Examples of Successful Grant Proposals to Help You Secure Funding

A solid grant proposal can help you get the funding you need. Use these examples and tips to help you write a winning request.

Updated July 11, 2023
woman researching and writing

Filling out a grant proposal can be nerve-wracking, no matter how many you've applied to. With so much information to compile and so much riding on success, it's important to stack the odds in your favor.

Taking some time to review past successful grant proposal examples can help you determine the important points to emphasize in your own grant application.

Effective Grant Proposal Examples

It's never too early to start the grant proposal process once you've got a project or program in mind. As you research the grant writing process to prep for your own application, it can be helpful to scour through examples of successful grant proposals to get ideas and inspiration.

Fortunately, there are a ton of examples of different types of grant proposals you can read online. These grant writing samples can help you get started with a bit less stress.

Successful Grant Proposals for Education Examples

If you're seeking funding to support an educational initiative, these proposals are great ones to review.

  • Kurzweil Educational Systems: The sample of a successful grant proposal at this site walks you through the complete process, beginning with the cover letter and winding up with a sample letter format with all the details in between.
  • Salem Education Foundation: Here you can review a sample grant application that a school submitted who was seeking funding to provide enrichment learning opportunities beyond classroom instruction for their history students.
  • National Language Resource Center: This George Washington University/Center of Applied Linguistics grant proposal sought funding to establish a National Language Resource Center to provide support foreign language instructors in K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions' needs.

Sample Youth Program Funding Proposals

Children are the future, and funds are available to support programs designed to help kids reach their potential. If that's the kind of grant you're seeking, check out these successful examples.

  • William T. Grant Foundation: Here you can view proposals submitted by recent recipients of the William T. Grant Scholars award program, which funds research focused on improving the lives of young people in the United States.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): If you're applying for a block grant focused on youth development, review this well-written proposal prepared by Family Service Association (FSA) in Riverside, California for inspiration.

Individual and Family Support Grant Applications

If you're seeking grant funding to provide service to under-served or disadvantaged populations within your community, this sample grant proposal can help you figure out what to include in your proposal.

  • Kennett Area Senior Center: This application was submitted to the community foundation in the county where the Kennett Area Senior Center operates to request funding to help them provide much needed services and assistance to local senior citizens.

Arts Funding Grant Proposal Examples

Seeking funding for an arts program or project? Review these examples for ideas on how to approach proposals for your own arts-oriented grant applications.

  • Imagine Fund: Explore excerpts from several particularly strong proposals submitted to the University of Minnesota's Imagine Fund program, which provides support for a variety of arts-related endeavors.
  • Individual Artist Grants: If you're seeking individual funding through your local arts council or similar organization, check out this sample proposal provided by the Region 2 Arts Council.

Science-Related Grant Proposal Examples

If you're seeking funding for scientific research, conservation, or other science-related endeavors, these grant proposal samples can provide you with a wealth of ideas.

  • NIAID: Visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) for several examples of successful grant proposal applications written to secure funding for scientific research related to healthcare.

Familiarize Yourself With Successful Grant Characteristics

A successful grant proposal can't be cobbled together in a few hours. It's the result of a combination of thorough research, an excellent proposal, and a well-matched funding source. Some aspects that success grants tend to share are:

  • Thorough preliminary research: The preliminary proposal research is thorough and covers every detail of the project from start to finish.
  • Matched applicants to the right funding opportunities: The applicant researched prospective funders and found an organization that would be interested in the project type.
  • Specific proposals: The proposal is tailored to each funding organization prior to submission.
  • Applicants followed the instructions: The applicant follows all of the funding agency's writing guidelines when creating the proposal and submitting the proposal application packet by the deadline.
  • Proposals are highly detailed: The proposal clearly explains the entire project, especially sections which describe the need for project, the resources, goals and budget sections.
  • No questions are left unanswered: The narrative section of the proposal answers every possible question about the project.

Keep these characteristics of successful grant proposals in mind when you write your next grant proposal.

Grant Writing Tips to Make Your Request a Success

Once you learn about grant writing, you can create a winning grant proposal. If you're writing a grant proposal for the first time, here are some great tips to help you master your first proposal:

  • Research every detail of your project to make sure it's feasible before applying for a grant.
  • Look for funding sources that typically fund similar projects to the ones you're investigating.
  • Consider local grant funding sources first. Local sources increase your chances of success because of community interest and a smaller applicant pool.
  • Start the grant writing and application process as soon as you know that your project's viable.
  • If the funder doesn't provide a specific format, you may want to use a grant proposal template to organize your submission.
  • Always submit the grant proposal before the deadline to make sure that it reaches the funding organization in time.

Additional Grant Writing Resources

When you're ready to get started rocking the grant writing process, turn to these great digital resources:

  • UNC: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a detailed grant writing guide anyone can access. The guide can help you understand the grant writing process, structure, and the function of each section so that you're fully prepared to conquer each part.
  • EPA: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides helpful grant proposal structure advice on their website.
  • Foundation Center: The Foundation Center offers a free grant writing course on their website.

Funding Might Be One Good Grant Proposal Away

With the right preparation, you can put together a smashingly strong grant proposal. When you have a great idea, and you believe in your cause, the only thing you can do is jump headfirst into the process. When you do the research and carve out some time to review a few successful grant application examples, you're ready to start drafting a proposal of your own.

Examples of Successful Grant Proposals to Help You Secure Funding