How to write a Grant Proposal

This article provides you the step by step guide on how to write a grant proposal.

Many corporations, organizations, and government agencies award billions of dollars in grants to organizations each year to solve issues that these organizations care about. A grant proposal contains background information about the organization  seeking financing, explains why they are seeking cash, and forecasts the project’s positive results if it is funded.

A grant proposal should be a compelling and well-supported argument for change at its best.


how to write a grant proposal 

Grants of Various Types

Grants from funding agencies can be used to provide a variety of services to your organization. They include;

  • Operating support, often known as unrestricted financing, is a grant that helps with day-to-day expenses. It is used to support an organization’s overall activity and is not allocated to a specific purpose or project.
  • The most typical type of capital support is for specific capital projects. Building construction or acquisition, land purchase, renovations, remodeling, or property rehabilitation are all examples of these.
  • Program development grants or restricted financing are funds that are allocated to a certain program or project. The most typical sort of  program development grant is grants to support  After-School Program for Girls of Color.

How to Write a Grant Proposal Step by Step

You must prepare before you begin. When it comes to how to draft a grant proposal for a non-profit organization, this document should just be a minor element of your overall funding strategy.

To begin, you must outline your fundraising goals, evaluate the cost, create a project timeline, and seek out potential funding.

Before applying for a grant in the United States, the new entity must first register with a government grant program.

To save time, submitting a Letter of Inquiry before preparing a full grant application  makes sense.

If your  Funding Agency accepts your letter of Inquiry and sends you a formal grant proposal request, you can write a full RFP response to this and submit.

Follow the below guide to structure your grant proposal;

Step 1: Compose a Strong Cover Letter

Cover letter is a great way to get the attention of a funder and get your foot in the door. The letter, unlike the remainder of your grant application, can be less professional and speak directly to the reader. Your cover letter’s main goal is to persuade the reader to read your proposal. They’ve probably received dozens, if not hundreds, of grant applications, so your letter should stand out as much as possible. Check out samples of cover letter.

Step 2: Create an Executive Summary that is one page long.

Moving on to grant writing, every successful grant must begin with a concise executive summary. An executive summary, often known as a proposal summary, is simply a quick description of the full proposal. It introduces your company, market sector, proposal, and project objectives – in other words, your grant application.

It should have enough description and specifics; it should be concise and factual; and it should get to the point swiftly. To learn more about how to write an award winning Executive Summary, check it out here.

Step 3: Include your Organizational Profile

You can begin with your organization  now that you’ve set the tone for the entire presentation. Share as much information as possible about your organization, including its history, goal statement, and experience.

Here you should include significant staff biographies, your track record (success stories), organization goals, and core values; simply, you should highlight your competence.

You must demonstrate that your company has the capacity and capability to meet all deadlines and achieve the desired results for the  proposed project.


Step 4: Formulate a straightforward Problem Statement backed with data. 

This is where you describe why your community has a problem and how you can help. You have to prove with enough  evidence that the problem really exist. It’s also known as a “needs statement” or “statement of need.” The problem statement is one of the most crucial sections of the grant proposal format.

You may need to conduct considerable research into the history of the underlying problem, previous remedies that were tried and failed, and why your approach will make a difference.

The problem statement in a winning grant proposal will rely largely on quantitative data and clearly show how your organization addresses a need.

Step 5: Outline your Project  Objectives and Goals.

A clear statement of your goals and objectives is also a crucial aspect of the grant request process. In reality, many projects fail because this stage is overlooked or mishandled, resulting in all of their hard work being wasted.

Consider Goals to be general declarations of goal, whereas Objectives are more detailed expressions of intent with measurable outcomes and a time range.

Details regarding the desired outcome and how success will be judged should be written down. This part is critical for conveying information about the organization, community, government, or client’s expected return on investment.

Goals and Objectives should be distinguished, despite their similarity in sound.

Step 6: Methods and Strategies for Project Design

Now that the funding agency  is aware of your objectives, you must explain how you intend to achieve them. This section details the procedures and strategies that you or your organization intend to employ in order to complete your project.

List the project staff and abilities, as well as the additional facilities, transportation, and support services, that you’ll need to complete the project and meet the established success criteria.

With specific criteria established and individual activities articulated (project schedule), excellent project management discipline and procedures will preserve a good focus on tasks, deliverables, and results.

Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation 

This section discusses process evaluation – how will you monitor the development of your program?

It also covers the evaluation duration and who will do the evaluation, as well as the exact talents or items required and the cost of the project’s evaluation phase.

Because all funders will search for assessments, this is one of the most critical steps in creating a grant request.

Whether it’s government organizations or private foundations, everyone wants to know if the initiative they funded in was successful.

Evaluations can be costly, and they require entry and exit criteria as well as in-scope activities that are narrowly targeted. Because this phase can easily go over budget, all out-of-scope evaluation activities must be indicated. Solid project management discipline and methodology will once again keep a strong focus on evaluation tasks and outcomes.

Step 8: Sustainability and  Additional financial sources

Your founders will be put off by the prospect of investing in a project with no long-term prospects. They’ll be far more likely to reward a long-term winner and a viable enterprise with the potential to scale up.

That is why you must demonstrate how you will accomplish this.

This component of your grant request is for financing needs that extend beyond the project, such as continuing maintenance, everyday operations, and operational assistance.

This may necessitate you articulating the anticipated long-term costs (if any) for at least 5 years.

Inflation, specialized skills, ongoing training, potential future expansion, and decommissioning charges when the project or product reaches the end of its life cycle must all be factored into an accurate cost model.

Step 9: Create a budget for the project.

This part contains a full summary of all the items that needs sponsorship, as well as the amount of money you expect to allocate to each item. A budget part can comprise a table or a written description as long as each planned expense is thoroughly detailed. Correlate the things in the budget section to the approaches and tactics you described in your grant submission earlier.