49 Grant Writing Resources: The Ultimate List for 2024

Reviewed by:


August 23, 2021

Last Updated:

January 25, 2024

Welcome to our updated guide on the best grant writing resources for nonprofits. This collection is designed specifically for nonprofits and includes diverse, curated tools and resources to boost your grant acquisition efforts.

In this guide, you’ll find: 

  • Online webinars offering in-depth knowledge about grant research and writing
  • Interactive classes imparting essential skills for successful grant proposals
  • Templates and sample proposals to guide your writing process
  • Articles and e-books providing insights into the grant acquisition landscape
  • Access to databases listing potential grant opportunities
  • Tools for project budgeting and financial planning
  • Services for reviewing and providing feedback on your grant proposals

Let’s get started!

The Ultimate Grant Writing Resources Collection

The Best General Grant Writing Resources for Beginners

General Grant Writing Resources for Beginners

Below are some of the best beginner-friendly grant writing resources for nonprofits. 

Many of these paid and free grant writing resources cover the basics of grant writing, including identifying potential funders, crafting compelling narratives, designing budgets, and more. 

Beginner-Friendly Grant Writing Webinars

In this section, we delve into an assortment of webinars specifically tailored for beginners in grant writing. 

Instrumentl Partner Workshops

Instrumentl offers free partner workshops that provide a comprehensive introduction to grant writing. These webinars aim to equip participants with the essential skills and knowledge to kickstart their grant-writing journeys.

From how to write SMART objective statements to how to get stellar support letters, you’ll find regular grant-related programming on Instrumentl.

Instrumentl Partner Workshops are one-hour workshops and typically include a free raffle attendees can enter, giving you exclusive access to ongoing education opportunities in grant writing.

DHLeonard Consulting

Offering a wide range of grant writing webinars, DHLeonard Consulting is another excellent resource for beginners. These webinars cover a broad spectrum of topics relevant to grant writing, from proposal writing to budgeting.

Diane Leonard is a GPA Approved Trainer who makes grant writing approachable. Her catalog of free webinars covers a variety of grant writing topics for beginner grant writers and beyond.

Some beginner topics include:

  • Foundation and Grants Fundraising Overview
  • Effective Pre-Planning for Grant Applications
  • Grant Writing: Mastering the Basics and Beyond

Most of these courses count as credit toward achieving your Grant Professional Certification (GPC). Additionally, she also offers customized training seminars for your nonprofit on a paid basis.


Free or paid starting at $44/month

CharityHowTo offers a plethora of webinars on grant writing. With options available for free or starting at a nominal fee of $44 per month, beginners can easily access resources that best suit their budget and needs.

Their Grants for Nonprofits webinars cover topics such as how to conduct grant research, get started with grant writing, and tips for successful grant seeking. The paid version offers many more training courses, such as writing a grant budget that sells your application and building relationships with grantmakers.

The Grantsmanship Center 

Paid, starting at $79/session

The Grantsmanship Center provides webinars that delve into the intricacies of grant writing. 

Starting at $79, you can select individual webinar videos for specific topics such as:

  • How to Create a Budget
  • Understanding Indirect Costs
  • Identifying Outcomes and Methods in your proposal.

Another option is to take their 2-day Essential Grant Skills course. It gives you a comprehensive introduction to the world of grant writing.

Or, you can dive deeper by attending their 5-day Grantsmanship Training program, which not only covers writing a grant proposal but also planning programs and working with funders.


Paid, $500/month

LearnGrantWriting.org offers webinars that guide beginners through the process of effective grant writing. Their content is designed to not only cover the basics but also introduce advanced concepts at a pace suitable for beginners.

Additionally, they offer an online series of videos and coaching for getting started as a freelance grant writer. It is a year-long membership to teach you how to build a career as a freelancer.

The webinars help develop your all-around grant writing skills, such as funder research, grant writing, and project management. LearnGrantWriting also offers an hour-long, free grant-writing course to get you started.

You can also check out Meredith’s presentation with Instrumentl here.

