grant writing

Basic Components of the Grant Writing Process

The grant application process can look very different depending on the grant for which your organization is applying. Each grant has its own specific requirements and steps to follow. However, often there are several key pieces of information or types of documentation that a funder will request as part of the application process. Knowing this ahead of time and preparing this documentation can help your organization to prepare to meet deadlines quickly and efficiently. Some of these documents can be prepared in a one-size-fits-all format, while others may need to be created in a sort of boilerplate format that can be adjusted to meet the specific standards of each grant.

Some of the basic written materials you will need to gather about your organization include your mission statement, a paragraph describing your organization’s history, and a paragraph describing the community in which your organization is situated. Your organization will also want to compile several lists regarding the following information:

  • Board members (including information related to their places of employment, job titles, addresses, and affiliations with other organizations)

  • Staff members (with resumes or brief biographies)

  • Volunteers

  • Major accomplishments of your organization

  • Current programs and projects within your organization

Your organization should also be prepared to provide several different types of financial data. If you are a non-profit, then you will be required to present your 501(c)(3) letter. For-profit organizations may need to provide their certificates of incorporation. Other necessary information may be federal taxpayer information numbers (TINs), employer identification numbers (EINs), or Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers. The information needed will be dependent on your organization type and on the type of grant for which your organization is applying.

Other relevant financial information includes your program’s budgets for both the previous and current years. Your should also include an auditor’s report of your program. If your program produces an annual report, then that would be another important piece of data to include. You will also want to create a list of all of the current sources of funding your organization receives. The final piece of financial information you should include is a list of potential sources of funding for your organization, such as matching funds or pending applications for other grants.

Finally, compile information related to the community support your organization receives. You should create a list of community sponsors or affiliations that your organization holds. Include any letters of support or collaboration that your organization has received. You should also create a press kit that contains recent news articles about your organization and awards that your organization has received.

While not every funder will request all of these pieces of information on an application, it will be extremely helpful to have these types of documentation prepared in advance. This will help to create a smooth and efficient grant application process, as you will already have several of the key elements prepared. Knowing ahead of time what types of information your organization will need to provide and having that information organized and readily available to be inserted into grant applications will ensure that your organization creates high-quality proposals that earn funds.