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When Do We Start Writing Our Grant? NOW!

July 1st, 2019 by Tom Simmons

The Susan Harwood Training Grant opportunities (provided through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) are a great opportunity to obtain funding to for health and safety training or to develop new health and safety training materials. With a deadline of July 2 (tomorrow), you may think you missed your opportunity. Actually, this is exactly the time to start work on your grant proposal.

Many don’t realize how long it takes to complete a grant proposal from scratch. Professional grant writers will already be familiar with the grant, and in many cases, will already have a proposal template from a winning proposal. For those just looking to pursue an opportunity for their organization, it can be difficult to know when to start. Having had some success writing grant proposals, I’d like to suggest the following structure:

Conceptual: 3 Months

This is the stage where you familiarize yourself with the criteria of the grant. Here you figure out your ideal version of the proposal. The conceptual stage also means planning and research. How does what you want fit within the criteria of the grant? Refine your idea. This process points you in the direction of what you will need to research. Not only external factors, things like demographics, need for particular services, and so on, but also internal research: How many trainings session of this type have we done? How many were trained?

Budgetary: 2 Months

Once you have the foundations of the plan, it’s time to pin down what it will cost. This is yet another refining process. In this stage you will be creating your methodology for determining costs. For many grants, documenting that methodology is a primary requirement!

Review and Submission: 4 Months

You want to aim to have a completed, top notch grant proposal draft around the half way mark. This is the time where you’re getting everyone you can to read your proposal and offer revisions. Don’t be afraid to contact the granting agency for as much feedback as they are allowed to give prior to submission of the grant. Many types of grants are also serviced by third party agencies. These agencies are endorsed by the grantor to offer feedback on applications. Their critiques can make a proposal. 


Grants are highly competitive and can be a real challenge when you begin. Always be ready for the next time. Keep improving and keep resubmitting. If you stick with it, you can get that funding!

If you like to learn more about writing winning grant proposal or would be interested in the pro bono grant writing services offered by HRP, feel free to contact us by clicking here.

Tom Simmons, Marketing Assistant at HRP Associates, Inc.

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