Beginner Grant Writing Guides

Grant writing guides serve as comprehensive sources of knowledge that can help you understand the depth and breadth of the field. They clarify the steps in writing a grant, dissect the elements of a successful proposal, and offer best-practice tips and techniques.

Here are notable guides that are particularly useful for beginners in this field:

CFDA’s Developing and Writing a Grant Proposal

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides a detailed guide titled "Developing and Writing a Grant Proposal." 

This resource offers clear, step-by-step instructions on how to write a grant proposal, starting from understanding the funding opportunity announcement to developing a budget for your project. The guide also provides practical writing tips to make your proposal more compelling to potential funders.

The Writing Center at UWM

The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers a plethora of resources to help you write an effective grant proposal. The center provides guides on various aspects of grant writing, from understanding the basics to crafting an appealing narrative for your proposal. It is especially beneficial for beginners as it breaks down the process into digestible steps.

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UNC’s Writing Center

The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina provides a comprehensive guide on grant proposals. It covers all the aspects of grant writing, from understanding the project to effectively communicating it to the potential funders. 

This guide not only provides the steps to write a grant but also helps you refine your skills to craft a proposal that stands out. An added benefit is that it also describes the grant life cycle, from planning a project, writing and submitting a proposal, receiving an award, and following up with the funder during and after project implementation.

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Training for Government Grants

The sector of government grants offers an abundance of possibilities for nonprofit entities. However, applying for these grants can be intricate and sometimes overwhelming.

To navigate this course efficiently, here are some key resources that can guide you through every step of the process:

Grants.gov Learning Center

Grants.gov Learning Center offers an extensive array of resources, including tutorials, articles, and even user guides to help you understand the process of applying for federal grants.

The Grants.gov Learning Center does not tell you how to write a federal grant, but it does explain how to use the application system.

The National Science Foundation’s Guide for Proposal Writing

The National Science Foundation's Guide for Proposal Writing is a comprehensive resource aimed at assisting you in the development and writing of proposals to the Science Foundation. It provides detailed guidance on the preparation of proposals, insights into the merit review process, and tips on proposal writing.

One of its first points they make is that they issue awards “based on merit, not on need.” They look for project models that make substantial improvements in the field, are innovative, and demonstrate success.

The National Institute of Health’s Application Guide

The National Institute of Health's Application Guide is an exhaustive guide that walks you specifically through the NIH grant application process

It provides helpful instructions and information to assist you in understanding the requirements of grant applications at the NIH. They also provide tutorials on how to use the system and offer examples of successful applications for reference.

US Environmental Protection Agency

The US Environmental Protection Agency offers several resources for applying for grants, including an extensive grant application kit. The kit provides instructions, forms, and templates to assist in its grant writing process.

They offer resources to use their system and explain the grant management process once your organization has received an award.

Federal Grant Writing Boot Camp 

Paid, $495-$795

Federal Grant Writing Boot Camp is an intensive, four-day webcast workshop that provides hands-on training for those interested in writing federal grants. The boot camp covers all aspects of grant writing, from researching potential grants to writing a compelling proposal and managing awarded grants.

The Grantsmanship Center 

Paid, $1,195

As mentioned earlier, The Grantsmanship Center provides comprehensive grant-writing resources. In addition to the above training, the Grantsmanship Center also has a 5-day training (available in-person and digitally) specifically for competing for federal grants

This course provides a federal funding overview, explains how to interpret guidelines, draft compelling narratives, and helps you to develop and review concept papers.

The Best General Grant Writing Resources for Intermediate and Advanced Grant Writers

General Grant Writing Resources for Intermediate and Advanced Grant Writers

For intermediate and advanced grant writers seeking to develop their skills further and broaden their network, the following resources offer a wealth of knowledge, training, and opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals.

Grant Professionals Association 

Memberships starting at $95

The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is a nonprofit membership association that builds and supports an international community of grant professionals committed to serving the greater public good by practicing the highest ethical and professional standards. GPA provides a platform where grant writers can connect, share resources, and get the latest industry news

While the GPA does offer free tools and resources, the maximum benefit comes from becoming a member. They offer publications, webinars, and a mentor program for members.

