Advancing Nonprofit Capacity

A Newcomer’s Perspective on Grant Writing

Today’s blog is by JWS Associate Anna Kakos.

There is a beautiful lily pond in my neighborhood that is within walking distance from Lake Michigan. The pond is now frozen and covered with ice and snow, but it’s the perfect, tranquil place to collect your thoughts on a quiet day. Originally constructed in the 1930’s, the lily pond remains a prominent feature in my neighborhood due to the generosity from conservation grants. It’s a wonderful example of what effective grant writing can achieve.

As someone with a background in fundraising and event planning and relatively new to grant writing, here are some tips I have found to be helpful:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues questions about the organization you are seeking funding for
  • Research everything you can find about the potential funder
  • What types of organizations have they supported in the past?
  • Specific funding guidelines
  • Application deadlines

Become familiar with grant writing acronyms such as:

  • LOI: Letter of Inquiry
  • RFP: Request for Proposal
  • RFA: Request for Application
  • PI: Principal Investigator (the primary person responsible for the grant)
  • NOFA: Notice of Funding Availability
  • GOS: General operating support

What grant writing tips have you gathered along the way? Where are you in your grant writing journey?



Similar posts
  • Check. Double check. Thanks to JWS Consultant Lora Ollom for today’s blog. I recently learned from a client that a proposal letter I thought they mailed was never submitted. It turns out the client thought I was handling the mailing, which typically is something I do not do. The client was not new, but the person I was [...]
  • Don’t Flirt with Disaster. Plan... Today’s blog is by JWS Associate Scott Herr, PhD. It’s a timely reminder to make sure others in your organization are familiar with the details of your work. Grant writers wear many hats. Along with proposal writing and other duties that may include development or communication responsibilities, we: Research and identify prospective funding opportunities Coordinate [...]
  • Win More Grants: Get Your Politics in... Today’s blog is by JWS Associate Danny Blitch, MPA, GPC. Development professionals, including grant writers, and fundraisers know there’s more to winning grants than excellent prose.  We sometimes refer to it as “grant luck” however, it can also be summed up as “The Politics” of our agency or client organizations. Often due to no fault [...]
  • Once Upon a Time…Helping Clients Tell... Thanks to JWS Associate Micki Vandeloo, GPC, for today’s blog. As a grant writer, I work with both non-profit and for-profit companies.  Most often, my clients have created marketing materials and websites touting their services.  Their annual reports often mention their organization’s history and the recent year’s achievements.  But, they have trouble telling their story in [...]
  • Hiring a Grant Landscaper: Never have... Today’s blog is by JWS Associate Danny Blitch, MPA, GPC. It is not clear when or how it happened, but somehow the word got out “if you hire a grant writer they do all the work without any input, direction, or assistance.”  I can’t tell you how many times the staff person I was working with [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Blog

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events.