Put simply, grant proposals are requests submitted to profit-making or non-profit making organizations seeking a grant (or money).
So, grant proposal writing sounds easy enough doesn't it? Now let's look at what it really entails. Grants are monetary amounts awarded by a particular organization for a given purpose e.g. for an arts-related, scientific, or charitable undertaking. A corporate business, a not-for-profit organization or a government body may award a grant. Almost always, the reason for awarding a grant is to bring about some improvement. Almost always, the decision is aligned to the giver’s culture, values or mission.
Not Sure How to Write a Grant Proposal? Check Out This Guide
In most cases, an effective grant proposal describes a project or piece of work that is ready to launch. An important thing about grant proposal writing is that the writer should set out a clear set of steps for their intended project, a budget, and timeline. This paper should not be an abstract one. The structure described below generally applies to all types of grants, regardless of the size. You should always check the requirements of the awarding organization to see if there is a preferred format you should use.
The Key Elements of a Grant Proposal
- Start with a cover letter. This is usually short and is used to communicate the nature of the project, what it involves, and the amount of money required. This is the one abstract part of grant proposal writing.
- The more detailed executive summary comes next. This describes what is involved in the planned project, who you are - an organisation or individual - and how the project aligns with the values of the granting organization. (You can state this either explicitly or implicitly as you think appropriate). This section contains more detail than a cover letter, but it isn't necessary to go into the specifics of a project at this stage.
- A “needs” statement or statement of need. This statement details a particular problem that the writer is attempting to address. Here, it's very important to provide a solid description of the issue or problem, giving practical data and examples where possible. It is a good idea to show the problem can be solved so that the person or organization being appealed to do not feel it is impossible.
- Objectives and goals. In this part, the writer outlines the specific and general results they expect to get. Begin by describing the wider impact you are hoping your project will have before you drill deeper into the more detailed results the grant money will help achieve.
- Strategies and methods. Where the last section (objectives and goals) addressed the proposal’s what, this part deals with how – how the results you described are to be achieved. Of the entire proposal, this part is one of the most critical because it sets out the actual activities that funding is being sought for.
- Evaluation plan. This plan is the method used to measure the projects’ progress and it is an accountability vehicle for the applicant and the person or organisation providing the funds.
- Budgetary breakdown. This shows how any awarded money will be used.
- Information about you or your organization. Provide a detailed description of yourself and/or your organization including biographies and the roles of key participants.
A Few Tips for Individual Industry Types
Although the above guidelines generally apply to all industries, there can be some small variations. The following are some tips for the different types:
- Grants for Charitable Purposes
This category may include solving educational, environmental, healthcare or social problems. Therefore, it is essential to remain focused on how serious the problem is and why your solution is better than others.
It is also worth highlighting the skills and experience of participating team members since these projects often involve quite sizeable teams of people.
- Grants for Scientific Projects
If you are seeking funding for a scientific project, you may want to underline how your project will contribute to existing understanding and its wider implications for society. It is vital to include research materials, science-based facts, and other relevant data.
It is also essential to shun language that is too scientific and instead choose language that is easy to understand.
- Grant Proposals for Arts-Based Projects
A grant proposal for an arts-related project needs to highlight the existing portfolio and background of the applicable artist(s), how the art project will help the wider community, and the manner in which the funds are to be used (in a specified time period).
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So, to sum up, if your aim is to get funding for a project, it is a requirement that you write a concrete grant proposal that provides detailed information regarding your intended project. Grants are normally awarded by commercial enterprises or governing authorities. However, these are only awarded when the applicant’s proposal meets the grantee’s requirements. If it is the case you think you have written a successful grant proposal yourself, then you should not hesitate to submit it with a concise cover letter. Otherwise, ask the experts at PaperMasters.org for assistance!