Additionally, the GPA offers professional development and networking opportunities. They also oversee the Grant Professionals Certification Institute, a certification program for grant professionals. Instrumentl is a proud partner of the GPA.

GPA’s Next Level Grant Training 

Paid, Various Prices

GPA's Next Level Grant Training is a program specifically designed for advanced grant writers. The training offers in-depth courses on various aspects of grant writing, including strategic planning, evaluation, and budgeting

A year’s worth of monthly online classes cover topics such as:

  • Creating a Roadmap for Your Organization
  • Ethics in All Things Grants
  • Advancing Your Grantseeking 

This course helps you to improve your proposal writing skills, understand the grant cycle, and manage your grant portfolio.

Agile in Nonprofits

Agile in Nonprofits is a unique resource that applies agile project management principles to the nonprofit sector. This platform provides tools, training, and coaching to help grant professionals manage their work in a more efficient and effective manner

By implementing Agile practices, nonprofits can enhance their capacity to adapt to changes, improve team collaboration, and increase delivery speed while ensuring quality.

Grant Writing Resources for Creating and Preparing Budgets

Grant Writing Resources for Creating and Preparing Budgets

Managing a budget is a critical aspect of the grant writing process. It involves detailing the costs associated with the program or project you're seeking funding for and demonstrating to the funder that the money will be utilized wisely and effectively.

The following resources are designed to assist you in creating and preparing budgets for your grant proposals.

Upstream’s How to Create a Program Budget

Upstream Public Health’s Guide on How to Create a Program Budget is an excellent resource for beginners. 

It provides a detailed, step-by-step process to help you understand the components of a budget, including direct and indirect costs and how to present them in your grant application.

Not only that, but they provide a downloadable budget template you can use as a reference.

The EPA’s Budget Modules

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Budget Modules provide a comprehensive tool for preparing budget proposals for EPA grants. 

The modules include detailed instructions for budget preparation and cost estimation, as well as templates and sample budgets to guide you through the process.

They provide instructions on how to use the budget forms and define what costs are allowable. They also address the difference between direct and indirect costs and how to calculate each.

Candid’s Introduction to Project Budgets

Candid’s Introduction to Project Budgets offers a comprehensive overview of constructing a budget for a project. It covers areas such as:

  • Income that should be considered in the budget
  • The difference between direct and indirect costs
  • How to format and present your budget. 

They also explain what organizational financial documents you will need to support your budget.

Useful Compiled Lists of Grant Writing Tips

Lists of Grant Writing Tips

Whether you're a novice grant writer or a seasoned professional, getting some extra tips and tricks is always beneficial to help you refine your grant writing skills. 

This section compiles a list of insightful articles and blogs that provide valuable advice from established grant writers and organizations. 

GPA’s Blog: Eight Words and Phrases to Avoid in Grant Proposals - One Grant Writer’s List

How often are you using the word “very” in your proposal? 

The Grant Professionals Association’s Blog has an insightful post outlining eight words and phrases that you should avoid including in your grant proposals. This list, compiled by an experienced grant writer, provides practical advice to make your proposals more compelling and effective.

Instrumentl’s Blog: Top 15 Things to Do Before You Write a Grant

Before you even start writing your grant proposal, there are crucial steps that you need to take. Instrumentl provides a checklist of the top 15 things you should do before you start writing your grant.

What’s unique about Instrumentl’s guides is you’ll find in-depth breakdowns on commonly used grant writing skills, along with concrete examples. For instance, in this post on invite-only funders, you get a sample letter you can reuse for your outreach efforts.

Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants

This resource provides ten simple, yet effective, rules for getting grants. The rules are designed to guide you through the grant writing process and enhance your chances of securing funds for your project or program.

While these tips are written specifically for research grants, they can apply to all types of funding pursuits. Keeping your grant proposals clear and concise will help to keep reviewers’ interest.

