Every year, corporations, foundations and government agencies
dispense billions of dollars in grants to companies for addressing
issues these organizations are interested in. Writing good grant
proposals is a valuable skill. You can learn much of what you need
to know to write a successful proposal by talking to the agency
offering the grant. The main parts of a grant proposal are:
- Abstract. This brief summary, about a half-page long,
should clearly describe your proposed project, much like an
executive summary of a business plan.
- Needs statement. This describes the situation or problem
your proposal will address, including supporting evidence. It
should focus on the problem you hope to solve with the grant money
and make the case that the problem is fixable, that this is the
appropriate agency to take on this problem, and that the problem is
significant enough to warrant funding
- Project description. This part of the proposal describes
the project, explaining how it will solve the problem. It should
convince the reader that your way is the best way.
- Goals. This section should describe the desired outcome
of your project. Discuss both long-range goals and specific,
short-term objectives, as well as the precise effect to be achieved
and the means you will employ. It should be reasonable, measurable
and bound to a specific time frame.
- Action plan. The action plan is a step-by-step
description of sequential activities that must be completed to
achieve the objectives. It should clearly and specifically say who
will do each step, what will be done and when.
- Evaluation. This describes how the project will be
monitored and its results evaluated. It should cover the criteria
for measuring progress, say who will be conducting the evaluations,
and tell when evaluations will be held.
- Budget. This is where you tell how you'll use the money
you receive. It should be within the amount you're asking for, be
realistic, and include only eligible expenses. Make it detailed
enough to satisfy anyone's curiosity on the question of how the
money will be spent, and make sure everything adds up.