How Long Do Grants Take to Write?

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April 24, 2022

Last Updated:

July 7, 2022

Are you new to grant writing? Are you interested in increasing your understanding of the time it takes to write a good grant?

In this article, we will discuss the question of how long do grants take to write and break down the answer by certain types of grants. We will also include some tips on how to speed up the grant writing process and how to manage your grants more efficiently.

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What's the Average General Time it Takes to Complete a Grant?

So you’re wondering how long do grants take to write? In general, it is good to plan at least six to eight weeks to write a grant.

It is important not to rush the grant writing process so that you have time to write a quality proposal that has a high chance of being funded. Keep in mind that there are multiple parts to the process of completing a grant aside from just the grant writing portion.

One reason it will take this much time is because you will likely need to gather multiple documents in preparation. You will also need to allow time for edits and possibly multiple rounds of edits after you have finished writing.

Another important factor to consider is how much time you plan to dedicate to writing each day. If you have several other tasks on your plate, you need to allow more time for completing the grant.

However, the time it takes to complete a grant often depends on its type.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Government Grant?

Government grants can be very time intensive as they typically have many requirements. These types of grants request much more detailed information about your proposed project. If you have done your research ahead of time, the proposal itself will likely take several weeks to complete.

As with any grant proposal, the amount of time necessary will depend on how much time you can devote to writing each day and how long the editing process takes.

Many government grants also require partnerships and you will need to include letters of support from your partners with your proposal. You need to make sure you give your partners time to complete these letters.

Another reason why government grants take more time is because they typically provide a larger amount of funds. You can check out this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NoFO) from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences to get an idea of the requirements of a government grant.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Private Foundation Grant?

Private foundation grants can be a bit less time intensive depending on the requirements of the specific funder. If you have done good research and planning including already gathering the necessary documents, you may be able to complete a private foundation application in a few days to a week.

Another factor impacting the amount of time it will take to write a grant is the amount of funds offered by the grantmaker. Many private foundations offer smaller grants between $1000-$5000 which is one reason why their proposals are typically more simplistic.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Corporate Grant?

Corporate grants often take less time to complete than government grants, similar to private foundation grants. Corporations that offer grants are interested in supporting the work of nonprofits. If you meet their eligibility requirements, then they typically do not require very much detail for the actual proposal.

Again, the time required may depend on the amount of the grant. Lower amounts of funding are often easier to receive versus larger amounts.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Local or Regional Grant?

Local and regional grants fall into the category of government grants. These types of grants can take more time because the local or regional entities offering them are typically provided funds from the federal government.

One major piece of the process for local or regional grants is meeting eligibility requirements. Depending on the specific grant and the amount offered, local or regional grants will likely take at least a few weeks to complete.

How to Write Grants Faster: 5 Tips

Now that we have determined how long grants take to write, here are a few tips for writing grants faster.

1. Research

Doing your research ahead of time will help make the writing process easier. You will need to research the details of the particular opportunity which you are interested in. Understanding eligibility and application requirements from the start will help you be prepared before you begin actually writing the grant.

Planning ahead also includes reaching out to potential partners or others who may need to be a part of the grant writing process. Additionally, you can make sure that you know your proposed project well enough so that you can answer grant application questions easily.

2. Use grant writing templates

There are many grant writing resources available including grant writing templates. Instrumentl has some great grant writing templates as well as sample grant proposals which can help you in the grant writing process.

These sample proposals and grant writing templates can help you make sure you use the correct formatting and include the correct information in your grant proposal. Knowing what has worked well for others can also help you save time when writing a grant.

3. Work with your team

Although you may hold the title of grant writer or be the one at your nonprofit with grant writing in your job description, it is always helpful to include others in the grant writing process.

Make sure that you are using your program staff and contacts wisely to help with writing which in turn can make the process faster. Another important way to make sure your grant is well written is to request edits from within and potentially outside of your nonprofit. The same people that are helping you write and speed up the writing are also good resources for editing.

4. Save your work

While this may sound like a simple suggestion for any writing project, it can actually have multiple meanings. It is of course important to save your work while completing the actual written application. You certainly don’t want to lose any progress that you have made.

But we are also suggesting that you save your work in the sense that you save the general information about your nonprofit, successes, goals, etc. after you complete a grant.

There are several similar elements to grants that are requested with each new application. By keeping this information saved in one place, you can simply update as needed for each grant to speed up the writing process.

5. Use grant writing resources

You likely have many resources both within and outside of your nonprofit. Make sure that you are appropriately utilizing all of these resources when writing a grant.

We have talked about working with your team, but there are also many specific grant writing resources available. You may benefit from grant writing courses, informational blogs, grantmaker reviews, and more.

You may also find resources available through local and regional nonprofit associations. Reviewing these resources can help you focus your grant writing efforts and save time in your grant writing.

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How to Track & Manage Grants More Efficiently

In addition to tips for writing grants faster, grants management systems can help speed up the overall grant process.

A key element to the grant lifecycle is tracking and managing grant applications and grants that you have been awarded. Using grant tracking and management tools can help decrease the time it takes to write a grant.

For example, Instrumentl’s Tracker can help you track deadlines, tasks, and more in one place to keep your grant process organized.

Instrumentl also offers a tool for creating tasks that will be tracked through the tracking features. The task creation tool can also help you manage grants that may be worked on through a team effort.

Find out more about the many features offered through Instrumentl and get information on the 14-day free trial here.

You may also find our ultimate checklist to managing grants useful here.

Wrapping Up: How Long Do Grants Take to Write?

We have provided information on how long it takes to write various types of grants. We have also included a few tips on how to help write grants faster.

Any grant writer, no matter how experienced, must understand that grant writing takes time. Allocating the correct amount of time is key to completing a quality grant.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read about what grant writing fees typically look like here.

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