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How to Apply for and Obtain Grants for Nonprofit Organizations

Updated on September 18, 2016

Money Is the Best Way to Help Your Nonprofit

Money in Hand
Money in Hand | Source

Find the Grant That is Right for You

The most important step in writing a successful grant proposal is in finding the right grant to apply to. Make sure that the grants that you are applying to align with your nonprofit's mission statement and goals. If you see a grant that looks tempting because of the money but you know that it is for something that would be a reach for your nonprofit to do, applying for it is a waste of time for yourself and the grant donors.

Read All the Instructions

Make sure you read all of the instructions to a grant application before beginning to write. You want to make sure that your organization qualifies and that you will be able to carry out all of the stipulations of the grant should you receive it. You also want to make sure that you can obtain the information necessary to complete the grant proposal process successfully.

Use Accurate Statistics

Most grant donors want to see how their donation will impact the recipients in a tangible way. Statistics will not only help you make your case for your need but also demonstrate accountability. For example, if the grant is for money to obtain reading materials to a low socioeconomic community, you can demonstrate the need by providing the percentage of people in the community that live below the poverty level and then you can set a goal of lowering the percentage with the use of the donation.

Be Creative

Some grants are for funds to be spent on specific items but there are some that encourage you to be creative. In these cases, the more creative you are, the more likely you are to obtain the grant. An example of this is a grant for school supplies. Although most applicants will ask for basic school supplies, some creative proposals may be for iPads, 3d printers, or other electronic learning tools. Be careful not to stray off track of your nonprofit's mission and goals when applying for this type of grant.

Ask a Peer to Look Over Your Proposal

When you finish writing the grant proposal and obtaining all of the necessary documentation to submit your grant application, borrow another set of eyes to proofread and revise your writing. You want to turn in a professional document to increase your chances of receiving the grant for your nonprofit organization.

Check Email

Many grant donors will let you know when and how you will find out if you received the grant. Check your email and phone messages often to make sure you don't miss a grant award letter as these are often time sensitive.

Complete Necessary Requirements

Once you receive that exciting award letter, make sure you complete all of the necessary requirements that the grant imposes. Doing so will make you eligible to receive the grant again in the future if it is recurring and open to past recipients.


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