Grant Writing Guide

This Guide has been developed to assist community and sporting groups by outlining key issues that need to be considered when preparing grant applications. Any application should always be prepared in accordance with any relevant guidelines/conditions provided by the funding agency if available.

Grants Writing Guide (PDF, 34.3 KB)

Grant Seeking Tips

Finding the right grant to fit your project is the most important factor in winning a grant. Before preparing an application refer to the list below.

Before you write your application

  • Read the guidelines carefully and make sure you understand the criteria and the aims of the grant.
  • Research the funding body and find out what types of projects they have previously funded to see if your project fits that pattern.
  • Check the application closing date and aim to have yours submitted as early as possible.

When preparing to make a grant submission, you should have the following information ready

  • A brief summary of your project
  • Project goals and objectives
  • The time frame for the project
  • Project budget
  • List of reasons why your project should be funded

How to increase your chances of winning the grant

  • Only apply to funding bodies that fit perfectly with your project
  • Talk to the funding body about your application
  • Make sure you can back up your claims
  • Be creative in your presentation
  • Show how much work you are putting in. This will show the assessment panel that you are serious about the project

Submission Checklist

The following is a free Helpsheet from the Our Community Website. For other Helpsheets, or to subscribe to one of the OUr Community newsletters visit the Our Community website.

Is your grant submission up to the mark? Does it cover everything it needs to? Is it well written, clear and easy-to-understand? Before you send your submission away, work through the points on this list.


  • Ensure the title makes a positive statement and is not a neutral descriptor.
  • Check the language - is it specific, accurate, concise, and clear?
  • Is the proposal written in active voice, with positive language and in the first person?
  • Does the proposal avoid bureaucrat-style language, jargon and clichés ?
  • Is the proposal written mainly in short simple declarative subject-verb-object sentences?
  • Has it been checked for typos and bad grammar?


  • Are the pages numbered?
  • Does the proposal follow the grant giver's guidelines - margins, spacing, type size, paper size, proposal length - to the letter? Does it look professional?
  • Has the layout got plenty of white space, and is it broken up by charts, tables, headings, bullet points, etc.
  • Are charts easy to understand and clear?
  • If there are forms to be filled out, have all the blanks been filled in
  • Are statistics and statements are documented and properly referenced?
  • Are any acronyms spelled out in full, at least at first use?


  • Do you address all items in the grant giver's guidelines?
  • Does the proposal assume too much knowledge of the area or too little?
  • Does it have a clear one-page executive summary?
  • Is there a cover letter describing how your project would further the grant maker's mission?
  • Does the submission have a project schedule, information on methodology, any project partners and their roles - as well as the roles of those in your group?
  • Is there a proper conclusion at the end?


  • Does the proposal contain a detailed budget that is accurate and adds up?
  • Does it explain the sustainability of the project?
  • Does the budget factor in administrative overheads, and are you prepared to defend any budget estimates for salaries, goods and services?


  • Does the budget contain a contribution from your own organisation, to demonstrate your belief and commitment?
  • Do you in your submission adequately demonstrate the existence (and significance) of the issue you wish to address through your project?
  • Does the proposal specify realistic and measurable project objectives? Does it contain a rundown of benefits to beneficiaries and the grant maker?
  • Do you explain project reporting procedures in your submission?
  • Do you show that your group can deliver the project, and why it is the best group to do so?
  • Does the proposal show why this project is unique, innovative, and different from (and an improvement over) existing programs?

And finally

Has the final version of the submission been reviewed by an objective third party?