I remember the first time I was asked to help write a grant. It was my first job in the social sector. I didn’t even really know what a grant was, but after hearing about grant writing from others, I was almost certain it wasn’t going to be fun.
It turned out I didn’t mind writing grants at all. Still, I wish someone would have taught me the basics before I got started. Instead, I was thrown into the deep end of the pool, without a life preserver. Some days I treaded water, but most days, I felt like I was sinking.
This post, and the next few posts are all focused on providing new grant writers with basic information before starting to write a grant – the kind of information that would’ve helped me, and can help you too.
What Is A Grant?
A grant is an award of money for a distinct program or purpose. Grants are typically awarded by a funder. Funders include foundations, corporations, or government agencies.
But Don’t Yell “Show Me The Money” Just Yet
First, you need to determine whether you are eligible for a grant. Generally, grants focused on social impact are available for:
- Non-Profit Organizations – This can be either an incorporated or unincorporated organizations, but some funders may specify that only incorporated non-profit organizations can apply for funding.
- Registered Charities – All charities are non-profit organizations, but not all non-profit organizations are charities. If your organization is a charity, many (if not all) funders will ask for your Charitable Registration Number somewhere in the grant proposal as part of their eligibility criteria. This unique number is used to identify your organization and lets the funder know you’re legit.
- Individuals – Some funders will provide grants to individuals. Eligibility criteria might include something like being a professional artist living and working in Canada or being a youth under 18 years old. These criteria will depend on the funder’s interests and the types of projects they fund.
Eligibility varies between funders and between grants.
The key is to check the funder’s eligibility criteria to see if you qualify.
Some funders may even specify who is ineligible to receive the grant, such as individuals, government agencies, religious organizations, lobby groups, etc. Be sure to read this list so you don’t waste time writing a proposal you’re not even eligible for!
How Do I Get A Grant?
You must apply for a grant in order to receive one. In short, this means reading the funder’s application guidelines, completing a grant writing process, submitting the proposal, and being selected by the funder to receive the grant. Of course, it’s never this simple. There is A LOT of work involved in getting a grant. The good news is we’ve got tons of tips and tricks for navigating your way through the grant writing process and writing a winning grant!
The Language Of Grant
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with grant-speak and specific terminology used in the world of grant writing as a new grant writer. That’s why we’ve created a glossary of need-to-know terminology.
Enter your name and email address below to download The Need-To-Know Grant Writing Terminology Glossary. It’s a first step in getting grant writing ready.