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Nonprofit Grant Writing Trends and Tips for 2023

grant writing resource & tips Aug 24, 2023
Nonprofit Grant Writing Trends and Tips for 2023

 As we usher in 2023, the landscape of nonprofit grant writing continues to evolve. From changes in donor priorities to advancements in technology, these shifts present both challenges and opportunities for nonprofits seeking funding. In this blog post, we'll delve into the latest trends shaping the grant writing world and share practical tips to enhance your grant writing strategies in 2023. Whether you're a seasoned grant writer or a newcomer to the field, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you navigate the ever-changing terrain of grant writing. So, let's explore what 2023 has in store for grant writers for nonprofits among us!

What is grant writing for nonprofits?

Grant writing for nonprofits is the process of creating and submitting a detailed proposal for written grants to a potential funder, usually a government agency, corporation, or foundation, to secure funding for a project or program. This written document outlines the organization's goals, the methods for achieving those goals, and the budget necessary to carry out and support the proposed projects or activities.

What are the emerging trends in grant writing for nonprofits in 2023?

As we move into 2023, the landscape of grant writing for nonprofits is rapidly evolving. Key emerging trends have been identified that are shifting the way nonprofits approach and execute their grant writing strategies.

Building Movements and Developing Leaders:

Notably, larger trends in grantmaking revolve around building movements and developing leaders. This shift in focus emphasizes the importance of creating lasting impacts and fostering leadership within the nonprofit sector.

Shifting Cultures and Creating Inclusivity:

Alongside this, there is a significant push towards shifting cultures and creating more inclusive environments within nonprofits and the broader community1. This trend underlines the growing recognition of diversity and inclusion as pivotal elements in all sectors.

Increased Focus on Donor Retention:

Another key trend to consider is the increased focus on donor retention. Nonprofits are becoming more disciplined in their approach to maintaining existing donors, acknowledging that it's more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.

Increased Funder Flexibility and Faster Funding:

Current grant writing trends also point towards increased funder flexibility and faster grant funding,. This means that funders are providing nonprofits with more freedom in how they use the funds and are working to expedite grant funding processes to support the urgent needs of nonprofits.

Increased Corporate Giving:

An uptick in corporate giving has also been observed, offering additional opportunities for nonprofits. This suggests an expanding landscape of potential funding sources for nonprofits.

Leveraging Technology:

As the digital world continues to evolve, many nonprofits are making increasing use of technology in their grant writing processes. This includes the utilization of software for tracking grant applications, reporting outcomes written grants, using grants and using data analytics to inform strategy.

These emerging trends signify a dynamic and evolving landscape for grant writing in 2023. By understanding and adapting to these trends, nonprofits can position themselves more effectively to secure funding and achieve their mission.

How is technology shaping the future of grant writing?

Technology is indisputably reshaping the future of grant writing in several significant ways. Here are some key trends based on the sources you've provided.

AI and Generative Models:

The development of AI models, like GPT-4, is transforming the grant research and writing. These models can automate the generation of well-structured and persuasive grant applications itself, significantly reducing the time and effort required in the grant research and writing process.

Data Analysis and Strategy Refinement:

AI can also analyze participant data to highlight factors contributing to successful outcomes. This allows grant writers to refine their program strategies and increase their chances of securing funding.

Efficiency and Quality Improvement:

Tools like Grantable AI are making the process of writing grant proposals faster and more efficient. By reducing the need for repetitive tasks like copying and pasting sections for grants, these tools allow grant writers to focus on improving the quality of their application.

Matching Efficiency:

AI is being used to improve the capacity of grantors and grantees to match more effectively. This creates a more efficient allocation of resources, ensuring that funds reach organizations that are best suited to use them effectively.

Future Perspective Development:

AI can be used to develop a timeline and a future perspective for grant proposals. This helps nonprofits to present a clear and compelling vision of their project's impact, increasing their chances of securing funding.

