Previously Funded Grant Applications: Gold for Grant Writers

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Oct 16, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Gold treasure chest representing the value of previously funding grant applications for grant writers“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This famous quotation is a rather humble statement from a key player in the scientific revolution, Isaac Newton. It’s a statement that holds true across time and disciplines—music, art, even grant writing.

“Grant writing?! Are you kidding?” you say bewildered.

Sure. If you want to play like Jimi Hendrix (and no one can), you get your scales down, you listen to "Little Wing” repeatedly, you practice until your fingers bleed, and hopefully you have some talent. If you want to write a winning grant application, you learn from the best—and a winning application is a good start. The Newton quotation might be an exaggerated connection, but you get the point.

Those searching for a previously funded application (PFA) want to study a winning proposal that will help them draft their proposal or understand the review process that led to the award. PFAs can be invaluable to both new and experienced writers.

So how can you access samples of winning applications? You can submit a request to the agency soliciting grant proposals or through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process (the latter's a last-ditch effort), find them through the federal agency website, or readily access them through a database that has already done the research footwork.

On that last point, here's our footwork:

About eCivis

eCivis is the nation's leading grants management software solution and the ideal platform for improving local governments' and community-based organizations' grants performance. For more information about eCivis, visit For media inquiries, contact

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Topics: Grant Writing, FOIA