Don't be left in the dark.

Little Green Light is a cloud-based donor management system for fundraisers.
Subscribe to get our latest product updates, best practices and tips to grow your nonprofit.

How to give yourself a head start on grant applications

Posted June 18, 2024 by Virginia Davidson

get ready for your grant applications

Applying for grants from private foundations can be an important part of a nonprofit’s annual fundraising plan. That means it’s important to streamline your process so you can dedicate time to writing a strong application rather than spend it tracking down various required materials.

Here are some ways you can save time and give yourself a head start on grant applications

Keep these documents in an easily accessible place:

Your current board roster with titles and contact information – Keep this document up to date as board members end their terms of service or others join the board. It seems like a small thing, but chasing down contact information can be stressful when you’re up against a deadline.

Your most recent 990s – Aim to have easy access to your organization’s 990s for your three most recent fiscal years. Tip: You may need to compress these files as some grant portals require that uploaded files be under 5 MB in size.

Your most recent annual report, if you create one – Even if the application doesn’t request a copy, your annual report likely contains information and statistics that you may need or want to include in your application, which makes it a handy resource.

Create a document containing key information that is commonly required for grant applications:

  • Your mission statement
  • Your vision statement
  • Your organizational history

For each of those items, note both the character count and the word count. You may wind up with a short version and a longer version of each, and you can copy and paste the appropriate version depending on the character or word limits of each application.


By staying organized and having these resources at the ready, you’ll save time and be able to focus your attention on writing a compelling grant application.


Little Green Light, an affordable and intuitive nonprofit software solution, can help make processing your grant applications easier. Watch our free video on how to streamline your grant proposal process with LGL, or feel free to contact us with questions.

Ready to try LGL? Get your first 30 days free. No credit card required.