U.S. Department of Education’s Grant Writing Tips

The U.S. Department of Education’s grant writing tips provide valuable advice on how to write a successful grant proposal. The tips are practical and straightforward, providing guidance that is applicable to a wide range of grants.

For example, reading the application package thoroughly and following every instruction—including the formatting rules—will keep your application from being disqualified.

How to Create a Budget for a Grant Application - Tips from Wisconsin Historical Society

Creating a budget for your grant application can be a daunting task, but the Wisconsin Historical Society offers useful tips to make this process easier. 

This resource guides you in detailing the costs associated with your program or project effectively. Plus, it has tips and more to help you prepare a convincing budget.

The Grantsmanship Center’s Proposal Checklist

The Grantsmanship Center’s Proposal Checklist is a comprehensive guide to ensure you include all the necessary elements in your grant proposal. 

This reusable checklist provides a detailed overview of each section of a successful grant proposal, helping you to create compelling and thorough applications.

The Best Tech Tools for Grant Writers

Tech Tools for Grant Writers

In the complex world of grant writing, having the right tech tools at your disposal is crucial. These platforms can simplify and streamline the entire grant lifecycle, from identifying potential funders to preparing proposals to managing the project and reporting results. 

Tools to Organize the Grant Lifecycle

There are many different parts of the grant lifecycle that must be organized carefully. The following tools can help grant writers streamline the process. 


Free for 14-days, then paid, starting at $172/monthly

Instrumentl is a comprehensive grant management tool that streamlines the process of finding, tracking, and applying for grants. It provides up-to-date data on thousands of grant opportunities, helping you to identify those that are the best fit for your organization's mission and goals.

One of the best features is the ability to input information about your nonprofit’s programs and then find specific open and active grant opportunities you can actually apply for. Once you set up a project, Instrumentl automatically notifies you when new grants fit your search criteria. 

Instrumentl’s built-in Tracker tool also allows you to:

  • Flag your funding prospects
  • Track where each application is in the grant life cycle
  • Create tasks to be completed (great for team collaboration)
  • And organize all associated documents on the cloud

You can also generate reports that summarize all of your grant work to present to your team, executive director, and board.

You can read and watch our customer’s stories about their wins with us here.

‍Fluxx Grantseeker

Free, or paid version starting at $14.99/month for basic functionality

Fluxx Grantseeker is a robust tool that provides a centralized system for managing all aspects of the grant process, from application to reporting. It offers advanced search capabilities to find the most relevant grants and enables seamless collaboration among team members.

Because Fluxx is better known for its grantmaker tools, you may find their grantseeker tool somewhat limited in functionality at this time. Learn how Fluxx compares to Instrumentl here.

Foundation Directory Online

Paid, $219.99/monthly

Foundation Directory Online is a powerful research tool that provides access to detailed information on grantmakers, grants, and grant recipients. It allows you to search for funders based on your project's specific needs and connect with them directly.

Specifically, it allows you to search for potential funder matches for your nonprofit by subject, geographic focus, population served, and more. The results generate a list of foundations that match your criteria. You can then select each matched foundation to see its profile.

The profile will show contact information, grant guidelines and deadlines, previous awards granted, and other information to help you determine whether it is a good match for your project. Learn the differences between FDO and Instrumentl here.


Paid, $179/year

GrantStation offers a searchable database of grant opportunities, step-by-step tutorials on grant writing and management, and an array of tools to help you develop a successful grant strategy.

They also allow you to search based on subject and geographic area of focus and give you detailed funder profiles. They offer planning tools to build your grant strategy based on your search results. Read about the differences between GrantStation and Instrumentl here.


Paid, pricing per feature

GrantVantage is a comprehensive grant management platform that enables you to track the entire grant lifecycle, from application to award to reporting. It offers a dashboard to monitor grant performance, tools and templates for budget management, and capabilities for effective collaboration and communication.

Project Management Tools

Efficient project management is crucial in the grant writing process. It ensures that tasks are completed on time, resources are allocated appropriately, and collaboration happens seamlessly.

