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Grant Writing for Nonprofits: A Complete Guide

Grant writing for nonprofits is how you ask for money to help your nonprofit organization's programs. It means writing grant offers that need to be approved by government agencies, community groups, foundations, corporations, or other funders before they will give money to your nonprofit. Many nonprofits are very interested in getting grants. They can give a business or organization the chance to do something big for the community that it wouldn't be able to do otherwise. Many nonprofits find this process overwhelming and stressful. But, through Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions, you don't have to be scared. We know the latest trends in writing grants for nonprofits and use the best practices. We speed up the process of writing grants and set nonprofits up for success during each grant season, for the last 20 years.

Patterns in Grant Writing for Nonprofits

  • The Pandemic Has Caused Changes in the Granting Process

To support diversity, fairness, and inclusion, many organizations that give grants are moving toward more open processes, easy-to-find information, and easier-to-fill-out head start baseline grant application forms. The pandemic has hurt almost everyone, but not everyone has been hurt similarly. It has shown that not all nonprofits have the same access to funding, and grant makers and openhanded foundations are working to fix this.

  • There Is a Growing Movement in Support of Unrestricted Funding

The idea behind the Trust-Based Philanthropy movement is that people should work together to make philanthropy fairer. They also want it to be easier to give grants and for funders to believe in the knowledge and expertise of nonprofits. This is a call for organizations to be able to use the money where it's most needed, instead of the grantor telling them how to spend the money.

  • Nonprofits Must Plan for Grant Repercussions

Most Head Start continuation applications ask, "How will your program be supported after the grant ends?" Donors want to know that the programs they pay for will be around for a long time. Grant makers want to know if the program will continue and if it can be used in another area. Many charities that are having trouble getting donations for the current year find it hard to answer these questions.

  • Rethink Your Approach to Funding Success

If your grant proposal is accepted, how will you determine how the money is being spent? Will you think about how many people attended your events or how many partners and other important people you worked with? You can show impact with complicated matrices, but nonprofits know the best way to measure impact is through people. From attendance to change, think about how to measure the effects that bring giving back to its most basic goal: helping and changing lives.

  • Some Issues Are Too Significant for A Single Organization to Handle

Systemic wrongs need to be fixed, and grants often require the knowledge and actions of a larger group. So, as you get ready to write your grant proposal, you might want to look for non-profit groups that could help you with your programs. Don't think that other nonprofits fighting for similar causes to yours are your competitors. Think of them as possible partners who could help you solve those big problems. Then look for money to help you do it.

  • Grantors and Donors

People used to think that writing grants were as simple as copying and pasting: change the name of the grantor and hit send. It's hit or miss, to say the least, and misses happen more often than hits. Think about how you could treat your grantors like your donors. Find out what they want to fund, then call them to see if your project fits. Moves management may be the best way to get money for significant gifts, but it is also essential when writing grants.

Different Types of Grant Writing Services

Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions helps your nonprofit with consulting, strategic planning, and writing grant proposals that get approved. We can help you plan, figure out what your community needs, design projects, write proposals, evaluate your programs, and determine how well they work. Likewise, because of our small-business focus, we are able to offer specialized services to your nonprofit that allows us to focus on your organization and make programs that are as unique as you are.

Designated Renewal System

Help is available if you run an Early Start or Head Start expansion program and think you may need to apply for a DRS (Designated Renewal System) grant. No matter the situation, it's not a secret that the DRS Grant can be hard to apply for and even harder to get. At Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions, we can help you with the DRS application and give you advice that will help your program in the long-run.

Engaged Workforce

Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions cares about the success of nonprofits and has helpful tools for getting employees involved. Employees who are engaged are healthy and motivated, which are all requirements that grantors and donors look for when approving your organization for funding.

Consulting Services for Nonprofits

Companies that are not-for-profit do a lot for their communities. So, for nonprofits to make changes and make things better, they need the money and the people to make their ideas happen. Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions can help you come up with a plan if you are just beginning the process or if you are submitting a Head Start continuation application.

How to Write a Good Grant Proposal


First, make a plan for different ways to get money. Grants are just one way to get money. Consider whether a grant is the best way to pay for your project or campaign. Don't agree to apply for a grant unless you meet all of the foundation's requirements and are willing to do research and write applications that are specific to each foundation. Also, only apply for the types of funding you said you wanted to get in your fundraising plan. This will save everyone time and work.

Don't Be Typical

If you want your grant application to have a chance of being accepted, you can't write one generic one and send copies to different foundations. This makes your application look like it was thrown together quickly, which is not a good thing. The most important rule is that your application should fit the needs of the group you are sending it to.

Data Yet Again

Even if you hire the most experienced grant writer, they won't be able to do their job if the organization's data is all over the place and a mess. You can't do much if you don't collect the correct data, manage it, and keep it up to date. If you tell a nice story, someone might give you $20. To get a grant, you have to show how the money will help. The best grant proposals say in clear, simple language what the grant will be used for, how it will be used differently than anything else and backed up with metrics.

Grant writing for nonprofits is hard, but rewarding.

This is why it is important to hire the most experienced consultant from the beginning of your process, to optimize your chance of not only getting grants initially, but also sustain your organization in the long-run.