Basic Grant Application

On any grant application you’ll need to be prepared to demonstrate your qualifications. After all, wouldn’t you want to thoroughly check out an organization before giving them a chunk of money? Funders need to verify that you represent a real organization and not just someone claims they are an organization and on the hunt for “free” money.


There’s some basic information that just about all grants require. Be sure you understand what they are asking for – it’s critical that you complete a grant application correctly. If you ever have any questions about grant applications its best to call the funding source directly and ask for assistance.

Here’s some of the basic information you’ll be always be asked to provide. Remember to always be in the mindset of the organization, not yourself. It’s pretty basic information, but nonetheless be sure the information you are providing is accurate.

Legal name of the organization applying. If you are applying for a nonprofit organization this is the name that appears on the IRS 501 (c) (3) letter of nonprofit determination. It’s a good idea to submit a copy of this letter as proof of your nonprofit status. For cities or county units of government the incorporated name serves as the legal name.

Type of applicant. Most grant opportunities are solely awarded to nonprofit organizations. If you are a different type (individual, profit-making organization, school district, etc.) be sure to verify the grant is open to your type of application.

Address. You should always provide the current street address for the organization. It’s best to avoid post office boxes as they are sometimes viewed negatively.

Contact person. There should always be one person who serves as the main contact person. It’s a good idea to make this person someone who was involved in the grant application and aware of all the details of the grant – as well as someone who can be easily contacted. It also helps the grant funders to have one contact with whom they interact with.

Telephone/fax/e-mail. It’s best to provide the direct contact information to the contact person. Calls to a main number or a general fax may get lost in the shuffle or misdirected.

Year founded. The year the organization was created or incorporated.

Fiscal Year. Provide the dates for the organizations fiscal year, or operating year. This information is specified in the bylaws of the organization. Fiscal years do not always follow the calendar year.

Current operating budget. This is simply the operating budget for the current fiscal year.

Employer identification number. Also known as a taxpayer reporting number, the EIN is a 7 digit number assigned to an organization by the IRS.

DUNS number. This is your organizations unique nine-digit number. DUNS numbers are recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 100 million businesses worldwide. All federal grant funders require a DUNS number. You can obtain a unique DUNS number at the Dunn & Bradstreet website,

Congressional districts. For federal grant applications, you’ll be required to document all the congressional districts in which your organization is located, as well as any where you grant funded services will be rendered.

Download the complete Guide to Government Grants to learn exactly how to find and obtain free government grant money.