For a nonprofit organization, acquiring funding is perhaps the most important challenge they can face. While funding might seem like it is on the opposite end of nonprofits’ altruistic nature, it is what will help the organization accomplish its goals. One way to acquire funding is through grant foundations. To receive the funding you will need a grant proposal that stands out.

Acquiring grants is no easy feat. The most important aspect of asking for a grant is the proposal. It might be hard for organizations to stand out among the many other nonprofits that apply for grants. To do this, one will need a writer of the highest caliber.  

Grant writers play a key role when it comes to applying for and receiving funding. While writing skills may be the crown jewel to look for in an individual, other skills cannot be overlooked.

Top Skills a Grant Proposal Writer Should Possess

Here are some key skills you should look for in a grant writer.  

Being organized

Grant writing is a task that requires monumental effort. Writers have to conduct intensive research and create multiple drafts. They may also have to juggle multiple grants at the same time. To excel at this, a writer needs to have brilliant time management skills. They should be highly organized and plan out projects in advance. Organizational skill allows writers to execute projects on time, which is key. Nonprofits should look for individuals that have a track record of completing projects on time.

Practical approach

There are hundreds of grant foundations in the world and all of them are looking for something special in the grant proposal. While the sheer breadth of options may sound enticing to nonprofits, they should always look for ones that make sense to their organization and its goals.

This is where you will need a writer who should be able to recommend where to apply based on the organization’s strengths and its goals. They should be able to evaluate the feasibility of grants and look at proposals from a practical standpoint. They need to assess which individuals should be working with them when drafting the proposals.


Perhaps the most important aspect of a writer’s skill is their creativity. Ideally, nonprofits want a writer who is creative and can weave a compelling narrative in the grant proposal. This is necessary as hundreds of nonprofits compete for a single grant. The innovative and unique ones stand out the most when grantors are looking at stacks of grant proposals. Review a writer based on their writing style and previous works.

Foundational tech skill

The world is moving online, and most nonprofits use highly streamlined online systems to help ease work. A grant writer has to have at least the basic tech skills in their arsenal. They should be able to use Microsoft Word or Google Docs thoroughly. Some writers may even be adept with grant management software.

While it is not necessary to hire a writer solely based on their technical aptitude, they should at least have the willingness to learn and be fluent with the basics.


Grant proposals are complex documents. They contain a multitude of criteria and you are ideally looking for detail-oriented writers. They have to possess a perfectionist side as they will be required to follow strict guidelines when working on grant proposals. If the proposal is not filed correctly or it is missing documents, or worse it does not meet the grantor’s criteria; it may not be accepted. This would mean a whole lot of resources and time is wasted on a fruitless endeavor.

Industry awareness

A key strength every grant writer should possess is knowledge of the industry. They should know everything there is to know about the grant foundation, how proposals work, and what innovations are present in the industry. Their knowledge of the industry is what will give a proposal the edge required to win the grant.


The chances of a grant proposal getting accepted are quite slim. The sheer competition in the space can be unnerving for writers. However, many writers have the persistence to continue seeking grants. They will carefully peruse through the nonprofit’s research and goals to find grants that fit in. A good grant writer can align themselves with the organization’s goals and show persistence in seeking grants.

Final thoughts

These are just some of the qualities a great grant writer can possess. Not everyone will have all of the skills, but it is important to tick as many boxes as possible. More importantly, you should look for writers who are willing to add a new dimension to their skillset. They should also be willing to dedicate the time required to such endeavors. Once you have found a writer who fits your nonprofit’s criteria, you will be one step closer to acquiring grants that will help your organization succeed.

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