In conclusion, technology is playing a crucial role in shaping the future of the grant writing services itself. From automating the grant writing services process to improving strategy refinement and increasing matching efficiency, technology is helping nonprofits to secure funding more effectively and efficiently.

What strategies can nonprofits implement to stand out in the competitive funding landscape?

In an increasingly competitive funding landscape, nonprofits need to implement strategies that make them stand out to potential funders. Here are some effective strategies:

1. Tell a Compelling Story:

One of the most effective ways to make nonprofit organizations stand out is by telling a compelling story. This should highlight the impact of your nonprofit organization your work, the people you serve, and why your nonprofit organization is uniquely positioned to make a difference1.

2. Use Data to Demonstrate Impact:

Quantifying your impact with clear, tangible data can set your nonprofit apart2. Funders want to see that their contributions will lead to measurable results, so use data to show how you've made a difference in the past and how you plan to do so in the future.

3. Build Strong Relationships with Funders:

Building relationships with potential funders is key. This means understanding their goals, keeping them updated on your progress, and acknowledging their contributions3. A strong relationship can make a funder more likely to support your organization.

4. Diversify Your Funding Sources:

Relying solely on one source of funding to fund yourself can be risky. Instead, diversify your funding sources to include individual donors, corporate partnerships, private foundations, government grants, and fundraising events. This not only provides financial stability but also shows potential funders that you have broad support.

5. Leverage Technology:

Use technology to streamline your grant writing process, track outcomes, and communicate with donors. Tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you manage donor relationships effectively, while data analysis tools can help you measure and demonstrate your grants' impact.

6. Develop a Strong Online Presence:

An engaging online presence can attract potential funders board members, and supporters. Keep your website and social media profiles updated with news about your work, success stories, and opportunities for involvement

7. Continuous Learning and Improvement:

Show your commitment to continuous learning and improvement. This can involve regularly evaluating your programs and operations, doing research skills seeking feedback, and implementing changes based on what you learn7.

By implementing these strategies, nonprofits can enhance their visibility and appeal to funders, increasing their chances of securing the funding they need to continue their important work.

What are common mistakes to avoid when writing a grant proposal?

Writing a grant proposal can be a challenging process with many potential pitfalls. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

1. Failure to Introduce Yourself: At the beginning of the proposal, it's crucial to succinctly introduce your organization and its mission. This gives the funder context and sets the stage for the rest of your proposal.

2. Unclear Problem and Narrative: The problem you're addressing should be clearly identified, and the narrative around how you plan to address it should be well-articulated1.

3. Objectives Don't Match Funder's Interests: Your proposal's objectives need to align with the goals and priorities of the funder. If the funder doesn’t see their interests reflected in your proposal, they are likely to dismiss it.

4. Writing Too Much: Grant proposals should be well written, concise and to the point. Including unnecessary details can make your proposal lengthy and complicated, discouraging funders from reading it thoroughl.

5. Losing Your "Voice": It’s important to maintain a consistent tone and voice throughout the proposal. This helps convey your organization's unique identity and passion for the work you do3.

6. Not Providing What Was Asked: If the funder asks for specific information or materials, ensure you provide exactly what they requested. Overlooking these details can lead to your proposal being dismissed.

7. Using Jargon or Trendy Words: Avoid industry-specific terms and trendy words that could potentially confuse the reader. Keep the language simple and clear.

8. Overemphasis on Problems Without Solutions: While it's important to outline the problem your organization aims to tackle, it's equally crucial to focus on providing clear, actionable solutions. Funders want to understand how you plan to get extra money to make a difference.

9. Unrealistic Budget: Your budget should be realistic and justifiable. An unrealistic budget can raise red flags for funders, leading them to question the feasibility of your proposal.

10. Lack of Follow-Up: After submitting the proposal, it's good practice to follow up with the funder. This shows your continued interest and commitment to the project.

Avoiding these common mistakes can enhance the quality of your grant proposal and increase your chances of securing funding.

What are the best practices in writing a winning grant proposal?

