Writing a Grant Solo

In this blog post, we will cover all the basics you need to make the process a lot less daunting. If you follow this guide step-by-step, you will know how to write your own grant and understand how hard it is to write a grant. More importantly, you’ will ‘ll realize you already have everything you need to knock out that grant proposal and get the ultimate prize: FUNDING!! 

Three Tips for Writing a Grant Alone

The process of writing a grant proposal can be a bit intimidating at first glance.  It can take a lot of time to gather all the components needed to complete the proposal itself. You will need time to develop a narrative, balance the budget, and prepare for final submission.

Here are a few tips for writing a grant if you are a team of one.

Tip One: Understand the Key Components of Writing a Grant 

There are several “standard” parts of a grant that typically can be found in a grant application. These sections may vary in name or importance depending on the funder.

  • Introduction and Background: Your proposal’s opening, it sets the stage. Be concise, yet compelling, making sure to establish your organization’s credibility and the context of your project.
  • Statement of Need: This is where you paint a vivid picture of the problem you aim to solve. Back your claims with data and evidence to showcase the urgency of your cause.
  • Goals and Objectives: Clearly state what you intend to achieve. Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
  • Project Description: Dive into the heart of your initiative. Provide a detailed, yet easily digestible account of your plan, including the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘how,’ and ‘why.’
  • Methodology: How will you bring your vision to life? Describe your approach, emphasizing its feasibility and effectiveness.
  • Evaluation Plan: Show funders how you’ll measure success. Clearly outline your metrics, data collection methods, and reporting processes.
  • Budget and Financial Information: The financial backbone of your proposal. Be realistic, and transparent, and align your budget with your project’s objectives.
  • Organizational Capacity and Qualifications: Highlight your organization’s ability to execute the project. Showcase relevant experience, partnerships, and the expertise of your team.
  • Sustainability Plan: Explain how your project will thrive beyond the grant period. Demonstrate long-term viability and commitment to your cause.
  • Appendices: Supporting documents that add weight to your proposal. Include only the most relevant and impactful materials, such as letters of support, resumes, or additional research findings.

Each component is a crucial piece of the grant writing puzzle, and mastering them will significantly boost your chances of success. Organizing your argument cohesively and compellingly will help you write a compelling grant proposal.

Tip: If you’re writing a grant solo

Start with the section that you have the most information about. This strategy allows you to “brain dump all your information into one place. Our Notion Grant Writing Template is great for this step because it’s pre-formatted with the typical grant sections.

Tip Two: Draft a Compelling Grant Narrative 

In the world of grant writing, a compelling narrative is your most potent weapon. It’s not just a matter of presenting facts and figures; it’s about crafting a story that resonates with your readers and ignites their passion for your cause. 

Highlight the ProblemStart by vividly illustrating the issue at hand. Use real stories, statistics, and anecdotes to help funders truly grasp the magnitude of the problem
Propose a SolutionArticulate your project as the solution to this problem. Show how your initiative directly addresses the identified issues.
Showcase the ImpactPaint a clear picture of the positive change your project will bring about. How will it transform lives, communities, or the world?
Use Persuasive LanguageChoose your words carefully, using persuasive and emotive language to engage your readers-grant reviewers. Your narrative should not just inform but also inspire.
Tailor to the Grant’s RequirementsAdapt your narrative to the specific guidelines and objectives of the grant you’re applying for. Make sure your story aligns perfectly with the grantor’s mission and focus.

Remember, a compelling narrative is the heart and soul of your grant proposal. It’s what separates your application from the rest, making it memorable and impactful. 

For a deeper look and guide into writing a compelling narrative check out, The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Standout Grant Narrative. Now, we move on to another tip that is essential when building your grant, a comprehensive budget. 

3 Tips for Writing a Grant Solo woman sitting in front of a laptop working in a brown jacket

Tip Three: Develop a Comprehensive Budget

Crafting a grant proposal on your own is a journey that demands careful planning and meticulous execution. One of the pivotal elements in this process is a well-prepared budget.

It’s not just about numbers; it’s about demonstrating to funders that you’ve thought through every aspect of your project and are committed to responsible financial stewardship. 

Here’s a few tips on how you can create a budget that not only meets the grantor’s requirements but also aligns seamlessly with your project’s goals and objectives:

  • Identify Every Expense: Begin by listing all the expenses your project will incur, from personnel costs to materials, equipment, and any other relevant expenditures. Think of all the years you will need funding and develop a list for each year.
  • Estimate Costs: Carefully estimate the cost of each line item in your budget. This includes researching prices, obtaining quotes, and projecting expenses based on historical data or expert knowledge.
  • Justify Budget Items: Provide clear justifications for each item in your budget. Explain why each expense is necessary for the successful implementation of your project. The budget justification must match your implementation plan exactly, the best justifications show how the budget item is essential to reaching outcomes.
  • Align with Goals and Objectives: Ensure that your budget directly supports your project’s goals and objectives. Every line item should contribute to the realization of your mission.
  • Anticipate Contingencies: While creating your budget, consider potential contingencies and assume your “wants” might turn into funds for “needs” if you have to change your budget later.

Remember, a well-structured budget is not only about numbers; it’s a reflection of your project’s commitment to efficiency and impact. Now, let’s delve into the final tips for writing an effective grant independently. 

Tip for Budgeting Solo…

Think about what you left out before you finalize your budget. There are often too many costs to fit in the budget so you might forget something crucial because you’re trying to make room for everything.

By slowing down late in the process and asking yourself “What’s missing?” you can reflect on the things that bring you the most value for grant implementation.

If you need help creating a budget template that fits everything in your wish list, use our Basic Federal Budget Template.

Final Submission Tips 

As you approach the final stages of your grant writing journey, remember that the last steps are just as crucial as the first. Your attention to detail and dedication in these final steps will significantly impact your proposal’s success.

Before hitting ‘submit,’

  • Proofread your proposal to ensure it’s error-free and professionally formatted.
  • Add supporting documents, testimonials, and visual aids if they enhance your proposal and are permitted. 

After submission, 

  • Be patient during the review process
  • Follow up professionally to seek feedback or clarification. 
  • If you are not funded, request your scores and feedback from reviewers.
  • Apply again next year.

It’s Time to Take Action and Write Your Grant

With a firm grasp of the crucial components, the art of storytelling, crafting comprehensive budgets, and mastering submission, you now have everything you need to write your grant proposal. It’s time to follow what Nike says, and “just do it!” Let your guard down and release your fears about the grant writing process. You got this! 

If you’re hungry for more knowledge and eager to deepen your expertise, I invite you to explore our website for additional resources and tools to support your grant writing journey. 

Idea 2 Impact: Art of Sustainable Grant Writing course overview - learn grant writing anywhere any time with a proven method.

And for those who are ready to take their grant writing skills to the next level, I invite you to explore the ‘Idea 2 Action: Art of Sustainable Grant Writing Course. This comprehensive program offers in-depth knowledge, hands-on experience, and expert guidance to help you master the art of grant writing and make a lasting impact in your community.

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