To assist with this, several tech tools are available that make managing your projects and tasks easier than ever before. Here, we highlight three highly recommended grant management tools:


Free, or paid versions starting at $10.99/month

Asana is a popular project management tool known for its simplicity and flexibility. It enables you to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress, and communicate with your team, all within the platform. Asana also integrates well with other tools, making it an excellent choice for managing the multiple aspects of your grant writing process. 

Additionally, they offer a grant application pipeline template to help you keep track of grants in their different stages. You can assign a due date, prioritize projects, and set up approval procedures to help you and your team finalize each application.


Free, with paid version starting at $5/month

Trello offers a visual approach to project management with its card-based system that makes it easy to see and track the progress of individual tasks

You can assign tasks to team members, add due dates, attach files, and categorize tasks based on your needs. Trello is a great tool for organizing your grant writing activities in a digestible, easy-to-follow manner.


Free, with paid version starting at $81.50/month

Jira is known for its robust features designed for agile project management, making it ideal for larger teams or more complex grant writing projects. 

With Jira, you can create user stories, plan sprints, track issues, and generate reports, all of which can be customized to fit your team's workflow. Although it has a steeper learning curve compared to other tools, its powerful features are worth exploring.

Grammar Tools

In the grant writing process, maintaining a high standard of grammar and clarity in your proposals is essential. Misunderstandings or confusion caused by poor grammar can lead to your proposals getting rejected. 

Thankfully, there are several digital tools available to assist you with this. Here, we outline two such tools, Grammarly and ProWritingAid, that can greatly improve the quality of your writing and increase your chances of success.


Free, with paid version starting at $12.00/month

Grammarly is a widely used digital writing assistant that helps you eliminate grammar errors, enhance clarity and meaning, and ensure your writing is always polished and professional. 

It offers detailed explanations for all your mistakes and a weekly progress report. It's an indispensable tool for grant writers, helping to ensure that every proposal you write is clear, error-free, and impactful.


Free, with paid version starting at $10/month

ProWritingAid is another powerful writing tool that goes beyond the basic grammar and spelling checks. It provides in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing, tools for style improvements, and even helps detect instances of plagiarism. Its detailed reports and writing suggestions make this a great resource for improving your grant proposals.

Useful Grant Writing Books to Read:

Grant Writing Books

Reading and learning from experts in grant writing can significantly enhance your skills and increase your chances of securing funding for your projects. 

Here, we've compiled a list of some of the most recommended books in the field that delve into the intricacies of the grant writing process, from understanding the funding landscape to crafting compelling proposals.

The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need By Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox 

About $15 on Amazon

This comprehensive book provides a step-by-step guide to grant writing, covering everything from finding suitable funding opportunities to crafting compelling grant applications. It also includes interviews with grantmakers to help demystify how they make decisions on selecting grantees.

How to Write a Grant: Become a Grant Writing Unicorn By Meredith Noble 

About $20 on Amazon

Recommended by our very own CEO, Meredith Noble's book is a standout resource that demystifies the grant writing process. It offers a clear, accessible approach, making it an excellent choice for those new to grant writing or those who want to refine their skills. 

The book addresses how to write grants with a convincing narrative, how to prepare budgets, manage your timelines, and how to make your proposals stand out to funders.

Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals By Renee Bourque & Susan Howlett 

About $64 on Amazon

Described as a “comprehensive instructional manual,” this guide offers an in-depth look at the entire grant proposal process. It includes valuable tips on how to construct a compelling narrative, develop a budget, and build strong relationships with funders.

Grant Writing: The Complete Workbook for Writing Grant Proposals that Win By Mary Gladstone-Highland 

About $10 on Amazon

Mary Gladstone-Highland’s workbook offers grant writing templates and grant budget examples to help you create complete proposals. It provides clear, step-by-step instructions and includes various templates to assist in the grant writing process.

Successful Grant Writing for Health and Human Service Professionals, Fifth Edition By Laura Gitlin Ph.D., Ann Kolanowski Ph.D., Kevin J Lyons Ph.D. 

