Basic Elements of a Proposal
The following information is generally needed for all grant proposals.
This part of the proposal provides you an opportunity to describe what your organization desires to change or create. It also sets the basis for formulating your goals and objectives. This is your chance to describe the need or opportunity you have identified, and convince the potential funder of the value of your program/project.
- Make a compelling case. Is the problem severe or urgent? Why is this a priority in your community?
- Narrowly define the issues.
- State the issues in terms of the needs of others, not the applicant.
Goals and Objectives
While these terms can be confusing, they generally describe the desired outcomes.
- Goals - statements express in broad terms what you want to achieve, or your desired results. Goals are difficult to measure but are necessary and compelling.
- Outcomes - need to be specific and quantifiable components of a goal.
When writing goals and objectives:
- Remember objectives are outcomes, not methods
- Describe the population that will benefit
- Establish a timeline in which the objectives will be accomplished
- Make them measurable if possible
A work plan explains how the stated goals and objectives will be accomplished.
- Clearly describe what you intend to do regarding your program/project
- Explain why these activities are appropriate
- Describe the sequence of activities in a complete and logical fashion
- Describe program staffing
- Present a reasonable scope of activities that can be completed within the time and resources available
Five things to ask yourself before applying for a grant:
- Do you qualify?
- Does it require matching funds?
- Are you able to make the match?
- Can you sustain the program (if program funds are applied for)?
- Are you able to meet all qualifications and requirements?
Nine things to remember when applying for a grant:
- Make sure you have all the information you need before starting
- Be aware of deadlines for Letters of Interest and application due date
- Gather letters of support early
- Consider collaborations
- Be concise in what you’re asking for and write descriptions as requested
- Have someone proofread the application
- Make sure packet is complete and you have the correct number of copies included
- Make sure grant application is completely complete
- Get it in before the deadline
Reviewing Your Proposal Why Proposals Are Turned Down:
- Proposal did match objectives of funding source
- Proposal fails to show applicant is aware of what others are doing in same area
- Proposal lacks detail
- Proposal fails to strike the reviewers as significant
- Proposal is poorly written
- Objectives too ambitions in scope
- It is not clear who is going to benefit
- Budget is beyond range of funding available
- Funds do not relate directly to objectives
- Writer did not follow the format provided