 in payments to IDES. Also we would have had a pretty hefty sum of money in our Reserve Account. Thankfully I attended a workshop hosted by First Nonprofit back in 2015 which got the ball rolling!

Beardstown Community Unit School District 15, Beardstown, IL

I have worked with the First Non-Profit Team for many years, and I appreciate the quick response and care that Cecilia and the team provides anytime I have questions. While there are other providers that may provide like services, First Nonprofit will always be my first choice! I appreciate you!

Innovative Services, Inc., Green Bay, WI

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

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