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Grant Writing Tools You Didn't Know You Needed

Picture this:  You've poured your heart and soul into a grant proposal — fueled by questionable late-night snacks and bottomless cups of coffee. But then, dread sets in. Did you hit the nail on the head with the narrative? Did you meet all the criteria?   The struggle is real, my friends. Grant writing can be a battle against the clock and self-doubt. But what if there were tools in your arsenal that could help you streamline the process, craft captivating narratives, and boost your confidence? So, put an end to all-nighters and lukewarm coffee — let's dive into some of my favorite grant-writing tools!
Streamlining the Process Tired of juggling grant research, deadlines, and scattered proposal drafts? Grant management software can be your knight in shining armor. These tools offer centralized hubs to streamline your workflow and ensure a smooth grant writing experience. Let's explore some popular options: Fluxx : This cloud-based platform is built specifically for foundations and nonprofits. Fluxx  helps streamline grantmaking, from researching opportunities (filtering by keywords, location, etc.) to managing proposals with team collaboration tools.  It even offers features like automated workflows (reminders, routing applications) and reporting & analytics to track progress and gain insights. Fluxx doesn't offer a free tier. While specific pricing isn't publicly available, it's recommended to contact them directly for a consultation. Given its features and target audience, Fluxx's pricing likely falls higher than other options. Submittable : While not grant-specific, Submittable  is a popular platform for managing online submissions, including grant proposals. It allows for easy application creation with customizable forms and secure file uploads. Reviewers can utilize review & feedback tools for scoring and providing feedback. Additionally, Submittable integrates with other tools you might already use, like CRMs and donor management systems. Submittable provides a free plan with storage, customization, and analytics limitations. Paid plans start at $29/month, offering increased capabilities for managing your grant proposals and other submissions. Collaboration and Editing Tools Grant writing is often a collaborative effort. If you're working with a team, having the right tools to facilitate communication and co-creation is essential. Here are a few popular options: Google Docs:  This widely used online document editor allows real-time collaboration, commenting, and editing. Team members can simultaneously work on the same document, streamlining the editing and revision process.
Google offers a free tier for G Suite, which includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, and storage with limited
capacity. There are paid plans for increased storage and additional features, but many non-profits
may qualify for the Google Workspace for Nonprofits program . Microsoft Teams:  If your organization already uses Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft Teams offers a comprehensive suite of collaboration features. Within the Teams platform, you can share documents, co-edit proposals in real time, and communicate seamlessly using chat and video conferencing.
Microsoft offers a free version of Teams with limitations. Paid plans offer advanced functionalities. 
Some non-profits may be eligible for Microsoft 365 grants and discounts , which include access to
the full suite of Microsoft 365 applications, including Teams, at a reduced cost. Slack:  While not a document editor, Slack plays a vital role in team communication. With organized channels and direct messaging functionalities, team members can easily share files, discuss ideas, and provide feedback throughout the grant writing process.
Like the others, Slack has a free plan with limitations on message history, integrations, and app
usage. Paid plans unlock advanced features and integrations.  Slack offers a discounted
subscription plan  that you can apply for online. Boosting Confidence - Meeting Criteria Targeting the right grants is crucial for success. Funder databases and matching platforms can be powerful tools to identify grant opportunities that align perfectly with your project's goals.  Here are some popular options:
GrantStation   is a subscription-based online platform designed to streamline grant research for non-profits. It functions like a giant search engine specifically for grant opportunities. Users can filter by keyword, location, and various criteria to find grants that perfectly align with their projects. GrantStation provides basic information about each grant, including deadlines, eligibility requirements, and contact details.
GrantStation is a subscription-based service (there is no free plan) with annual fees starting at $699. While it provides comprehensive grant research and proposal writing tools, the cost might be a barrier for smaller non-profits. GrantWatch   is another online resource for grant seekers —with a twist. It acts as a news and notification platform for grant opportunities. GrantWatch curates grant announcements from various funders and delivers them to your inbox or their website. This allows non-profits to stay up-to-date on the latest funding opportunities relevant to their cause.  While it doesn't offer in-depth search functionalities like GrantStation, it can be a valuable tool for discovering new grant opportunities you might otherwise miss.
GrantWatch delivers grant announcements through a free weekly email newsletter.  Paid plans unlock more detailed information, starting at $18/week. This is a good option for budget-conscious organizations seeking basic grant updates. However, paid features might be necessary for deeper research.
Books Books are invaluable companions for grant writers. They offer knowledge and insights from experienced professionals, helping you refine your grant writing skills and craft compelling proposals. Whether you're a seasoned grant writer or starting, there's always something new to learn. Consider adding these key grant writing resources to your bookshelf: The Only Grant-Writing Book You'll Ever Need : Top Grant Writers and Grant Givers Share Their Secrets  by Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox: This comprehensive guide is a one-stop shop for everything grant writing, from identifying funders to crafting winning proposals. How to Write a Grant: Become a Grant Writing Unicorn  by James C. Pantoni: Ideal for beginners, this book offers a step-by-step approach to writing grant proposals and includes tips for finding funding and increasing your chances of success. The Beginner's Guide to Grant Writing: Tips, Tools, & Templates to Write Winning Grants  by Holly Rustick: Another excellent resource for beginners, this book provides a concise and user-friendly guide to writing grant proposals and includes helpful templates to jumpstart your proposals. Join the Change-Makers Nonprofit Book Club ! Learning from grant writing experts is valuable, but there's immense power in community learning as well. Consider joining the Change-Makers Nonprofit Book Club, an Amazon Book Club hosted by Just Write Grants. Grant Writing Workshops and Trainings The world of grant writing is constantly evolving.  While the tools mentioned above can be a game-changer, there's no substitute for ongoing learning and development.  Workshops and training programs offered by experienced professionals can equip you with the latest strategies, best practices, and in-depth knowledge to write exceptional grant proposals. Grant Writing Boot Camp  I’d be remiss not to mention our very own Grant Writing Boot Camp . This comprehensive program offers on-demand webinars, valuable templates & resources, a private Facebook group for support, and expert consulting. Plus, get a discounted GrantStation subscription and earn CFRE continuing education points. Learning @ Candid Candid supports grant writing education through a mix of free and paid resources. Their Learning Center  offers articles, webinars, and sample proposals to get you started. For a deeper dive, their paid Foundation Center Online Professional subscription provides access to databases, templates, and expert guidance. Leveraging Expertise While grant writing tools can be incredibly helpful, many proposals demand a deeper dive. Turning potential into impactful reality requires a nuanced understanding of the funding landscape and the ability to tailor your message to resonate with specific funders.  Whether tackling intricate proposals, seeking to navigate the intricacies of funder requirements, or aiming to refine your organization's grant strategy, our professional grant writing services offer the tailored support you need to succeed. Learn more about our subscription-based grant writing services here  and how we can empower your organization to secure the funding it deserves.  Meet the Author - Kristin Chute   Kristin Chute is a freelance writer with a passion for helping nonprofits increase their reach and impact. She has written for companies offering SaaS solutions, nonprofits directly, and donor loyalty programs. Kristin believes in the power of nonprofit organizations to change the world. With expertise stemming from her career and personal connection to volunteering at her childhood summer camp, she shares insights to help nonprofits increase their reach, engage supporters, and amplify fundraising efforts.

Grant Writing Tools You Didn't Know You Needed
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