De-Mystifying Grant Writing

It has been said, “The worst thing about a grant is getting awarded”. Then you have to do everything you said you were going to do. Hopefully, over the years as a grant writer and grant manager I learned a few things. For example, early on I discovered it is better to under-promise and over-deliver. That way the funding agency feels that they really got their money’s worth. Better yet is to align your performance with the client’s expectations. Frequent communication with the client confirms their satisfaction with your performance and provides the Grant Manager with the opportunity to make adjustments if necessary.

RFPs (Request for Proposals) are competitive. There are limited resources designated to accomplish specific goals. I have reviewed grants by my competitors after the release date of the grant awards and have found that grant review teams have little regard for finesse. The Funding Agency recognizes that past performance based on verifiable time-proven experience minimizes the funder’s risk. Funders are interested in having the work get done that accomplishes their mission, on time, to the outcomes, and within the approved budget. 


Grants are not entitlement programs. They are a means to affect positive change for the communities that can benefit the most. When writing a grant the scope of work should succinctly address the solutions to the needs. The scope of work should provide clear-cut measurable processes of how to meet the expected outcomes. Innovation is good as long as you can demonstrate past success utilizing the same or similar processes. Processes can always be refined through continuous improvement.

I look forward to producing a series of topics under the heading of De-mystifying Grant Writing for Tech Ed Magazine. Look for the following topics:              




Risks and Successes

Continuous Improvement

Follow up for Long Term Change

Building Sustainable Communities

In the meantime, I welcome your comments and please feel free to contact me.

Scott Brown




Scott Brown


Scott Brown