Are you drooling for a grant? Who isn't, especially in today's economy. But to get one, you'll have to do more than daydream. You'll have to work hard, pray hard (that's pray, not play), and you'll have to do your homework. That includes educating yourself about the different types of grants, what they're for, who's offering them, and what grant makers expect from you before they write and sign that wonderful check.
I've won several grants in my lifetime. (UPDATE! Just won another one. Check below for details.) These Rules of Thumb were inspired by actual questions people asked about how I did it. In my experience, unless the grant maker is your uncle, there's no easy way to get a grant. There's no magic formula or short cut. There's not even a set way to apply for grants.
Every single grant has its own set of guidelines, so if you want to save yourself some grief (and paper), read this article before you apply.