Proposal writing can be time-consuming, and you must find and give a clear description of a specific problem found in your area of interest or community. You then design a program that will address the problem and then describes the program in detail for the grant maker or the funding source. If this is your first attempt to writing a grant proposal, the process is going to be beneficial to not only you but also the organization.
Most importantly, writing a grant proposal is not supposed to be a one-shot experiment. You do not need writ one, proposal, you write numerous proposals, and writing grant proposals that win for that matter. The grant proposal writing process ought go to one a part of your overall fundraising program, especially if you are working in an organisation. Many nonprofit organisations tap into the grant proposal writing to develop; systems that support ongoing grant research writing. If your organisation is not ready to engage in writing grant proposals to access funding, it would be better for them to wait. If you send weak grant proposals, to poorly research prospects will only gain your nonprofit organisation a bad reputation.
Now, accessing true grants can be a hard task both in finding and in getting it. It is not easy to find the requisite grant, but when it happens, properly completing the grant application will be the biggest challenge to overcome. Most grants will demand similar information, but they have different formats. Some will have a list of questions, whereas others will have a “narrative” requirement, which refers to the story of your project. Whether the grant proposal is for business or an organization, grant proposal writing is a skill that you can learn and develop.
This is how you get started in writing grant proposals that win every time you are faced with the task.
Reading the grant application carefully
In this process of grant proposal writing, you highlight all the questions you need to answer and the materials that you need to include. Underline all the keywords or phrases you might want to use during the process of writing grant proposals. You also need to:
Assess the purpose that you want the grant to fulfill. Through the process, ensure you highlight your organization’s contribution to the purpose both in the past and in the present. For instance, if you want your grant proposal writing to be about education activities of your organization, the donations and so on, you have to highlight that in your grant proposal.
Before you can start writing grant proposals, you need to brainstorm. Think of the strong points of your organization, the program, and the best arguments as well as examples. This is what gives you an idea of where to start.
Formulate a summary statement
You can start your grant proposal writing with a single paragraph that describes your request. This sets the stage for a bigger picture, and the remainder is to fill in the details. This proposal can come in handy in the process of writing grant proposals that win. It can also be used in the first paragraph of your narrative, which should include the following:
- Who you are, and explain as if the grantor has never heard about your organisation or business before
- What your project is and what you plan to do with the grant. You have to be very specific here
- The amount that you are asking for through your grant proposal writing, and exactly how you are going to use the money and the reason for it.
- If the grant must have an abstract, the summary statement serves as your first draft.
Formulate an outline
An outline ought to describe the step of your grant proposal writing and how you are going to organize our thoughts. This is the plan that you will follow as you draft your grant proposal. Expand on each point as needed to give a full explanation of every section. You can also use the grantor’s Request for Proposal or the criteria as the basis of writing grant proposals that win. Your outline ought to follow the sequence and terms as prescribed by the grantor.
Determine if your proposal is the type of project that the grantor funds
Do not assume that just because you are writing grant proposals, here is a significant amount of money available and that the grantor will fund just anything. On the contrary, grantors are very specific in whatever that they are looking for and rarely deviate from their category. You may have the best product of a kind in the market, but if the grant is only meant for the producers of the product, you will not get it.
Writing your proposal
Let us now delve into the process of writing grant proposals that win.
Writing the first draft
During the process of writing grant proposals, you need not to worry about the first draft because it does not need to be perfect. It is something that you can polish later. Pay attention to the brainstorm ideas that you have and the outline. Start with the questions that have the most answers for you. If you are stuck in one question, move to the next one and stay on it for a while before coming back.
Focus on the parts of your grant proposals that are seemingly the best and use their guidelines for clues. For instance, if they are part the environmental responsibility, and part of your project uses renewable energy to make that unique. Where appropriate in our grant proposal writing, highlight your organization’s partnership with other groups. This not only builds legitimacy, but also credibility.
Have a clear layout of specific goals
You need to lay out specific goals in the process of writing grant proposals that win. In other words, you have to describe what the money you get will be used for and the clearer you are here, the more you are likely to have a successful outcome with your grant proposal. For instance saying, “I want this grant to help the community” is not specific. Rather, you would sound clearer if you said, “this grant will allow us to buy two pumps and create part-time work for paid staff positions in the area to maintain them, especially because jobs are hard to find in this area.”
