Grant Writing Tips

The Freeport Community Foundation reviews many proposals each year for a variety of funding purposes. Here are some tips and writing hints that we hope you find useful when applying for a grant from the Freeport Community Foundation.

  • Read and make sure you are clear about the Freeport Community Foundation’s guidelines and requirements.
  • Know your prospective grantor! After reviewing the grant guidelines, speak with the executive director about your proposal and your organization.  It is an opportunity for the Foundation and your organization to get to know one another!
  • Never write a proposal if you have not first fully developed the project.  Develop the initiative first; apply for funding second.
  • Write so the reader, any reader, from any profession, can read and understand your proposal.  Put yourself in the position of the reader.  Try to imagine reading your application as someone who is unfamiliar with your organization, program or project.
  • A well-documented “Needs Statement” is critical to your proposal.  It should summarize the key information and attempt to convince the reader that your project should be considered for support.
  • Use simple, clear, well thought-out words and sentences.  Be concise! Clearly state the purpose, what needs to be done, how it will be accomplished, who will be impacted by it, and how it will achieve its goals.
  • Make sure that your goals are achievable, including the timeline and budget.
  • Address common questions that arise during the grant review process:
    • Will the funds be used locally for local impact?
    • How many people will be affected by the project or program?
    • Are there other sources of funds for this project?  Have you pursued them, or are you planning to do so?
    • Will your project or program reduce the need for funds in the future (helps address or prevent issues) or is it focused on dealing with symptoms of a larger issue not being addressed?
    • Are the services provided by your project or program duplicated by any other organization?
    • Will your project or program actively affect fund recipients, as opposed to providing recognition, celebration or other “feel good” activities?
    • Provide explanation as to why the Foundation should support your project.
    • Is this a new program that you expect will become self-sustaining or funded in other ways in the long-term, or is it a stop-gap measure?
    • Letters of support are optional but can be very helpful in lending credibility to your organization’s grant application.
  • Start early!  Give yourself plenty of time so you can set your application aside and revisit it one last time before submitting it to the Foundation. There may be a few changes to make.
  • Make sure your proposal is complete and in order before submitting.
  • The Foundation requires a follow-up report if your grant is approved. Note: If you have applied for and received a grant previously, additional grants will not be considered until a follow-up report from your previous grant is on file in the Foundation office.  Grant follow-up reports can be found online.