How to Make Your Grant Requests Stand Out from the Crowd

How to make your grant proposal stand out

This week’s GrantChat discussion focused on many ways you as a grant seeker can stand out from the crowd, both with your applications as well as with the way you work with funders. For a full transcript of the discussion, click here. Here are some top highlights from the discussion:

What “must do” guidelines for editing and writing styles help grants stand out?

  • Follow the FOA requirements & be consistent with your style and formatting –
  • Referencing credible and known sources helps convey your knowledge of the issue – Foundant Technologies
  • Keep it simple, neat and remember to leave plenty of white space (when possible). – Laura Scott
  • Error-free proposals help demonstrate you can successfully organize, operate, and manage a project – GrantHub
  • You may be instructed to put application elements in an order that seems strange. Resist the temptation to reorder things. – Triad Associates
  • Great proposal editing tips from SmartEGrants posted last week – Tammy Tilzey

What elements or benefits of being grant-ready can you use to set your applications to stand out?

  • A clear explanation of the path to results and impact may be required, plus it can help with internal alignment – Foundant Technologies
  • The keys to grant readiness are preparation, strategic planning, and program design. – Jo Miller
  • Have answers to common questions ready beforehand and spend time hitting specifics the funder cares most about – GrantHub
  • We have pre-written sections for collaborations, sustainability, etc. that we can tailor for different funders. – Jane Arney
  • Reference how you determined the need not just that you determined the need for the project. Describe your process. – Julie Suhr
  • Helps to have your common documents saved together – financial statements, board lists, etc. – Amanda Ripstra

What tips can you share about creating your most powerful statement of need?

  • Get out & see the program yourself. Trust your eyes, not someone else’s. – Ephriam Gopin
  • Start with statistics, build a narrative about the negative outcomes without your services. – Jane Arney
  • Statistics, facts, while making it readable. Without readability, everyone goes to sleep. – Konnie D. A. Dula
  • The more local the data, the more powerful it is. Citing state/national data for a community-specific proposal weakens the case. – Jason Adkins

If you have an extra hour to spend on an application, what section of a grant would you focus on for best ROI?

  • Check to ensure all attachments in order. A boo-boo in the narrative can be forgiven, but a missing attachment = disqualified! – Mareen Stabile
  • Whichever section is worth the most points 😉 – Amanda Ripstra
  • Spend 15 mins reviewing needs statement, 30 minutes on the proposed program, & 15 minutes on the budget to ensure it matches the program needs. – Heather Stombaugh
  • Many grant professionals recommend creating a logic model – even if it isn’t asked for. – GrantHub


Over the years, we at Foundant Technologies have collected many valuable tips from funders on the ways grant seekers can set themselves apart from the crowd. Click the link below for our Top 10 Tips from Funders on how to set yourself apart and have more success.



At Foundant Technologies we provide grant management solutions for both grantmakers and grant seekers (GrantHub). We are solely dedicated to delivering practical, user-aligned, cloud technology, and expertise for funders and grant seekers who want to free-up time to focus on their missions. We are constantly striving to improve the entire grant process and make it smoother and more efficient.

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Tammy Tilzey is the Director of GrantHub, an intuitive grant management system from Foundant Technologies, designed to increase the efficiency and funding success of nonprofits. During her career, Tammy has held development, marketing, and services leadership roles at several growing software companies. She particularly enjoys working and collaborating with passionate clients and coworkers. With GrantHub, Tammy is able to further Foundant's mission of improving the grant process for both funders and grantseekers, enabling them to further their mission of making the world a better place. What could be better than that? Tammy is active with Junior Achievement in Boise, ID as a mentor, volunteers her time as a career coach, and participates on the Grant Professional Association's Social Media Committee.

Latest posts by Tammy Tilzey (see all)

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