Steps To Writing A Grant Proposal

The Key To Learning To Write A Grant Proposal:

grant-proposal-writingYou do not have to be a professional grant writer or even a writer to write a winning grant proposal. Many grants are awarded to grassroot groups that have not had any grant writing experience.

The reason they are awarded the grant is not because of the great grant proposal but because they was able to show the grant funder why their project is important, show why it needed funding, how it was going to be done, why they was qualified to run the project and was able to give supporting information.

Things To Do Before Writing A Grant Proposal:

The first step to get a grant award is not to write a grant. I have seen many non profit groups start out by writing a grant proposal first then finding a potential funder, this will cause lots of wasted time.

Develop a outline of what the project is. It does not have to be perfect or even be well edited, it is just so you know where your going before you start.

List known expenses of the project. This is so you know how much grant funds you are needed and so you can spot grants that excluded expenses that you are trying to get funded.

List items and supporters you already have. Most grant funders do not want to be the soul supporter of a project. It is good practice to know what you already have before asking for more.

Research other projects that are doing similar things. Don’t waste time by over researching but you still must take time to research other similar projects to learn from their success and failures.

Research grant funding options and identify a potential funder. Spend time to qualify the funder so you do not waist time writing a grant proposal that can not be funded because the project does not meet guidelines. Guidelines should be read several times before a grant proposal is started.

The Best Book For Learning To Write A Grant:

Handicapped woman in officeAs a grant writer I read lots of books to advance my knowledge. Some of the books I read turn out to be great and some turn to be duds. I have definable learned that not all grant books offer what they advertises. When I am asked by someone just learning how to write a grant and obtain funding I always recruitment this grant writing book.

Major Parts Of A Grant Proposal:

Before learning to write a proposal one must learn the basic parts of a grant. Depending on what type of grant you are applying for or what the funding foundation is asking for the section may change but generally the same type of information will be required.

Cover Letter: a short letter introduction and helps set the pace for the grant proposal. (Not all funders allow cover letters)

Summary: gives the grant funders an overview of the applicant, the project that needs funding and why the project is needed. Also sometimes called a Introduction.

Need Statement: direct and clear statement identifying the needs the project is trying to meet and how the information was gathered.

Goals and Objectives: gives direct solutions on how the project will address the needs given in the need statement.

Methods: a description on how the goals and objectives will be achieved and details on why/how the methods was chosen.

Evaluation: a descriptive plan on how the project will be evaluated and how the results will be executed.

Future Funding: a plan identifying methods and ways the project will receive continued funds.

Budget: a line-item summary of program revenues and expenses.

How To Write A Cover Letter For A Grant Proposal:

A cover letter is written in similar format to a formal letter would be.

Format the letter as you are writing any letter to a professional. Make sure to address the funder as specifically as possible and use the date you will be sending the proposal. The cover letter should consist of three, no more than four short paragraphs written on company letter head.

The first paragraph should be a introduction of the applying organization, what the project is and what you are asking for. If possible, include a very short mention of why the project is needed. For example: Due to the 30% increase in high school dropouts among teen moms we are developing this program to help teen moms stay in school.

The second paragraph should give a brief statement of the history of your organization, the experience you have involving the specific types of projects and how your mission aligns with their mission statement.

The final paragraph should close the cover letter with an idea of what the grant funding could do. Identify the projected outcome of the project with supporting information.

Make sure to thank the potential funding for their time and close the letter with a signature.

How To Write A Grant Proposal Summary:

The grant summary should not be written until the body of the grant proposal is written.

The grant summary is the most read section of a grant proposal. The summary should not be information just cut and pasted from the proposal but also should not include information that cannot be found through the proposals.

A successful grant summary should explain the key elements of your project in the future tense perspective. Most grant funders ask for a summary that includes a one page summary that outlines who the applicant is, the mission of the applying group, the needs the project is meeting, the cost of the project, the timeline of the project and information on the projected outcome.

How To Write A Need Statement:

Show why the project is needed.

A need statement is typically three to four pages and must be able to paint a picture in the readers mind. To do that you must clearly define the need your project is serving and give supporting details. Show readers where you got the information you are getting and why your project is the right project to serve the need. Use data gathered by reliable services that shows statistical analysis and trends involving the need for your project.

How To Write A Goal And Objective Statement:

State the goals of the project and what results you a seeking to accomplish.

A goal and objective statement must provide readers with the clear and concise goals of the project and an outline on how those goals will be accomplished. State what your nonprofit hopes to achieve, including specific results and/or outcomes, using key words like: Increase, reduce, provide, protect, improve and others.

How To Write A Methodology Statement?

Give the detail. You already told them what you want to do, now tell them the steps you are taking to get there and why that path was chosen..

A methodology statement must clearly describe the activities the project requires and tell the reason for each required activity. Also include a detailed time line of when the activity will start and end. Make sure any special requirements of the activity are mentioned, such as any staff that is needed or materials that may be needed.

Rhonda Morton

Rhonda Morton is a co-author of Learn By Yourself and has written for several journals in the past. Her love of writing originates from writing books as a youth.