Typical Proposal Elements

I recently spoke to this year’s Venango Vision Leadership Institute about writing a grant proposal.  As a group they will be developing a project to address real-life problems faced by members of our community, and crafting a grant proposal to fund their project.  None of this year’s participants had ever written a grant proposal, so I was asked to give a brief summary of what is involved in writing one.  Here are my notes:

Typical Elements of a Grant Proposal (a framework to work with; must personalize each proposal according to funder’s specific layout and guidelines)

1. Executive Summary (1 page)
–  Presents an umbrella statement of your case and summary of the entire proposal.
2. Statement of Need (2 pages)
–  Why is your project necessary?  Help the reader understand the problem.
–  Sources of statistics:  the United Way’s Venango County Statistical Profile, FOOF’s $25 CD of stats on Venango County and comparisons to other PA counties, census data available for free at http://www.census.gov/
3. Project Description (3 pages)
–  Outline the nuts and bolts of how your project will be implemented and evaluated.
–  What will happen if this project is funded?  Why use this particular strategy to address this problem?
–  How will you know your project has been a success?  What will you track to show this?
–  What staffing will you require?   Will you use existing staff, volunteers, new hires?
4. Budget (1 page)
–  Financial description of the project with explanatory notes.
5. Organization Information (1 page)
–  Sort of like your organization’s resume, including its history, accomplishments, governing body (board, executive director), primary activities, audiences, and services.
6. Conclusion (2 paragraphs)
–  Provide a summary of the proposal’s main points.
–  How will things be better if this project is funded?
–  Will this project be able to continue after the grant money runs out?
–  Only include as requested by the grant maker, or if you are specifically partnering with other agencies (then include letters of support from those agencies)


4 responses to “Typical Proposal Elements

  1. Grant proposals and business proposal have some similarities. But what’s more important for the proposal to be a success is build the good relationship between the grant maker to the funder, as for business proposals, the project manager to the client/buyer.

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