Writing a Grant Proposal (25+ Templates & Examples)

Grants are of one the essential part of an organization’s success. Whether you run a nonprofit organization, private entity, or government-sponsored organization, you will find a reason to apply for a grant at some point in time. According to reports, governments and other philanthropic organizations offer millions of dollars to help companies fund their projects. However, in order to successfully apply for the grants, you need to possess professional traits and skills, among them grant writing skills. In this article, we will provide you with information on how to write and revise your grant proposals so as to get the much-needed funding.

What is a Grant Proposal?

Grant proposals are documents that are written by organizations to request grants from other bodies. Usually, many organizations, especially charity and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), greatly depend on outside funding from grants to finance their projects. If written properly, a grant proposal can open a world of possibilities to an organization by allowing the organization to carry out its mission, goals, and objectives. However, if the proposals aren’t written well, it can be a waste of time, effort, and resources. Therefore, as a grant seeker, it’s important that you write an attractive proposal that will win grantors’ interest.

Things to Consider Before Writing a Grant Proposal

A successful grant is the result of a combination of thorough research and an excellent proposal. Therefore, before you start writing the proposal, you need to prepare. Adequate preparation and planning will help you state your case in the most convincing way possible, making you stand out from your competitors. Therefore, ask yourself the following question,

Who is your audience?

Take some time and think about the agency that will be reading your proposal. What are their missions and goals? Is what you are asking aligned with the agency’s missions?

How to Write a Grant Proposal

Obviously, every grant proposal will be different depending on the organization’s needs. However, the following are some general steps you can follow while writing your own proposal.

Title

While it may seem obvious, the first thing you need to write in your proposal is the title page. This page should be catchy, brief, and explicit. It should include your project title, name, and address. Also, it should cover the details of the granting agency.

Usually, different granting agencies do have different preferences for formatting the title page. Therefore, you need to research the format style acceptable by the recipient.

Proposal summary

Proposal summary provides your grantors with the first impression of your project. As a general rule, you need to keep your summary brief, not exceeding one page. Again, make sure you make it as attractive as possible to entice your readers to keep going. Basically, the summary should explain the key elements of your project, the purpose of your project, and the amount needed.

Introduction

In the introduction, you need to describe yourself as a grant seeker. Explain to the reader who you are and what you do. If you are a charity organization, be sure to describe your organization, when it was founded and by who. Also, you can go ahead to explain your missions, visions, and philosophy. Make sure you include accurate and reliable information. Otherwise, your readers will be turned off easily in the introduction.

Problem statement

In this section, you can state the problem in which your project will help solve. Let the grantors understand your proposal’s significance and why your organization is the right one to implement it. To ensure you are on the right path, you need to do extensive research to understand the problem’s nature. You can also determine any other unsuccessful attempts or studies that have been implemented on the problem before. Conclude your problem statement by mentioning the new strategies you intend to use to make your proposal unique and promising.

Goals and objectives

The next thing you need to think of after the problem statement is objectives. Here, you can state what you hope to accomplish and the expected results. Make sure your objectives are SMART oriented.

Project design, methods, and strategies

You have stated your goals and objectives, fine! But it would be best if you walked your grantors through what exactly you intend to do to achieve these goals and objectives. Therefore, you need to provide a clear, logical model that will bring together various plans and resources into something tangible.

Evaluation section

Every grantor wants their grants to bring an impact in the end. Therefore, in order to guarantee them such, you need to inform them of the assessment measures that will help realize the project’s accomplishments. When your assessment measures prove reliable, you stand a high chance of winning your grantor’s hearts. Therefore, you can describe the type of data you will collect and how you will use them to evaluate the outcome of your project.

Funding

Here, you will mention the amount of funding you require to deliver the results. Preferably, you need to provide full justification for all expenses the whole project will require. Also, you can mention if there are any other funding sources or in-kind contributions available.

Additionally, you will provide the timelines needed for the implementation of your project. That being said, indicate whether the project has a limited duration or if it will go into the future.

Free Templates & Examples

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    Do’s and Don’ts

    Numerous things should be considered when writing a grant proposal, but there are some definite do’s and don’ts.

    Do’s

    Consider the following tips while writing a grant proposal:

    Be specific about the problems to be addressed

    Be specific about the objectives to be accomplished and how your project will help with those objectives.

    Be clear about the need for funding

    Explain how your proposed project would positively impact the community and how it could not occur without financial support. Provide all the information needed, including a budget for each line item. 

    Use keywords

    Ensure you know what the grantors are looking for in terms of subject matter and keywords. These are important as they help reviewers get a general sense of your project.

    Research the grantor

    Make sure to research the organization, who the decision-makers are, and their organizational mission and values. Also, research the grantor’s past funders and see how much funding has been given out in similar projects.

    Don’ts

    The following points should be avoided when writing a grant proposal:

    Don’t try to explain every single detail

    Write in a way that leaves room for the reader to imagine what you are trying to describe and build upon your ideas. In other words, your proposal must provide enough information for readers to understand your project as a whole but not too much that it sounds like you are writing a dissertation.

    Don’t be vague in describing your project

    Don’t detail unrelated topics just because you have to fill up space. Make sure that everything you include applies to your proposal. Vaguely covering unrelated topics wastes the reader’s time and can make it look like you just aren’t prepared yet.

    Don’t be repetitive

    Be careful that you don’t repeat yourself repeatedly in different ways, trying to describe the same thing. For instance, if you explain how an organization would use your project to provide services, that is not what they would be using it for. Be careful not to use the exact wording so often that it sounds like you are repeating yourself.

    Don’t leave out important details

    Don’t forget the most critical issues, such as how things will work, timelines, goals and objectives, the management structure of your unit, etc. Leaving out these details can make your grant applications look obvious or not thought out well.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between a grant proposal and a grant letter?

    A grant proposal is a formal request for funding from an external source and is the beginning of a formal grant application process. The proposal will include written material, including a cover letter and appendices.
    On the other hand, a grant letter is less formal than a proposal but still has guidelines. It is a smaller document outlining the research and writing required for a full-blown report on your proposal or how you plan to accomplish what you are requesting funding.

    How many pages should grant proposals have?

    The length of a grant proposal depends on the organization being asked for funding. For example, a large corporation will want a more in-depth proposal of 40-100 pages, while a government agency may only need a few 10-30 pages.

    How many hours does it take to draft a grant proposal?

    It depends. The amount of time it takes to write a proposal varies based on several factors, such as how long is the outline of your idea, what level of detail do you need to get into, the organization that is being requested for financial aid, the research needed, and whether you will be writing the proposal from scratch.

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