Finding, Writing, and Managing Grants – Overview

To implement your team’s nutrition and physical activity plan, you will likely need grant funding. This section includes materials and information to help you be successful with grants. You will find:


  • guidance on where to start looking for grants
  • a form to help you think strategically about which grants to apply for
  • a worksheet to help you get organized before writing a grant
  • links to online resources that can help you write a grant and
  • a checklist to help manage your grants.


Looking for Grants If you don’t have any ideas about possible grant funding sources or if you want to expand your grant funding opportunities, see the list below.


  • The Foundation Center is rich with resources to help you find grants. The Foundation Center collects, organizes, and communicates information on U.S. philanthropy; conducts and facilitates research on trends in the field; provides education and training on the grant-seeking process; and ensures public access to information and services through its Web site, print and electronic publications, five library/learning centers, and a national network of more than 200 Cooperating Collections. The website Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is very helpful. The Foundation Center website
  • To find federal grant opportunities, start with the website. allows organizations to find and apply for Federal grants electronically. is the single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by all Federal grant-making agencies. website
  • To find state government grant funding for your team’s nutrition and physical activity plan, conduct an internet search for your state health department. Browse and search the state health department website for possible funding opportunities in your state.
  • State foundations are a good resource to help fund local-level programs. Many states have a state council, society, or association of foundations where you can find out about the foundations in your state. Using an internet search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, search for your state foundations. For example, a search for “Iowa foundations” can lead you to the website for the Iowa Council of Foundations, which lists foundations in the state.


Writing Grants Many people are intimidated by grant writing. Fortunately, there are resources available to help write grants including books, workshops, and online resources. Below are some websites that can help you write grants.


  • The Foundation Center’s website is comprehensive and has reliable content. For assistance with grant writing, start in the Frequently Asked Questions section with the question, “How can I learn about proposal writing?” The website also includes links to example grant proposals. The Foundation Center website
  • The Community Tool Box is an online resource for developing and managing community health programs. The Tool Box has one chapter dedicated to getting grants, and it has information on writing a grant application. The Community Tool Box website. The Grantsmanship Center is a national organization that offers workshops and seminars in researching grants, writing grant proposals, and negotiating with funding sources. Grantsmanship Center website
  • State nonprofit associations often have workshops on writing grants. Search the internet for your state’s nonprofit association and consider attending one of its grant-writing workshops.
  • Another option is to hire a grant-writing consultant. You can ask colleagues in other community nonprofit organizations about available consultants in your area, or you can search the internet. The Foundation Center has some questions in the Frequently Asked Questions portion of its website on this topic.

  Grant Funding Research Form : This form can help you figure out which grants are best matched with your project

Request for Funding Checklist : Use this form to help get organized before writing the grant proposal

  Grant Management Checklist : Once you get a grant use this form to keep track of critical information




People work together in a number of ways, in coalitions, partnerships, committees, teams, task forces, and so on. The tools in Moving to the Future will help you no matter how your group is structured. To make Moving to the Future friendly to people working together in different ways, we use these group terms interchangeably. So, if you are working in a formal committee and Moving to the Future uses the word team, the information applies to you as well.


In Moving to the Future, the word program is defined broadly and could encompass any group of activities including projects, services, programs, and policy or environmental changes.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

In Moving to the Future, we often pair the wordnutrition with the phrase physical activity, as for example in “address the nutrition and physical activity needs” or “develop a nutrition and physical activity plan.” This does not suggest that these materials are only useful to people working on community-based nutrition AND physical activity programs. You can use the Moving to the Future resources to develop a plan focused only on nutrition or a plan focused only on physical activity. Moving to the Future provides guidance on a process–not on content. In fact, these materials could be adapted and used to develop a teen pregnancy prevention plan, for example, or a plan for any other community health priority.

Be Flexible & Realistic

Moving to the Future principles Flexible and Realistic are the bywords of this approach. The intent of Moving to the Future is to provide guidance. Use what is helpful and modify materials to meet your needs. Planning and implementing community-based programs is not work that can be done perfectly. Do the best you can, given your real-world limitations, and commit to making improvements every year.