“Where can I find a grant writer for my nonprofit?” Many nonprofits feel hiring a grant writer is the best solution if they don’t know how to write a project proposal for a grant themselves. 

I don’t agree. 

I mean, I understand why you may feel overwhelmed and under-confident about writing your own proposal for a grant. 

Insider knowledge and passion is vital

But someone inside your organisation is almost always better placed to design and write your project. Because of the insider knowledge they have about the work and what’s possible and what isn’t. And because of the passion they have for the community or cause you serve. These things will make the quality of the project design better (and more realistic). And these things will also make the proposal speak louder to the donor. 

Yet – is a keyword

Of course, you’ll need to know the ways of writing winning proposals. 

  • You’ll need to learn what’s a good idea.
  • You’ll need to know terms. 
  • You’ll need to know the building blocks of a good project.
  • You’ll need to know what to look for in a call for proposals. 
  • And you’ll need to know how to add flavour to your text so the reader won’t fall asleep of course …

These are things you may not know – yet.



Grant writing is a learnable skill

All of the things I listed above are learnable skills. You can learn them in a course. (In my very practical course, Project Proposal Design for Nonprofits, for example!). 

And you’ll need to practise, practise, practise – and reflect on what you learn from that.

Grant writing is a mindset 

Above all, grant writing is something you can set your mind to. There are two sides to this, in my experience. 

No tricks, please

The first is that grant writing isn’t a trick. Successful grant writing requires a real interest in what your donor wants and why they want that. You’ll need to weave a link between your community’s needs and your donor’s desires through the project. To do this well, you’ll need to know the donor. And you’ll need to know their language, the word they use to describe their dreams. 

No is an answer, too

The second mindset element of grant writing is being able to handle rejection. No successful grant writer has a 100% score. So you’ll need to be ready for a no. And ready to learn from that. 

How I can help

Check out my free resource: Ten Esssential Strategic Documents Your Nonprofit Needs to Have

If you want to learn more about how you can design your own monitoring framework and budget in the best, practical way, join my course Project Design for nonprofits. You can learn at your own pace and ask me anything in our live sessions and in our members only community. 

Want to take about dilemmas you face as a manager, join the Nonprofit Management Confidence Club.

Watch my video Fundraising mindset in nonprofits what do you need to write a great project proposal.

You can also check out my YouTube channel here, and find a collection of videos on HR issues, fundraising, annual reporting, donations and other nonprofit operations topics.

Want to know more and ask questions?

If you want to discuss this more – jump into my nonprofit support community and get input from a wide range of peers and from myself!

Here is how you can join my free nonprofit support community

You can join my free nonprofit support community on the Heartbeat platform here. This group is a safe space for open exchange and discussion on potentially sensitive topics like boards, nonprofit management, fundraising, etc. You can visit the community via a browser or via an app. Here is the link to download the Heartbeat chat app in the Google Play store.

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The seaside always inspires me and helps me think of articles, videos, workshops and courses I can create for you. If you want to support me without getting a paid workshop, course or review – you can donate me a coffee and speed up my thinking process! You can support me here: https://ko-fi.com/suzannebakker