Several public corporations and private organizations in the US are funded by the government every year, so that they can take up specific projects. These funds are known as grants. They can be given to individuals or organizations.
In order to receive a grant, one is required to submit a formal request for funds, while specifying one's business needs and objectives. This application is known as a grant proposal.
Some organizations require the applicant to fill in an application form, while others accept grant proposals in the form of written documents. Well, writing a grant proposal is a form of business writing. Let us take a look at the basic components of a grant proposal and understand how to write it.
Tips on Writing a Grant Proposal
It is advisable to sketch a general outline of the contents of the grant proposal before preparing the actual one. Generally, Request for Proposal, abbreviated as RFP, serves as a guideline.
One of the fundamental constituents of a grant proposal is the cover letter. It should be brief and precise. It should not be a repetition of the information in the proposal. Make sure that you use the organization's letterhead for the cover letter.
In the introductory paragraph of the cover letter, talk about the organization and state its purpose of fundraising. Include the fact that the Board of Directors of the organization support your grant request. Conclude with a thought on the funding partnership.
Ensure that the cover letter is signed by the Executive Director or the Board President of the requesting organization.
The next important component of a grant proposal is the executive summary, which should intrigue the reader to go through your proposal, and convince him of the importance of your grant request.
It is important to identify the main sections of your proposal and include them in the summary. Also, remember to include information about the proposed program and the objectives of the project.
The body of the grant proposal should bear information about the goals that the organization intends to accomplish with the funds. It is important to mention the means and measures by which the organization plans to achieve its objectives.
You can include a model describing the strategies and program design to be implemented in the project. It will help the funding organization to understand your business goals. Make sure that the objectives are clearly stated. Avoid vague ideas regarding the plans of the organization and do not generalize.
Be specific while covering the financial aspect of the project. It is not advisable to give rough estimates about the project costs. Spend some time researching and calculating the actual costs and funds required for meeting them.
You can attach a small budget chart that specifies the project cost, and the expected income and expenses at various stages of the project. So, it is extremely important to quote the exact cost of machinery and labor for which funding is required. Be realistic about the project costs and duration.
A well-organized work plan will assist you in formulating descriptions of work responsibilities and the time schedule.
If you are suspected of not having a clear financial sheet, you are at the risk of losing the grant. Usually, funding organizations do not prefer being the only ones assisting a project. They often find it risky to be the sole supporters of a particular project. Hence, if you have sought financial assistance from other organizations, do make a mention of it.
Proofread your proposal, and have others proofread it for you. Before submitting the final draft of your grant proposal, ask colleagues or friends to help you to improve the proposal. It is advisable to have at least two people outside the organization review the proposal, prior to submission.
Writing a successful grant proposal requires careful planning and organization. Do not make the mistake of overlooking the minute details in the content and its formatting. Be precise and clear about disclosing all the necessary information about the proposed project.
Follow the common rules of salutation and conclusion that are applicable to formal letter writing. The gist of writing a grant proposal is to convince the grantor, that your project is worth putting money in.