How Much Time Does It Take to Write a Grant?

“How much time does it take to write a grant?” This is a common question that I am asked by those new to the field of grant seeking or new to working in a board role for an organization seeking grant funding.

The big answer is, you guessed it, it really depends.

What does it depend on? How do we narrow our estimate down as a grant professional when grants take anywhere from 5 hours  (small private foundation requests) to well over 100+ hours (large federal proposals)? There are a number of key factors to consider including:

  • If the program is already developed;
  • How long the narrative requirement is for the grantmaker you want to apply for;
  • What supportive charts/program design components are allowed or required including logic models and work plans.
  • Are there collaborative partners involved in the proposed project or program;
  • How many attachments and what type of attachments are required; and
  • What the budget form requires and if a budget justification/narrative is required/allowed.

With so many factors at play, it is no wonder that there is no one standard answer to the question!

Looking for more information? Check out our YouTube video where I address this question.



  1. Yemane Gebremicael June 8, 2018at9:10 pm


    Thanks for your for this message. I would, very humbly suggest that it is important to let agencies know that the putting together of a grant proposal is not only about the write-up but, most importantly, about designing the project. The needs identification by conducting on the ground investigation that includes observations as well as the felt needs of those,w ho will benefit from of the goods and services that the project will make available, is key and basic to any ask. Collecting data created by government or other institutions will give an idea of the prevailing situation, but needs to be used to supplement and justify project level findings. Any grant proposal that is only dependent of external date cannot believably show the actual need of the target community in a given area. The agency for whom the grant is being written needs to be involved in the process so it will be able to implement the activities, complete the objectives and achieve the goal set for the project.; it should also be able to monitor, evaluate and report the progress and fulfillment of what was going to be delivered and finally achieved. Agencies should be helped to realize the importance of being involved in the complete project cycle.
    Most respetfully

    1. Diane H. Leonard, GPC June 11, 2018at12:32 pm

      Yemane, Excellent points! The program design process and where an organization is in that process is a key element in considering how much time it might take to write a grant! -Diane


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