Writing a winning grant proposal requires a strategic approach and adherence to several best practices. Firstly, start the writing process early to give yourself sufficient time for thorough research throughout, drafting, and revisions1. Utilizing templates can be beneficial to ensure you include all necessary components in a logical order1. It is vital that the budget aligns with the narrative of your proposal, as incongruities can raise red flags for funders12.

The information provided in the proposal should be clear, concise, and accurate3. Tailor each proposal to the specific funder by understanding their goals and interests4, and don't overlook grants of smaller sizes as they can be easier to secure and accumulate over time4.

Ensure you follow the application instructions closely2 and define what success looks like for your project, demonstrating how you will measure it2. Additionally, maintaining a library of responses to common questions can streamline the writing process5.

Remember, crafting a successful grant proposal is an art that improves with practice, so don't be discouraged by initial rejections6.

How can you leverage marketing strategies to enhance your grant proposal?

Leveraging marketing strategies can significantly enhance your grant proposal and increase the chances of securing funding. Here's how:

  1. Understand Your Audience: Just like in marketing, it's crucial to understand who you're communicating with in your grant proposal. Research what the grant organization values, their goals, and previous projects they've funded. This will help you tailor your proposal to align with their interests.

  2. Clear and Compelling Messaging: Use clear, concise language that effectively communicates your mission, objectives, and how you plan to achieve them. Use storytelling techniques to engage your reader and make your proposal memorable.

  3. Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Identify what sets your nonprofit apart from others. Highlight your unique approach, successes, or innovative ideas in your proposal.

  4. Data and Metrics: Just like a good marketing strategy, your proposal should include data and metrics to support your claims. This could be statistics on the problem you're addressing, evidence of past success, or projections of future impact.

  5. Visual Elements: Incorporating visual elements such as infographics, charts, or photographs can make your proposal more engaging and easier to understand.

  6. Follow-Up: After submitting your proposal, follow up with the funder. This keeps your organization at the top of their mind and shows your commitment to the project.

Remember, your grant proposal is essentially a marketing document for your own idea, project or organization. Using these strategies can help you create a more compelling case for funding.

How do you write content for a non profit organization?

Writing content for a non-profit organization comes with its unique challenges and rewards. Here are some tips to help you create engaging, impactful content:

  1. Understand Your Audience:

    Know who you're writing for. Understand their interests, their needs, and how your organization can meet those needs. This will help you tailor your content to resonate with them.

  2. Tell Stories:

    People connect emotionally with stories more than facts. Share success stories of the people you've helped, volunteer experiences, or behind-the-scenes looks at your projects.

  3. Be Authentic:

    Honesty and transparency are crucial in non-profit communications. Be open about your goals, your successes, and even your struggles. Authenticity builds trust with your audience.

  4. Include a Call to Action:

    Always include a clear, compelling call to action. Whether it's a donation, signing up for a newsletter, or volunteering, make it easy for readers to take the desired action.

  5. Use Simple Language:

    Avoid jargon or complex language. Your content should be easy to understand for all readers, regardless of their background

  6. Show Impact:

    Show the difference your organization is making. Use statistics, testimonials, and stories to highlight the impact of your work.

  7. Visuals Matter:

    Use high-quality images, infographics, or videos to supplement your content. Visuals can often communicate a message more powerfully than words alone.

  8. Edit and Proofread:

    Ensure your content is free from errors, as they can detract from your message and look unprofessional.

  9. Consistency is Key:

    Keep your messaging and tone consistent across all content platforms - newsletters, blogs, social media, etc.

Remember, the goal of your content is not just to inform, but to inspire action and foster a deeper connection between your audience and your cause.

How many hours does it take to write a grant?

The time it takes to write a grant can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the grant application, the amount of research required, and the writer's familiarity with the subject matter. On average, it can take anywhere from 20 to 50 hours to prepare a typical foundation grant proposal. More complex grants, such as federal grants, can take several weeks or even months to complete. Remember that this time includes not just writing, but also researching, gathering supporting documents, and revising the proposal based on feedback.

How do I find a good grant writer for nonprofit?

