What is the Typical Timeframe to Write a Grant?

Writing a grant is a significant task that calls for a nuanced understanding of your project, solid research about potential funders, and the ability to clearly articulate your plan. The duration of this process varies greatly depending on numerous factors.

Factors Influencing the Duration of Grant Writing

  • Complexity of the project: The complexity of a project factors significantly into the time it takes to write a grant. More complex proposals necessitate a comprehensive understanding and a detailed explanation, which equates to more time.
  • Type of funder: The type of grant also influences the time required to write a grant. Federal grants are more complex and thus more time-consuming to write than shorter, simpler foundation applications.
  • Researching Funders: Identifying potential funders is a time-consuming task. Around 20% of grant writers spend 12 or more days to identify five suitable funders. This is because each funder may have different guidelines and priorities that need to be carefully reviewed.
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Writing the Grant Proposal

After preparing the groundwork, it’s time to actually write the grant proposal. This process should not be rushed as a high-quality proposal takes up to several weeks or even months to complete. On average, it takes grant writers between 10-20 hours to write a single grant application. In fact, a staggering 15% of professionals spend between 31-40 hours solely on one application.

During the writing process, remember to:

  • Create an outline: This keeps the writing focused and organized.
  • Set deadlines: Deadlines keep the process on track and help break the application into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  • Use templates: Templates save time for common sections of grant proposals, ensuring consistency across different proposals.
  • Eliminate distractions: Create an atmosphere conducive to work by minimizing distractions as much as possible.

After the Proposal

Once the grant proposal has been written, it would need a thorough review and revisions to ensure its completeness and accuracy. Moreover, it may require additional supporting documentation such as resumes, letters of support, and budget information, adding to the time requirement.

Submitting the proposal and awaiting the funder’s decision can also take several weeks, depending on the review process.

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Making the Job Easier

Preparing for the process can greatly reduce the time taken to write a grant. By gathering common grant application materials, organizing your research and needs statements, and assembling a team if possible, you can make your grant-writing process more efficient and less time-consuming.


In summary, writing a grant proposal is a time-intensive process dependent on several contributing factors. By following the tips and insights provided, you can improve efficiency, maintain high quality, and hopefully secure your desired grant. Stay prepared, stay focused, and don’t rush the process- writing a grant is a marathon, not a sprint.

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