Generally, there are a variety of grant writing seasons, but we are here to provide guidance on the most common ones.

The fact is that there might be several grant writing seasons depending on the area of focus of your nonprofit, the funding sources chosen, and the type of grant proposal you will be submitting.

Scholarship foundations often set their grant deadlines in spring (usually in March and April), while other philanthropic organizations focus their grant cycles around deadlines in February and June.

The deadlines for other foundations may align with their fiscal year (most commonly from July to October), or may coincide with their quarterly board meetings.

Our site helps you keep track of your upcoming deadlines and even predicts when a funder’s deadline may be set based on historical data. If you are applying for foundation, federal, and government grants, you can assume that the spring will have fewer deadlines and you will be able to plan your vacation.

We will discuss how to get ready for the federal and state grant writing season!

Is there a federal grant writing season?

Generally speaking, since the fiscal year ends September 30, many federal grantmaking agencies will award the majority of grants from April to September (meaning that you’ll have to work hard from October to March).

In addition, it may be necessary to work on the proposal over the federal holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and President’s Day.

Each year, 26 federal agencies release over 1,000 grant programs to fund promising projects focusing on different topics and categories.

Is it overwhelming to you?

 You don’t necessarily need to worry if you know how to prepare. 

When it comes to writing grants for youth serving agencies, for example, spring is often the time when they write their proposals for grants to HHS.

For nonprofits that provide substance abuse and mental health services to vulnerable populations and apply for funds from SAMHSA, the busiest season is probably between January and June.

You might discover that deadlines from the Department of Labor are spread throughout the year (January, February, March, April, and November), with a pause in late spring and summer (from May to September).

There were several Requests for Proposals issued by the Department of Justice for grant writing in 2021, with the exception of November.

The key to success is being knowledgeable of the specific “grant funding cycle” of the agency you will have to submit your proposal to. 

The fiscal year ends June 30 in most of the US (except Alabama, Michigan, New York, and Texas). Alabama and Michigan end their fiscal years on September 30; New York on March 31; and Texas on August 31.

US Territories: how do they fare? The fiscal year ends on September 30 only for three of them (Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands).

So what is the main takeaway at this point?

July to December are busy months if you plan to submit grant proposals to states. Once your deadlines are set, it will be necessary to plan ahead for how to meet the specific milestones and deliverables needed before submitting the final proposal. Make sure you get familiar with the funders’ requirements, gather updated data on the needs of the community you serve, prepare your infographics to showcase your achieved outcomes, and reach out to potential partners to explore opportunities for collaboration or for letters of support (just to name a few steps).

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