How to Write a Grant in 15 Minutes

I’m going to walk you through the outline of how to write a grant in 15 minutes. For some of you, this will be a reminder. But my goal is that you walk away from this podcast having learned at least one new thing!

Of course, if you want to deep dive be sure to get in on the launch of my Grant Writing Master Course this week. Eek! I am giving 50% OFF for 3 days. Yep, only 3 days. 

I’ve had different grant writing courses on various platforms, I teach it in universities, and I have even written a book on grant writing, The Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing: Tips, Tools, & Templates to Write Winning Grants which hit #1 in 10 categories on Amazon. Thanks to all of you who are on my Advanced Reader Team!

But my goal today is to give you a basic bootcamp on grants so you can either refresh your memory, or find out if you are truly interested in grant writing.

So, let’s get to it! 

I am going to use the basis of my G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula to really showcase the grant process. I do have more podcasts that go into depth for each of these categories, but once again this week’s goal is to give you all the candy in one bite and still be able to chew it.

G: Get the FOA. 

For any type of grant you want to make sure that you gather the Funding Opportunity Announcement or Request for Proposal or the application. Read it so you are sure that:

  1. You meet the eligibility — i.e. Maybe you have to be an IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit to be eligible, but you’re still only thinking about forming a nonprofit. In this case you aren’t eligible.
  2. You know what the funding priorities are — If the funding source is focused on giving money out for projects that preserve marine life and you have a financial literacy project, then that isn’t aligned with the priority.
  3. There is enough money to meet your project — Don’t think that $5,000 is going to fund your need for $750,000. However, it could fund a part of it.
  4. You can meet the deadline — If it’s in a week and you haven’t started you may think of preparing better for the next cycle.
  5. You understand the application process and scoring criteria — What you actually need to write and include.

R: Research the Needs & Target Population

Do the research. It is not enough that there is a ‘need’ for the project. How do you know there is a need? Include actual statistics, data, testimonials, surveys, focus group information, or other resources to actually cite the need. 

Once you have this data, then come up with very clear problems, such as “According to the Cool Census in 2019, 54% of the indigenous people compared to only 21% of Caucasians live below the national poverty threshold in Cool City.” This creates a stronger argument than “A lot of indigenous people are poor in Cool City.”

Additionally, who are you serving? If you say, “We are going to serve people in Cool City,” that is not very clear. It is much more clear if you show your niche target population: “The Project will serve Indigenous people below the poverty level in Cool City.” 

A: Articulate the Goal

A goal is essential in a grant. Remember this is your big audacious outcome. You are reaching to achieve this! Think of it as being the outcome after implementation and funding. What do you want to achieve?

Example: “The project goal is to increase employment of Indigenous People in Cool City by 20%. 

N: Narrow the Objectives

The Objectives are how you reach your goal. Typically grant applications do not want more than three objectives per year. However, this isn’t set in stone. 

Objectives need to be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. So always ask yourself if your objectives meet each of these.

Example: “By the end of year one, the Project will provide workforce training for 50% (1,000) Indigenous people in Cool City.”

  • It is specific because it tells you what it will specifically do: i.e. workforce training
  • It is measurable because it identifies how many people it will serve: 1,000 Indigenous people.
  • It is achievable because you are set up to provide workforce training and have partners with the target demographic.
  • It is relevant because it relates back to the need (i.e. high unemployment rates) and the goal (increase in employment).
  • It is timebound because you will serve 1,000 people by the end of year one.

T: Timetable the Activities

Okay, let’s peel the onion back one more layer. The objectives allow you to reach your goal, but the activities allow you to reach your objectives. Under each objective you need to provide tangible activities, along with who is responsible for each activity and when they will get it down. 

Example: In order to meet our objective of “By the end of year one, the Project will provide workforce training for 50% (1,000) Indigenous people in Cool City,” you will want to have various activities. 

  • Activity 1) The program coordinator will sign MOUs with 10 partners in the community by the end of month two. 
  • Activity 2) The program coordinator will provide outreach and awareness of the workforce program by creating fliers, social media posts, and a website page for the project by the end of month two.

You can see how activities can be happening simultaneously and get more into the nitty gritty of what needs to get done and utilizes an implementation plan.

This also helps with the last point…

S: Strategic Budget

A budget is essential for a grant application because you are, after all, asking for money. You need to describe how much you need for each activity or objective in rolling out the project. 

Having a well defined goal, objectives, and activities then allows you to know what a reasonable budget will be. You may think that you only need $5,000, but when you really flesh out your project you realize you actually need $50,000. 

Make sure that for each item you put in your budget you are able to quantify why you need it (i.e. how it relates to your project) and where you came up with the amount. 

Don’t guestimate!

If you are asking for an item that is more than $5,000 then you will need to provide several quotes to showcase that is the price across the market. You may want to do this even for smaller items, such as computers. 

There you have it. The main parts of a grant in only 15 minutes. 

Get the FOA

Research your Needs & Target Demographic

Articulate your Goal

Narrow Your Objectives

Timetable Your Activities and Create a 

Strategic Budget

Grab the free G.R.A.N.T.S. formula that includes mini-videos and downloadables!

Don’t forget to check out the entire Grant Writing Master Course which includes five complete module video series, downloadables, sample grants, a private FB community, and lifetime 50% savings on private coaching with me.

Visit before Saturday to get the 50% discount on the Master Course and start writing and winning grants today! 

This is definitely for you if you 

  • have never written a grant
  • have written tons of grants but have plateaued in securing grants
  • are looking at a career change so need some instruction on how to become a grant writer. 

From beginning to advanced, this course will take a deep look at grant writing and give you the tools and templates to write winning grants. 

What is your number one challenge with getting funding either as a nonprofit or as a consultant? I want to know! Just leave a comment for me below.


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