Finding a good and experienced grant writer for your nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing funding for your organization. A skilled and experienced grant writer will not only have strong, writing skills and research abilities but also interpersonal skills to connect with potential donors.

Understanding the other writer' experience writing successful grants and your needs to write them is the first step in this process. Know what help yosu require, invest the necessary time, and if possible, appoint a staff member to manage the relationship with the grant writer.

Certification can be a helpful indicator of a grant writer's extensive experience, skill and knowledge. The American Grant Writers' Association, for instance, offers a Certified Grant Writer program. Attending local charity events can also provide networking, job,, education and opportunities for clients to meet potential grant writers.

Professional organizations like the American Grant Writers Association or the Association of Fundraising Professionals can be useful resources for development professionals. These groups often have directories of professionals in the field.

Freelance marketplaces such as Upwork or Fiverr are also a good place to look. You can also conduct a Google search with the term "nonprofit grant writer" along with your city or state.

In addition to these resources, websites like offer your clients a platform where you can find grant writers for hire. This site allows you to post your full job description and receive bids from interested grant writers, making it an effective way to find a professional and a grant writer, who fits your nonprofit's needs and budget.

Remember, it's important for businesses hiring now to thoroughly vet potential candidates. Always ask for work samples and check references before making a hiring decision.

How should grant writers be paid?

Grant writers should be paid for their professional services, but not as a percentage of the grant obtained from experience writing. Two significant professional organizations, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Grant Professionals Association, advocate against this practice.

Typically, grant writers are paid to write them in several ways:

  1. Hourly Rate: This is a common method where the grant writer is paid for the actual time spent on writing the grant proposal.

  2. Project-Based Fee: Here, the grant writer is paid a flat fee for the entire project, which is agreed upon before the work begins.

  3. Retainer: In this case, a grant writer is paid a monthly fee for a set number of hours or projects.

Federal grant writing fees can be as high as $8,000 - $10,000 per full professional grant writer, depending on the grant requirements. It's important to note that the majority of funding opportunities do not cover compensation for grant writers, meaning the organization must budget for these costs separately.

Grant writer are typically not paid a percentage of the grant. This practice is discouraged by professional organizations of technical grant writing services, such as the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Grant Professionals Association.

Most commonly, grant writers are paid for their all written services upfront. They are compensated for their skills, job training higher education, and experience in both writing grants.

The cost of hiring a grant writer can vary widely. A rule of thumb suggests that grant writer fees are usually 2-3% of the total to hire a grant writer per award. However, federal grant writing fees can be as high as $8,000 - $10,000 per to hire a grant writer, depending on hiring the right grant writer and requirements.

It's important to note that unless explicitly stated, most funding opportunities do not cover compensation for grant writers.

When deciding on payment for a professional to hire a grant writer,, it's crucial to consider these factors and ensure the payment structure aligns with ethical guidelines and best practices in the field.

What are some new resources for grant writers in 2023?

In 2023, there are several new resources available for grant writers. Here are some of the notable ones:

  1. Grant Writing E-books and Other Resources:

    Includes resources like, and Grant Central USA blogs and resources that also offer tips and tutorials for grant writing.

  2. 49 Grant Writing Resources: The Ultimate List in 2023:

    This is a comprehensive list that includes webinars, guides, and other resources useful for both beginners and experienced grant writers1.

  3. Grants | FundsforWriters:

    This platform offers a variety of grants and fellowships for writers, including a $10,000 award for Oregon writers recognized for their exceptional work.

  4. Don't Take It for Granted: Grant Writing Best Practices in 2023:

  5. A panel discussion on the latest grant writing trends, strategies for standing out in a competitive funding landscape, and common mistakes to avoid.

  6. Your Wish is Granted - Grant Writers Seminar and Retreat:

    A training opportunity by National Safe Place Network (NSPN) designed to help grant writers in early 2023.

These resources aim to equip grant writers with the tools and knowledge they need to secure funding successfully in the ever-evolving landscape of grant writing.



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