I learned many years ago that there are no specific rules to follow in becoming a successful grant writer. There is no single set of skills or specific educational qualifications to achieve to become successful at producing proposals.


My relationship with numerous grant writers leads me to believe that many became writers to bring in grant funds for their organization and others got into the grant writing business to make money. Whatever the case may be, successful writing only comes with time and after numerous attempts in producing proposals. I keep a continuous file pertaining to my grant-producing skills and what I’m capable of doing. The purpose is to promote me as a seasoned grant producer and a supporter for their particular cause. When an outside organization wants to contract with me to write their grant proposal, I share with them my profile of prior and current grant producing initiatives.


Now that we covered what makes an effective grant writer, let’s review some of the basic rules to start the grant-producing activities. Once the subject matter of the proposal has been identified, I assume that anyone reading my proposal will have some knowledge on the subject of this specific program, so I’m aware that I must possess this knowledge too. When I engage in a subject area related to my proposal, my education and experience had better be evident in this specific field. I also contact some of my grant-writing colleagues who are seasoned in a particular field that I want to write about and seek their advice. They are only too happy to help a “struggling proposal writer” because someday they may need my expertise.


If I’m considering a new field related to producing an upcoming proposal, I often enroll in a “crash course” needed to effectively deal with this new subject matter. A good writer should author a compelling proposal by being able to write in an authoritarian way so that the reader will continue reading. There are five steps that I owe my writing success to and these are by identifying:

  1. The exact amount of funds I need to secure and who is the grant maker
  2. My target population
  3. What do I intend to do with these funds
  4. Always adhere to the instructions in the Request For Proposal
  5. Read these items over at the start and end of everyday