What is a grant proposal?
A grant proposal is a document written by an organization or individual to a funding agency or a specific company for financial support.
It is also a call of action or a request for money.
A grant proposal is a well-supported argument for bringing change.
Profitable and not-for-profit organizations can request financing.
Organizations or individuals request support when they have plans to advance an important cause.
The first benefits of grant proposal request go to the organizations or individuals that need the money.
Grantees or funders perceive grant awards as investments to bring a positive change in the things they care about.
They don’t necessarily invest in any projects, but one focused on their mission.
That means the funders can influence and impact society significantly on issues concerning the culture, values, and morals of a company.
Both funders and organizations requesting financial support work together to bring more productivity to achieve a specific result.
To get a better idea of the fundamentals of grant proposal writing, watch the video tutorial from YALI Network.
They examine the key elements that make up a grant proposal, including the narrative or project description, statement of need, organizational overview, budget, and supporting materials.
Read on for more information.
How to write a grant proposal
Before writing, you need to process and plan to come up with a good Grant proposal.
It would help if you had guidance from a funding agency, a professor, or a mentor to advise you on how to come up with a successful grant proposal and know how it looks like based on your field.
As you plan and draft, you are grant proposal, you need to consider the audience’s purpose and the Grant proposal expectations.
Who is your grant proposal audience?
Understanding your audience will help you write a grant proposal that relates to them for considerations.
What you want to do should align with the agency’s goals and objectives.
Know the interests of your readers on the subject you are seeking support for.
Know the agency’s values, culture, and morals.
You will present a good plan when you have enough information about your proposal readers.
You will know the vocabulary to use and the background to discuss the topic of discussion and your goals for your audience to understand your plan.
Look for words and information that will persuade your audience.
some of the information your audience may be looking for to be persuaded include
- Accurate and explained data
- Recommendations from collaborators you have partnered with before.
- Historical precedence
Your argument should be well constructed for your readers to relate to what you’re talking about.
Several expectations should be met to get a grant award.
When writing the proposal, ensure these requirements adhere to the latter.
Revise and study previous grant proposal samples in your field and have received grants you are applying for.
Funders are looking for organizations or individuals who have the capacity and knowledge of using their funds to bring a positive change.
Present yourself as knowledgeable on what you’re talking about in your plan and highlight previous accomplishments that can verify your capacity and ability to succeed in this project.
You can also highlight individuals and organizations that have collaborated and partnered with before.
When writing a grant proposal, go directly to the point.
Follow all the requirements needed and ensure you have a good heading to call your audience to action.
Your sentences should be clear and compelling.
Writing a grant proposal.
Software such as PandaDoc is a great tool to create a professional grant proposal.
Writing a grant proposal for not-for-profit organizations.
Writing a proposal for a non-profit organization your document should have a small section of your fundraising plan.
The fundraising plan should include
- Fundraising goals
- Estimated cost
- Projects timeline
- Grants perspectives
Looking for a grant proposal sample for non-profit organizations can act as a template when writing yours.
How to write a grant proposal for a small business
Look for a grant proposal sample for small businesses so that you can know what should be included.
The process of writing the proposal for a small business is the same for non-profit organizations.
Register the business in a federal grant program before asking for grants.
It is advisable to write a grant letter before writing a grant proposal to save on time.
A grant letter is a brief description of the full grant proposal.
If your funders approve the letter, they will request a formal grant proposal for the processes to start.
Using document management software, you can save you time and energy when writing your Grant proposal.
Most of the software can handle other tasks, such as agreements, contracts, and quotes.
Structure of a grant proposal
A grant proposal has a structure of format that needs to be followed to be successful.
Below is a step-by-step guide of the structure.
A proposal summary summarizes the main points or objectives of your project.
It acts as a synopsis of your proposal.
It should have enough details and specifications that can compel the reader to award you with grants.
The summary should have two or three paragraphs.
It is advisable to write the proposal summary last after you have completed your entire proposal.
Avoid fluffs and generalization when writing.
Go direct to the point and ensure your work is factual.
Use our templates to get an idea of how to write a grant proposal summary.
This is where you provide an overview of your organization or business.
You should highlight your organizational goals, objectives, and philosophy.
Include your company history president and the track record of success stories you have had.
Mention biography of key staff in your company.
Provide accurate and complete information to show the grantee you are free to be selected.
