Successful grant programs aren't about churning out a lot of applications (although that helps). They aren't even about writing the perfect submission (although that helps too)! The key to winning grants is making sure your mission fits the funding philosophy of the potential funders and your proposals clearly explain how their dollars will help advance that mission.
That said, foundations award more than $80 billion in grants every year and connecting with the right foundations can transform a nonprofit.
A successful grant program identifies foundations that like to fund missions that are similar to yours, researches their approach and historical giving history, and makes sure that your grant submissions:
Give a compelling, fact-based description of your program, including evidence-based support for your approach;
Show how you will achieve and measure your goals; and
Outline your costs and sources of revenue in a way that gives the foundation confidence that you will be a good steward of their funds.
More than anything else, winning grant applications share your vision for how the investment that a foundation makes in your mission will make the world a better place.