How to Go From Grant WRITING to Grant WINNING

by | Jul 11, 2024

How to Win a Grant

Grant funding is a highly competitive process. Nonprofit organizations often feel like they are groping in the dark, banking on random success. Grant writing is usually tedious and always time-consuming. When using so many resources to apply, whether it’s time, money, or energy, it’s important to first learn the secrets to know how to win a grant.

To ensure you maximize grant funding, you need to develop a well-planned roadmap. If you are looking for clarity, strategy, and consistency in your fundraising efforts, FundSource26 has the tools to take your NPO to the next level – and then some.

FundSource26 will help you apply with your best foot forward to increase your chances for grant success. With a track record known to 2-10x an organization’s investment — or more, if you’re looking to go from grant writing to grant winning, you’ve come to the right place.

Find out how to increase grant funding. FundSource26 has raised over $40 million for over 70 organizations over the years, and below we’ve put together our best tips on how to win a grant.

If you want grant success, you need a strategy your NPO can repeat yearly for exponential funding growth. We help you create a predictable, steady flow of funding that you can rely on to turn your dreams into reality. The first step is knowing how to increase your chance of getting a grant.

5 Pointers on How to Win a Grant


1. Apply for Enough Grants

The grant win rate improves with the number of applications submitted.

The 2023 State of Grantseeking report demonstrates that nonprofit grant win rate increases with the amount of grants applied for. Here are the recorded findings:

One Application: 64% of respondents were awarded at least one grant.

Two Applications: 81% of respondents were awarded at least one grant.

Three to Five Applications: 90% of respondents were awarded at least one grant; 75% were awarded two to five grants.

Six to Ten Applications: 98% of respondents were awarded at least one grant; 84% of respondents were awarded three to ten grants.

By applying for at least six grants, your nonprofit is almost 100% certain to win a grant.


2. Apply for the Right Grants

Remember, grant funders have agendas for what kinds of organizations they want to fund. Applying for the right grants will save you time and increase your likeliness of grant success.

Do your research! Has this foundation funded similar organizations in the past? How many applicants received funding from a particular federal grant last year?

Insider knowledge and precision are key. Learn how to find grants for your nonprofit with the FundSource26 Guide.  We bring decades of experience successfully securing $10,000 to $2 million grants for prestigious NPOs across North America. The proof is in the banks — and the impact.

Target your funders:

  • Apply for grants from funders that have awarded money to organizations that are similar to yours in the past.
  • Look into the funder’s requirements, including the fine details, and make sure you fit the bill.
  • Check out past grants awarded to give you an idea of how much funding they put into organizations like yours.
  • Are funders open to new grantees? Use grant-seeking tools to determine if a particular grantor is willing to fund new applicants or only awards grants to repeat grantees.

    • Determine how competitive the process is. Try to apply for grants with at least a 20% win rate. To do this, find out how many applications they get and how many are generally awarded. If at least 20 out of 100 applicants received funding, there is a good enough chance your NPO can win a grant.
    • Use this funder questionnaire to find out more info that will help you determine whether it’s worth your time to apply:



3. Build Relationships

Your organization revolves around your mission.

Funders have their own mission, and they decide where they want their money to go. They look for organizations that can demonstrate a history of being responsible with money and a mission that aligns with their own.

If you can connect with them on a personal level, they are more likely to trust you.

      • Try to speak with grant administrators and build a rapport. Don’t just send a cold application. Besides the relationship you are building, you can also gain some insight into what they are looking for in the application, and what you should focus on when applying.
      • In the 2023 State of Grantseeking Report, private foundations are most frequently reported as the largest source of funding for organizations. Although government awards are still “big money”, private sources are more frequent funders. Reach out to private foundations to start building a relationship.
      • Maintain relationships with existing funders. Funders familiar with you and your cause will be easier to appeal to the next time.


4. Present your Nonprofit Well

      • Apply early to increase your chances of winning a grant. You will automatically receive a rejection with a late application. Leave some leeway should challenges with uploading or technical difficulties arise.
      • Follow application guidelines perfectly. It doesn’t help to write the most beautiful proposal if it’s not what grantors are looking for! Make sure to read the fine text and try to gain a real understanding of what the funder is seeking before applying.
      • Take the time to prepare, and include everything in your grant proposal. It should be easy for the grant reviewer to see that you’ve done your due diligence. Put your best foot forward to show you’ve paid attention to the processes necessary and that you are put together.
      • Make sure your application is properly formatted and coherent. A well-written application makes it easy for grant administrators to read, creating a positive impression.


5. Prove That Your NPO Is Invested

      • Although it’s important to apply for multiple grants, reviewers can tell the difference between a generic application, and something written specifically for them. Know your audience. Funders are looking for applications that talk to them. If you want to win a grant, avoid boilerplate text.
      • Prove your organization is responsible with money. Gain the funder’s trust by submitting properly documented financial records and tax returns.
      • Develop strategic partnerships with other community organizations to signal credibility, efficiency, and increased impact.


Become Grant Winners with Fundsource26

Now that you know how to win a grant, we wish you success in taking your NPO to the next level. Are you ready to start winning grants for your nonprofit, but are pressed for time and overwhelmed by all the details? Hire FundSource26 to do the work for you.

We use decades of experience, hard-won industry connections, deep strategy, exhaustive research, out-of-the-box thinking, and long-term relationship-building. So you get funding year after year that grows exponentially. Not a one-and-done.

FundSource26 strategies include:

        • Developing a researched roadmap for your NPO, detailing which grants to apply for, including government grants (federal, state/provincial, and local), corporate grants, private, public, and family foundation grants.
        • Ensuring grant applications are competitive, well-researched, and submitted on time.
        • Building the relationships your nonprofit needs to break into this competitive field.
        • Program design and establishing evaluation metrics.
        • Budget development.
        • Creating sophisticated and strategic fundraising documents to help you raise those 5, 6, and 7-figure gifts.

FundSource26 will leverage decades of industry experience and insider knowledge to determine which grants are best for you. Book a call with FundSource26 and get ready to grow your NPO.

Batya Willmott

Batya Willmott

Batya Willmott is an accomplished fundraising expert and celebrated grant writing strategist with over 19 years of experience, having secured over $40 million for diverse organizations. As the Founder and CEO of FundSource26, she leads a team of top-notch development professionals dedicated to helping nonprofits maximize their funding potential and raise more 5,6 & 7 figure gifts. Driven by a commitment to fostering goodness and kindness, Batya passionately advocates for impactful philanthropy, shaping the landscape of nonprofit fundraising and inspiring positive change. For valuable insights into fundraising, grants, nonprofits, and entrepreneurship, follow her on LinkedIn.