About $51 on Amazon

This book, specifically written for professionals in the health and human services fields, provides detailed strategies for successful grant writing. It encompasses real examples and practical advice to help you build persuasive and winning proposals.

Some of the more advanced topics include how to generate evidence for your programs, writing a literature review for supporting evidence, and considerations for study designs.

Writing to Win Federal Grants: A Must-Have for Your Fundraising Toolbox By Cheryl K. Lester & Karen L. Cassidy 

About $40 on Amazon

Cheryl K. Lester and Karen L. Cassidy's book provides a comprehensive guide to writing federal grants. It includes step-by-step instructions, best practices, and a wealth of resources to help you navigate the federal grant landscape with confidence.

It also details each section of a federal grant application, including program and budget planning. It also describes how to manage the grant after you’ve received the award.

Writing the NIH Grant Proposal: A Step-by-Step Guide By William Gerin, Christine Kapelewski Kinkade, & Niki L. Page 

About $60 on Amazon

This guide, specifically tailored toward NIH grant writing resources, provides a thorough understanding of how to write a successful grant proposal. The book provides invaluable NIH grant writing resources like practical advice, examples, and key takeaways for each step of the Application Submission System.

For more helpful resources, be sure to check out our post on the best grant writing books.

Helpful Places to Find Grant Writers for Your Nonprofit

Places to Find Grant Writers for Your Nonprofit

Finding the right grant writer for your nonprofit can make all the difference in securing the funding your organization needs. Here are some resources to help you find experienced grant writers and consultants, each with a track record of success in securing funding for a variety of projects and organizations.

Instrumentl Grant Writer / Consultant Directory

Instrumentl offers a directory of seasoned grant writers and consultants. These professionals are experienced in a range of fields and have a proven history of winning grants for nonprofits. 

On this sheet, each listed organization describes their ideal nonprofit customer, cost structure, contact information, and X-factor.

DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services

DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services is a reputable firm providing experienced grant writing services. They offer a variety of packages tailored to suit the needs of different organizations.

For example, they offer services including grant opportunity research, grant writing and editing, mock grant reviews, consultations to build your grant team, and multiple training options. They also offer a “Grant Writer in Your Pocket,” a one-time, contract-free consultation call.

Williams Grant Writing

Williams Grant Writing is a family-owned business known for its quick turnaround time and development of excellent grant packages. Plus, their website also offers a wealth of information on their blog. 

GPA’s Career Website 

Paid, starting at $99/per 30-day job

The Grant Professionals Association’s career website is another excellent resource to find seasoned grant writers. 
They offer job postings for both freelance and full-time grant writers, making it a useful platform for nonprofits looking to hire professional grant writing services. They regularly contact their members with job listings to help match available talent with the opportunity.


Paid, starting at $3,000/month

Upstream is a grant consulting firm specializing in helping nonprofit organizations secure funding. Their grant writers come from diverse backgrounds and possess extensive experience in securing grants for a variety of causes.

This GPA-approved business will evaluate your funding needs, review and strengthen your grant readiness, find and apply for grant opportunities on your behalf, and keep track of reporting requirements. Upstream is one example of a grant writing consultancy that you can find in Instrumentl’s directory.

Wrapping Things Up: The Ultimate List of Grant Writing Resources

Grant Writing Resources List

As we conclude, it's critical to note that the realm of grant writing is vast and multifaceted. Whether you're new to the field or an experienced veteran, both the paid and free grant writing resources highlighted in this article are intended to offer support at every stage of the process. 

From comprehensive books that teach you how to craft compelling narratives to directories where you can find seasoned grant writers, these resources are invaluable additions to your toolkit. Remember, the pursuit of grants is a journey, and the resources mentioned here are your travel guides. Check out the Best Grant Writing Courses here for even more insight and help. 

Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, keep writing!

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl is the all-in-one grant management tool for nonprofits and consultants who want to find and win more grants without the stress of juggling grant work through disparate tools and sticky notes.

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