Introduction: How to Write a Grant

Some people don’t understand fully what a grant is. Essentially, a grant is money given to an individual, business, or other organizations. The money is given for a specific purpose and does not need to be repaid. It’s not the same as a donation, where money is given for a general purpose. There are multiple steps on writing an effective grant. Altogether, a grant has 9 components.

Step 1: Needs Statment

The first component is the need statement. It should describe a clear relationship with the mission and purpose of an organization. Focus on a need that can be responded to. Use factual information and statistics

Step 2: Goals and Objectives

The next component of the grant is goals and objectives. A goal is a broad-based statement of the ultimate result of the change being undertaken. Objectives are much more narrowly defined than goals. An objective is a measurable, time-specified result that the organization expects to accomplish as part of the grant. When writing this part, make sure to tie back to the need statement. Also allow plenty of time to accomplish the objective. Decide how to measure the outcomes.

Step 3: Methods

Methods is the next part of a grant. A method is a detailed description of the activities an organization will implement to achieve the objectives. When writing the methods section, tie back to your objectives page and need statement. Explain how you picked your methods. Ensure the methods are congruent with the resources asked for in the budget.

Step 4: Evaluation

Preparing the evaluation component is next. An evaluation is a process that determines the effectiveness and efficiency of a project. There are two main types of evaluations, quantitative and qualitative. Some questions to think of when writing this component are: What is the purpose of the evaluation? How will the findings be used? What will you know after the evaluation that you didn’t know? How does one know if the project succeeded?

Step 5: Sustainability

Although some funders may not directly ask for this next part, it’s always good to include it. Where will you find your future funding? Developing sustainability strategies is the next part. The more specific it is, the better.

Step 6: Budget

The next part is the budget. The steps in the budgeting process goes as follow: Establish the budget period, estimate expenses, decide whether and how to include overhead costs, estimate the donated goods and services, estimate anticipated revenue, and make sure to look the budget over!

Step 7: Background

When writing the organizations background, describe how the organization provides community services and that the organization is financially secure. Begin by explaining when and why the organization was founded. Use appropriate testimonials and data to increase credibility.

Step 8: Summary

The components of the proposal’s summary go as follow: Identity of the applicant, specific purpose of the grant, qualifications to carry out this purpose, anticipated end result, amount of money requested, and total project budget. When writing this, decide on key points and put stress on them.

Step 9: Cover Letter & Appendices

When the grant is almost complete, write a cover letter. It should say the organization making the request, the support of the board of directors, and the specific financial request. After the cover letter, do the appendices. The appendices should contain: organization’s IRS 501©(s), a list of board members, organizations overall budget for the last fiscal year, organization brochure, organization’s current newsletter, the annual report, long-range plan, a list of any other funding sources, and letters of support.

Step 10: Letter of Intent

The last thing to do is write the letter of intent.It will be the first page in the proposal. Fundamentally, it’s a shortened version of the overall grant. It should give the donor a good idea of whether or not the project aligns with their interests.

Step 11: Final Steps

When all of these steps are put together, a grant is born. The proposal should be anywhere from 5-20 pages long, it all depends on the project at hand. When the final touches are being added, there’s a few things that need to be in the grant. There should be page numbers, the appendices need to be clearly marked, make an appendices page that lists the appendices. If the grant is over 20 pages, add a table of contents. Only one proposal (the original one) should be mailed. The proposal goes in a pocket folder and the cover letter should be paperclipped on the outside of the folder. Paper clip all the pages together (never staple them). The appendices go in the left-hand pocket of the folder. Avoid a flashy folder, a solid color one works fine.