HOW TO DEVELOP AND WRITE A GRANT PROPOSAL

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Product Category: Business Plan

Product Code: 00005659

No of Pages: 31

No of Chapters: 10

File Format: Microsoft Word

Price :

₦5000

Contents

Developing a Grant Proposal...........................................................................................................1

Preparation.....................................................................................................1

Developing Ideas for the Proposal.............................................................1

Community Support ..................................................................................2

Identifying Funding Resources..................................................................3

Getting Organized to Write the Proposal...................................................4

Writing an Effective Grant Proposal..................................................................5

Overall Considerations..................................................................................5

Basic Components of a Proposal..................................................................5

Cover Letter..................................................................................................6

Proposal Summary: Outline of Project Goals...............................................6

Introduction: Presenting a Credible Applicant ............................................7

Problem Statement or Needs Assessment......................................................7

Project Objectives: Goals and Desired Outcome..........................................8

Program Methods and Program Design: A Plan of Action.............................8

Evaluation: Product and Process Analysis.....................................................9

Future Funding ............................................................................................. 11

Budget Development and Requirements........................................................ 11

Proposal Appendix..........................................................................................13

Additional Proposal Writing Websites................................................................13  

 

Summary

This report is intended for Members and staff assisting grant seekers in districts and states and covers writing proposals for both government and private foundations grants. In preparation for writing a proposal, the report first discusses preliminary information gathering and preparation, developing ideas for the proposal, gathering community support, identifying funding resources, and seeking preliminary review of the proposal and support of relevant administrative officials.

The second section of the report covers the actual writing of the proposal, from outlining of project goals, stating the purpose and objectives of the proposal, explaining the program methods to solve the stated problem, and how the results of the project will be evaluated, to long-term project planning, and, finally, developing the proposal budget.

The last section of the report provides a listing of free grants-writing websites, including guidelines from the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and the Foundation Center’s “Proposal Writing Short Course.”

Related CRS reports are CRS Report RL34035, Grants Work in a Congressional Office, by

Merete F. Gerli; CRS Report RL34012, Resources for Grantseekers, by Merete F. Gerli; and CRS Report RS21117, Ethical Considerations in Assisting Constituents With Grant Requests Before Federal Agencies, by Jack Maskell.

 




Developing a Grant Proposal

Preparation 

A well-formed grant proposal is one that is carefully prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged. The potential applicant generally seeks first to become familiar with all of the pertinent program criteria of the funding institution. Before developing a proposal, the potential applicant may refer to the information contact listed in the agency or foundation program description to learn whether funding is available, when applicable deadlines occur, and the process used by the grantor agency or private foundation for accepting applications.

Grant seekers should know that the basic requirements, application forms, information, and procedures vary among grant-making agencies and foundations. Federal agencies and large foundations may have formal application packets, strict guidelines, and fixed deadlines with which applicants must comply, while smaller foundations may operate more informally and even provide assistance to inexperienced grantseekers. However, the steps outlined in this report generally apply to any grant-seeking effort.

Individuals without prior grant proposal writing experience may find it useful to attend a grantsmanship class or workshop. Applicants interested in locating workshops or consulting more resources on grantsmanship and proposal development should consult the Internet sites listed at the end of this report and explore other resources in their local libraries.

Local governments may obtain grant writing assistance from a state’s office of Council of Governments (CSG) or Regional Council. The primary mission of CSG is to promote and strengthen state government in the federal system by providing staff services to organizations of state officials. Grassroots or small faith-based nonprofit organizations can seek the help and advice of larger, more seasoned nonprofit organizations or foundations in their state.

Developing Ideas for the Proposal

The first step in proposal planning is the development of a clear, concise description of the proposed project. To develop a convincing proposal for project funding, the project must fit into the philosophy and mission of the grant-seeking organization or agency; and the need that the proposal is addressing must be well documented and well articulated. Typically, funding agencies or foundations will want to know that a proposed activity or project reinforces the overall mission of an organization or grant seeker, and that the project is necessary. To make a compelling case, the following should be included in the proposal:

       Nature of the project, its goals, needs, and anticipated outcomes;

       How the project will be conducted;

       Timetable for completion;

       How best to evaluate the results (performance measures);

       Staffing needs, including use of existing staff and new hires or volunteers; and

       Preliminary budget, covering expenses and financial requirements, to determine what funding levels to seek.

When developing an idea for a proposal, it is also important to determine if the idea has already been considered in the applicant’s locality or state. A thorough check should be made with state legislators, local government, and related public and private agencies which may currently have grant awards or contracts to do similar work. If a similar program already exists, the applicant may need to reconsider submitting the proposed project, particularly if duplication of effort is perceived. However, if significant differences or improvements in the proposed project’s goals can be clearly established, it may be worthwhile to pursue federal or private foundation assistance.

Community Support

For many proposals, community support is essential. Once a proposal summary is developed, an applicant may look for individuals or groups representing academic, political, professional, and lay organizations which may be willing to support the proposal in writing. The type and caliber of community support is critical in the initial and subsequent review phases. Numerous letters of support can influence the administering agency or foundation. An applicant may elicit support from local government agencies and public officials. Letters of endorsement detailing exact areas of project sanction and financial or in-kind commitment are often requested as part of a proposal to a federal agency. Several months may be required to develop letters of endorsement, since something of value (e.g., buildings, staff, services) is sometimes negotiated between the parties involved. Note that letters from Members of Congress may be requested once a proposal has been fully developed and is ready for submission.

While money is the primary concern of most grantseekers, thought should be given to the kinds of nonmonetary contributions that may be available. In many instances, academic institutions, corporations, and other nonprofit groups in the community may be willing to contribute technical and professional assistance, equipment, or space to a worthy project. Not only can such contributions reduce the amount of money being sought, but evidence of such local support is often viewed favorably by most grant-making agencies or foundations.

Many agencies require, in writing, affiliation agreements (a mutual agreement to share services between agencies) and building space commitments prior to either grant approval or award. Two useful methods of generating community support may be to form a citizen advisory committee or to hold meetings with community leaders who would be concerned with the subject matter of the proposal. The forum may include the following:

       Discussion of the merits of the proposal;

       Development of a strategy to create proposal support from a large number of community groups, institutions, and organizations; and

       Generation of data in support of the proposal. 



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