Grant Writing 101

Steps to Writing a Grant 

 Grant writing is more than filling out a few forms and waiting for the award letter. The application process generally requires five steps as outlined below. If the NOFA/RFA seems daunting, you may want to consult with a grant writing professional as they can greatly assist you with part or all of the process.


Identify the Funding Source

The first step is to identify private or federal entities that have funding opportunities available. There are several programs that have designated funds to assist rural communities and businesses. 


Study the NOFA or RFA

You should carefully read the funding announcement for the specific details of the program, consider your eligibility, matching funds requirements, if any; along with review and scoring criteria. Be sure to identify the funding deadlines and whether the application is submitted electronically or if paper applications are accepted.


Organize Your Ideas & Objectives

You should be able to clearly define the gap or critical need you are trying to fulfill or the purpose of the grant. You should be able to effectively identify and detail the technical feasibility, economic impact and sustainability; along with your goals and expected outcome(s). 


Organize the Budget

You should carefully weigh the duration of program funding when formulating your work plan and budget. Most applications provide for a modular budget which includes a basic description or work plan for your appropriations. line items may include personnel, supplies, equipment, travel, marketing, utilities, etc. 


Submit the Application

In many cases the application will be submitted electronically, via upload to the agency’s website, although some programs still accept mailed paper applications. Make certain that you have completed all required information and sections as detailed in the NOFA/RFA as you may not receive an error or rejection response if the application is submitted electronically and  in most cases there is not a grace period to correct errors, after the final submission deadline.