What Skills Are Needed to Write Grants?

Crafting an effective, convincing grant proposal is no easy task. Many organizations hire trained grant writers for this challenging job. If you're applying for an individual grant or heading up a grant-writing team at your organization, then take time to acquire the skills you need to succeed as a grant writer.


Research skills are key for any grant writer. Your grant proposal should identify a need, which explains why you or your organization is deserving of the grant. Facts, figures and statistics can back up your argument and convince the committee to award the grant to you. For example, a school applying for a technology grant can cite statistics that show the benefits of computer use in classrooms. Even more effective would be statistics that show that your school is behind other area schools as far as technology in the classroom. Knowing how to accrue and explain this research is essential for grant writers.

Persuasive Writing

An effective grant proposal persuades the reader into awarding money to you. Therefore, strong persuasive writing skills can result in a successful grant proposal. Grant writers should be able to convince their readers that they have identified a problem and have the plan to solve it. Persuasive writing includes looking at the benefits of the solution, from how many people it helps to how much of an impact it has on the community.

Ability to Follow Instructions

Because funding organizations receive many grant proposals, they provide clear guidelines on what to include in the proposal and how to submit it. Therefore, grant writers must have attention to detail to ensure that their grant follows the organization's specific guidelines. Funding organizations might eliminate grant proposals that do not comply with guidelines, so it is essential for grant writers to understand and follow these standards. An eye for detail and an ability to revise will ensure the grant is correct.

Time Management

Grant writing is a time-consuming process, so grant writers should have strong time management skills. Procrastinators need not apply. From research to writing and revising, the grant-writing process takes time. Thus, a successful grant writer should have the ability to identify tasks and complete them on a strict timeline. Without proper research, writing cannot begin, so grant writers must adhere to a schedule to ensure their proposal goes in before the deadline.