Grant Language and Terminology

When you start researching grants you may find some phrases and terms that are unfamiliar to you. As with any specialty, there are words the general public does not regularly use. You need to be familiar with the lingo used by those in the grant field. Below is a grant writer’s dictionary of terms.


• Acceptance: When a bid-letting agency or business accepts the deliverables outlined by the offeror in the bidding document.
• Annual campaigns: Money to support annual operating expenses, infrastructure improvements, program expansion, and, in some cases, one-time-only expenses
• Bid-letting agency: The organization or body offering grant monies.
• Building/renovation funds: Money to build a new facility or renovate an existing facility.
• Capital support: Money for equipment, buildings, construction, and endowments.
• Challenge monies: Grant money that is only approved if the grantee is able to raise additional money from other sources as well. For example, a grant of $5000 may be awarded if an organization can raise (or utilize internal money) an additional $5000 for the specified project.
• Conference/seminars: Money to cover the cost of attending, planning, and /or hosting conferences and seminars.
• Consulting services: At times you may need the expertise of a consultant or consulting firm to assist your organization. Money spent would be for a consulting service.
• Continuing support/continuation grant: After receiving a grant award, you can request additional funds from that funder again. However, many grantees only fund an organization one time.
• Deliverables: Detailed information about the services or goods the offeror plans to deliver under a contract award.
• Employee matching gifts: Many employers match the monetary donations their employees make to nonprofit organizations. .
• Endowments: A source of long-term, permanent investment income to ensure the continuing presence and financial stability of your nonprofit organizations
• Fellowships: Money used to support graduate and postgraduate students in specific fields.
• Financial proposal: A separate document that outlines the offeror’s cost to provide the needed services or goods.
• General/operating expenses: Money used for everyday expenses to run a nonprofit, such as salaries, equipment, utilities, travel, consultants.
• Matching funds: Similar to challenge monies, these funds are only awarded if additional funding equal to (or greater than) is raised. Money can be from the internal sources, another grant, or donations.

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