I am an undergraduate currently involved with a local arts nonprofit, and the folks in charge would like to write grants and proposals to the colleges in town for cooperating on an after-school program. What should I read to find:

  • Organizations I should be in touch with which offer grants
  • General guidelines/requirements for a successful proposal?

Also: How do I find somebody in my school or elsewhere whom I could ask to review my grants before I submit them?


The form of a successful proposal varies wildly from organization to organization and often also within different programs in an organization. Many grant organizations thus provide "model grants" or "writing guides" somewhere on their website that you can look at to see what they are looking for (they aren't interested in wasting their time either). See, for example the NSF's grant-writing guide.

Government organizations also generally allow you to search a database of previous grant recipients: you can look for some who are close to your area (thematically and/or geographically) and ask them for advice or to share their examples of winning proposals. People are often willing to help out like-minded colleagues in this way.

  • OK, but where would I look for a list of arts or government organizations? – jamesson Oct 23 '14 at 19:40
  • 1
    grants.gov is the generic starting point for federal grants. You need to be more specific about what you're looking for if you want more specific advice. – jakebeal Oct 23 '14 at 20:00
  • I'm looking into a program to use theater arts & music to teach STEM (web design, electronics) and business (marketing, management, etc) to high school kids with the involvement of some local colleges. – jamesson Oct 23 '14 at 20:04

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