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)