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How to write an Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Executive Summary : Thinking of how to write a successful executive summary for your grant proposal, this post stipulates the step-by-step procedure on how to go about it  and also an executive summary sample is included to guide you.

What is an executive summary?

Executive Summary is also known as Project Summary or Abstract  and is described as a snapshot of your overall proposal that gives funding agency or the reader a summary of what your proposal is all about.

It can also be described as a synopsis of each major proposal component. It usually summarizes your entire proposal in one page.

Executive Summary is usually the last to be written after every other section of the grant proposal has been written while incorporating all elements of the entire proposal. Your executive summary has to be compelling and should stimulate the funder’s interest in your project.

Simply put it this way,  successful executive summary should be enticing and inviting to the funder to read on till the end of your proposal.

Executive summary is usually placed at the very beginning of your grant proposal. A poorly written executive summary will hinder or hurt your chances of getting funded. Funding agencies have over hundreds of grant proposals to read through during the proposal review stage, so don’t give them the opportunity to dump your proposal because of your poorly written executive summary.

 

What should be included in a Project Summary?

When writing executive summary of your grant proposal, there are relevant parts that must be included before your grant proposal can be successful and they include;

  • Organization Capacity and Experience; your executive summary should contain your organization mission, history, and accomplishment. You state your organization history, mission, and level of experience relating to the proposed project and your accomplishments so far. Some persons place the summary of the organization and credentials first while others prefer to state this last in the executive summary. Whatever position, what matters most is your ability to demonstrate your capacity to successfully implement the proposed project.
  • Statement of needs: You should include evidence that the need your project wants to address really exists and the target population that is involve or will serve as the beneficiary of the project. Use local data and statistics to define the existence of the need. Funding agency prefers when you use hard data and facts to define the existence of your need.
  • Proposed project or program: Here, you first state the title of your proposed project, and then narrate your program and how it will address the need you have identified. Also, state your goals and objectives or purpose. State your beneficiaries, where you are going to implement the project, start date and due date for the project, how you are going to measure the success and evaluate the outcomes. In addition, your program should describe the services you will render, where, when, and how—give a summary description of how your program will work.
  • Set project budget and amount of request: You start the total proposed project budget, the amount you are requesting from the funding agency and list other sources of income for your project you might have received. Also, state how you will continue the project beyond the funding period i.e. how the project will be sustained in future funding cycles.

In conclusion, Executive Summary is important part of your grant proposal that gives you the first opportunity to grab your funding agency’s attention. It increases your chances of making a positive first impression about your proposed project.

Most funding agency focus more on executive summary and may not have time to go through the entire proposal especially if the executive summary is poorly written.  When written properly and well positioned, it stimulates funder’s interest to continue reading the rest of your grant proposal.

Executive Summary should be one page and should incorporate all elements of the completed proposal.

Ensure that your executive summary is compelling and captivating enough in order to distinguish your proposal from the pack.

Example of Executive Summary

The Next Impact Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 2010, whose mission is to help young people improve, maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle and maximize their potentials in order to succeed in life.

The Next Impact Foundation provides 5,000 youth per year with leadership, entrepreneurship, arts, education and career development programs. We have supported over 1000 youth access employment opportunities and prepare 500 become college ready and now we assist over 300 daily with educational and skills development trainings.

The number of Out-of-School Youth has increased in Lugbe district as nearly 50% of the area children live in poverty and this has led to high rate of school dropout as some of their parents can’t afford tuition fees to send their kids to a good school in the area. Also, the area has witnessed incessant juvenile arrests in the area over the past 5 years because youth idle away their time instead of being in school.

Furthermore, the percentage of elementary school age students in the district being retained due to LEAP test failure is 50%.

With this in mind, The Next Impact Foundation has created a comprehensive After School Program tagged “After-School Program for Out-of-School Youth in Lube District.”

The program will provide free academic, emotional and physical development of 100 youth from low-income families in Lube district. These youth will be provided with homework assistance and tutoring in all academic areas. They will also be provided with sports and other extracurricular activities.

The goal of the proposed project is to increase the educational development of 100 Out-of-School youth and reintegrate them back to school through the after school program.

The specific objectives of the program are to;

  • Support 100 Out-of-School youth with a variety of learning activities.
  • Improve their scores on standard academic proficiency tests.
  • Reintegrate at least 75% of them back to school.
  • Increase school attendance rate by 50%.

Progress towards the proposed project goals and objectives will be tracked through attendance register, school attendance rate, test scores on standardized academic achievement tests and review of students’ report cards. Also, an independent assessment of our progress will be conducted by Cartel Institute at Lube University.

The total budget for the proposed project is $100,000 for one year (Jan, 2014 to Dec 20th 2014), while our annual operating budget total is $1.5 million. The program will run the entire academic year. The Next Impact Foundation is requesting the full amount from Zion Family Foundation to implement this proposed project. For project sustainability, we plan to diversify our funding sources.

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