It would help if you had the following to write a grant proposal
- Letters of thanks
- Clients recommendations
- Clients feedbacks
- General public feedback
- Valid industry certifications
- Business insurance details
- Indemnity insurance details.
Providing this information shows that your company can meet all deliverables and legal obligations.
Provide your company’s solvency statements to prove to the funders you have financial capability for your contractors and staff commitments.
A problem statement is also known as a needs assessment or needs analysis.
In this section, you highlight the grant proposal purpose.
You need to highlight the beneficiaries of the project and how these solutions are to be implemented.
Take time and do extensive research on the problem.
Highlight the previous solutions implemented on the same issue and the failures of implementation.
Indicate why your solution will be different from the previous one and how it will make a difference.
This is a section that provides information and details of the desired outcome.
It also highlights how success will be measured.
This information is essential because it provides the benefits the community, government clients, or grantee have invested in.
Articulate and explain key performance indicators.
The indicators should include
- Specified measurements details.
- The date when the performance indicators measurements will be taken.
- How they will be measured
- The baseline on which the results will be taken.
Here you highlight the additional facilities that are needed to facilitate the project delivery.
The skills needed for the success of the project.
- Support services.
- Transportation services.
- Project management methodologies and discipline
- Articulated individual specific tasks.
- The schedule of the project.
Highlighting all this information gives you focus on your project to get good results.
This section covers the process evaluation and product evaluation.
The timeframe for evaluating the project is also highlighted.
The person to do the evaluation, specific skills required, and the cost of evaluating the project is indicated in this stage.
Since the evaluation process is expensive, it’s essential to highlight entry and exit criteria to focus on the scope of your project.
When you have the farm project management discipline and methodologies, you will be able to stick to your budget and avoid blowing it out in this stage.
This stage highlights funding requirements that are above and beyond the projects.
The funding includes the total cost of ownership, if any, and should be articulated for at least five years.
This includes the ongoing maintenance of operational support and business.
Use an accurate cost model that includes the following in this section
- Specialist skills
- Ongoing training
- Potential for the future growth of the project.
- Expenses on decommissioning when the project is completed.
This is where you ask yourself the amount of money required to deliver results.
You need a table of services or a service catalog to include all your expenses.
Included products offered to specify the services accurately.
This is the section where your funders look at most.
Ensure it is not over or undercharged because you may end up losing the grant award.
Overcharging may mean you want to profit from their investment, while undercharging may not complete your projects and deliver the results required.
Additional tips for writing a grant proposal
1. Become familiar with all the program criteria for which you are seeking grants.
2. Manage your project properly by planning on time to deliver the desired results.
3. Understand you are grantee goals and values and ensure they align with your proposal.
4. Come up with a unique service or idea that has not been funded by any private or government grants before.
5. Ensure the generated benefits are measurable tangible, and they benefit the community.
The grantee should also see they have made a good investment with their money.
How to write Grant proposals in different industries
The structure of the grant proposal is the same.
The only difference comes with the industry you are writing to.
Below are highlights of how to write the proposals in different industries.
Scientific grant proposal
Highlight your project significance and scientific contribution.
Use facts and figures that are realistic and relevant.
Use simple language for your grant is to understand your project.
Include your expertise and knowledge concerning this project and why you will be able to complete it.
Education grant proposal
Highlight how the project improves the education system.
You should also highlight detailed information on how the project will improve the students’ productivity and improve the learning process.
Provide information on the team that will put the project into practice and why you believe they can deliver.
Art grant proposal
Specify the time and date the projects will be started and completed.
If the dates are not included, the proposal may not be taken seriously.
Although your grantee may not understand your art, you can explain your project most thoroughly.
What is included in a grant proposal?
- Proposal summary
- Company’s background
- Problem statement
- Goals and objectives of the program
- Methodology plan
- Evaluation plan
- Future funding
- Project budget
What is the length of a grant proposal?
Grant proposals can range from 5 to 25 pages.
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the instructions highlighted by them funders about how the pages should look like and the length so that you may be on the right direction of getting the award.
How long does the proposal review take?
It takes approximately nine months for an individual or company to be given a grant award.
This is from the time the grantee receives your application.
What are the types of Grant proposal?
- Letter of Inquiry (LOI)
- Full proposal
- Letter proposal