How to Improve Your Grant Writing Skills


Get the Visual Wheels Rolling

Express things comprehensively, but follow a style which brings up vivid imagery for the reader.  Try some creative writing exercises to fire up your creativity.

Be Precise and to the Point

Write to the point and simple.  Do not think that using hard vocabulary will make your proposal more appealing.  This will actually lower the chances of one reading your complete proposal.

Justify Yourself

Every point that you make should have a reason.  It is important to justify whatever you say.  This adds credibility to your proposal.


Avoid Unnecessary Repetition and Word Clutter

Use different words to make your proposal more interesting and appealing.

Omit Incomprehensible Word Clouts

Do not use a bunch of words to explain what can simply be stated.  This shows that the writer is trying to fill out spaces and makes the reader lose interest.

Cut Down on Fancy Phrases

Watch out for “big” words and cut down on them.

Cut Down the Urge to Use Colloquialisms Excessively

While writing, it is a very strong temptation to express yourself with the new buzz words, slang, and jargon to give your proposal an edge.  While this style may be appealing for some readers, it will turn off even more.

Grammar and Punctuation


This is one of the most important factors to improve your writing.  Try to express things comprehensively.

Watch Out for Those Tenses

Do not change tenses within sentences.  Incorrect use of tenses makes a negative impression of the proposal.  Understand and practice the basic rules of grammar to improve on your writing.

Avoid Passive Sentences

Passive sentences are to be avoided.  Passivity makes for fragile, unappealing writing.

Go Slow on Adverbs

Instead of using adverbs for your copy, try to be elaborative by experimenting with different words, phrases and synonyms.


Good Editing

Like good writing, editing is a skill that cannot be taught.  Practice and time is what makes you good at it.  Editing can make your writing more lively and valuable, and more likely to be read.

Take Your Time

Editing takes time, so do not expect to get done in a short span of time.


Reread your article to pick up any mistakes that you might have made.

Draft and Edit

Do not assume the first draft you write will be the final one.  Make it a habit to write at least two to three drafts.  This will help you discover mistakes, and will also help you speed up while writing.

Always Remember the Spell Check

Nothing makes a bad impression more than typos, misspelling errors, and wrong choices of words.  Always give your copy a last spell check to avoid the bad taste.

Recent grants received by our clients include:

$30,000 and $10,000 for a film festival - for after school movies for kids and for an awards program

$15,000 for an agency providing services to the homeless - for their mental health program

$10,000 for a domestic violence organization - for their emergency care program

$10,000 for an organization providing services to abused and neglected children - for general operating expenses

The topic of our next blog on Tuesday, January 24th, will be “Don't Take it Personally When Your Grant Request is Denied.”

Murray Covens, Principal

North Texas Nonprofit Resources