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An Introduction to the Grant Writing Toolkit Series

Neighborhood associations have the potential to benefit from grants as a source of funding.

Broadly defined, grants are funds provided by a philanthropic entity or the government, which can be used to underwrite a program or organization without the expectation of being paid back. The Merriam-Webster definition is, “a sum of money given by an organization, or a government department, for a particular purpose.”

To compete for grants, a neighborhood association generally must complete some form of grant application process that the funder has established. Most often, funders issue a grant application request that will provide the guidelines that organizations need to follow in order to apply for funding. There are many names for a grant application request. Some common terms among private and corporate foundations include a Request for Proposal (RFP), a Request for Application (RFA), or a Call for Proposals (CFP), while federal agencies often use the term Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) or Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). For the purposes of this series, this will be referred to as a Request for Proposal (RFP).

This series will help prepare you to navigate the world of grant seeking and help you learn how to submit strong grant applications. It was developed in collaboration with The Grant Plant, Inc., a local organization that researches, writes, and edits grants for nonprofits. For more information, helpful blog articles, and other resources you can check out their website at