Make your grant proposal shine
Once you are done with the process of writing your draft, go through it to polish it up. The ideas have to be clear and your delivery concise. Read it aloud to seed ho it flows. You will probably rewrite it a lot, and possibly do it several times. To make the process of grant proposal writing easier, use the keywords and phrases that you underlined in the application. However, do not worry about getting fancy; say what you have to say clearly and briefly. Review your original summary and ensure it is an exact reflection of the proposal you have written because your ideas might have changed along the way.
Review your grant proposals and the requirements
You are not yet done with the process of writing grant proposals that win and before you proofread, read the requirements repeatedly and carefully. Every grant comes with rules and procedures, and as such, you must follow them exactly as they are written. Ensure that your grant proposals adhere to the rules. If it says your grant must be submitted via online, do not even bother to ask if it can be sent via fax. As opposed to employment applications where originality sometimes pays off, grant committees have rules in place for a given reason. They expect these rules to be adhered to accordingly. If you do otherwise during your grant proposal writing process, your proposal will be disqualified even before it is read.
You need to show the funding committee through your grant proposal writing skills that you take the proposal seriously. You do him by proofreading your paper to eliminate spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, typos, and misplaced punctuations. You can take time to get another pair of eyes go through your grant proposal before submitting. Subsequently, read it aloud to yourself to be sure that you meet all the requirements. Some people believe reading something from back to front is a good way to catch errors that you might miss. However, do whatever you must to ensure that you are submitting a flawless grant proposal.
Do a reality check
Let two or three people outside your organization or field read your grant proposal. Ask them questions about your concept. If they are unable to explain what you are trying to do or achieve, the chances are that the grant committee will not do it either. This means they will not fund what they are unable to decipher.
Incorporating the required support documentation
Defining the budget of the project
During your grant proposal writing process, you are not supposed to guess about the numbers. Instead, do your research and evaluate the actual expenses that you have to manage. Do not estimate but work with real numbers, not amounts that end in zeros. When writing grant proposals that win, guessing will only work to your detriment. If a grant reviewer suspects ta your financial sheet is inaccurate, they do not have the time or inclination to research because you just lost the grant.
You have to find out exactly what you need in terms of equipment, labor and anything else necessary to the project. More so, include the actual cost in the grant proposal.
Provide a summary of the budget
Summarising the budget in your grant proposal writing means putting all the personnel expenses by category like salaries, fringes, purchasing services, supplies, occupancy costs, travel, communication, equipment, printing capital, indirect costs and so on. This summary can be allocated across several information columns which include the total project cost, the amount sought from the funder, and the matching funds you have to contribute.
Grantors will consider proposals that show the applicant has a stake in the outcome. Most importantly, refrain using a line called “other expenses” unless you can fully explain it.
Justify your budget
When writing grant proposals, you have to justify your budget by providing numerical detail that explains how you arrived at a conclusion or the amounts in summary. In every circumstance, ensure that your amount balances out, implying that everything must add up to the same numbers throughout the proposal.
Demonstrate ta your participation is key
When writing grant proposals, you have to show letters of support and newspaper articles that document your success and your partnerships with other organizations. These documents are essential in establishing your validity.
Add any other required documents
Ensure that you include all other documents that might be required for the grant proposal to push through. It could be a letter of each exemption, financial report, a list of board of directors and so on. Anything that has a chance to make your grant proposal successful must be included.
Finalising your grant proposal application
Adding the cover letter
This ought to include the summer of your request and the purpose of your project. It should also nave the amount of money you are requesting through the grant proposal writing process. This letter also must have a list of all the contents of your proposal. The cover letter gives the grantor the first impression of you and as such, you ought to invest much time and care when writing this one.
Proofread everything again
You may think you are done with the process of writing grant proposals, but not yet. Go through it again proofreading and correcting any mistake therein.
Ensure that you have answered every question and you are sending all the required documents.
Make a copy for your files
All the information you have compiled will come in handy especially for future grant proposal writing endeavors. Once you are done, ensure you deliver your grant proposal within the specified deadline.