Unique Tips on How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal

Writing skills are very crucial to everyone especially student. Every day they are encouraged to improve their skills because they will come in handy shortly. Essay writing and other forms of academic writing are crucial to a student’s ability to express himself through pen and paper. As such, he must work hard every day as he tries to get better not only in his performance but also in life-long skills of writing. If writing grant proposals are anything to go by, the student has his work cut out especially if he is seeking a grant to further his academics.

The skills involved in writing grant proposals are so important such that the student has to make sure he is utterly good. Not only are grant proposals written as class assignments, but also as actual proposals to different financial institutions or funders for a given program. As such, one must know whatever they are addressing and show explicitly how the money is going to be utilized. The role that grant proposals play is very big especially when it comes to supporting most charities. For them to be successful, they must be part of an overall fundraising plan, have their calendar and a dedicated grant writer. If it is an organization, the staff or a contracted freelance writer can come up with grant proposals.

As a matter of fact, there are many online writers who engage in writing grant proposals for different clients, but that is a story for another day. Now, grants emanate from different quarters, which include a foundation, a corporation, or a government agency. However, most of them are similar in terms of the information that they contain. When it comes to writing a grant proposal, you need to invest in time because it is not an easy effort. The processes, not something you can wake up and start. You have to plan because the details have to be very convincing. Always remember that you want to win that funding and you are not the only one applying for the same. You have to give a clear description of the problem in the area of your interest, design a program that will tackle it and describe that problem comprehensively to the grant maker.  For those writing their first grant proposals, you have a chance of benefitting from that grant. Come up with a well-thought proposal that outlines the strategy and addresses the problem as well as the funds involved. Grant proposals come in three different forms, which include a letter of inquiry, letter proposal, and full proposal.

Understanding the major types of grant proposals

The moment you mention grant proposals, whatever comes to the minds of many people is a multipage document. In reality, there are types of proposals and the one you write hinges on the organization that you are targeting and the ultimate goal.  They vary in length as well as a substance. The choice of grant proposals that you also write anchors on where you are sending, what you are requesting, as well as the specifics that the funder is looking for.  Let us now put each one of them into perspective.

Letter of Inquiry

One of the examples of grant proposals is the letter of inquiry and is meant to grab the interest of the funder in your project. Letters of inquiry can be sent severally to some foundations to see if they will be interested in your project. These grant proposals run from two to three pages summarizing your project. As such, the funder gets a taste of what you are planning to do. With the letter of inquiry, you and the funder seek to see if your interest intersects in any way and if they happen, you can go ahead to write thy full proposal.

Most of the funder organizations prefer receiving the letter of inquiry is that they can assess the project at and decide if it fits the bill or not.  If it does not meet their interests, then you need to move on. If it is a non-profit, it can initiate a letter to assess your ideas or the funder may request it.  Most foundations will put their preferences for a letter or grant proposals in their guidelines. These usually appear on the funder’s website and are part of the request for proposal to which you will be responding.  When writing grant proposal in the form of a letter of inquiry, you have to describe the need, outline your plan to meet it and demonstrate how you the project fits within the interests and priorities of the funder.

Letter Proposal

This one is much more preferred than the long grant proposals. You can address a corporate foundation seeing monetary gift or pitch a sponsorship deal or a marketing program.  It is usually written in three to four pages and should describe the project, explain your organization and incorporate the actual financial requests set out in the sponsorship proposals.  This letter is seemingly easy but still presents a challenge of stating your case briefly and succinctly.

Most importantly, you need to understand the difference between the letter proposal and the letter of inquiry. The letter proposal is meant to request for funds whereas the letter of inquiry is meant to introduce an idea to a funder can see if they are interested. Therefore, when writing any of these two grant proposals, you have to be clear of the purpose in the first place.

Full Proposal

This is what comes to the minds of many people when they have grant proposals. When writing grant proposal of this nature, the writer has to follow a predefined format that includes a cover letter, project summary and the amount of money required for the project. They vary in length with some of them going up on 25 pages. When writing grant proposal, you have to stick to the directions provided by the funder because there is a way they want theirgrant proposals to appear. You also need to be aware of the cover letter since it is a mini pitch in itself.

Some of the larger funder organizations prefer an online submission of their grant proposals.  There are many special considerations when it comes to online application, and as such, you have to ensure that you understand everything about how the online application happens. Take time to write each section of the proposal first, and then check for any mistake on the work before you can submit it.

Steps involved in writing grant proposals

Now that you have the understanding of what grant proposals are and the existing types of the same, it is now time to delve into the nitty-gritty of how to come up with one. The process of writing grant proposal is not hard; it is something that you can master in good time. However, you still need to possess good writing skills.  The process of writing grant proposal includes the following:

Agreeing on the Problem

If you want your grant proposals to win your funding, you have to ensure that the grantmaker is fully convinced that your program is beneficial to them in a big way as well as the community around. It is your prerogative to identify the need that can be improved in your community. For this reason, you must be on the same page with the community about the problem that needs to be dealt with since this is crucial to getting the required funding.

  • You can
    involve the stakeholders

When writing your grant proposals, you have to ensure that all the stakeholders are involved in the development of that document.  Stakeholders refer to anyone who has the same interest as you when it comes to the problem andis affected by the project. Stakeholders can be citizens within communities, all the parties responsible for the problem, government as well as other entities that will chip in for the successof the entire project. You can also seek the indulgence of theorganizationsthat you have already entered into a partnership with. Consider main new relationships with like-minded organizations.

  • Define
    the situation or the problem

As you prepare to write your grant proposals, all stakeholders have to be involved in making clear and concise descriptions of the problem. You can convene more than one meeting to help reach a reasonable consensus because it is a worthy effort. After agreeing on the problem, the rest of the work involving writing grant proposal will be easy.

  • Describe the impact of the problem

You have to give
the impact of the problem in a language
thatis clear and objective. It should demonstratesocial economic costs.

  • Examine
    the possible causes of the problem

Even though these might be obvious, see the agreement from most of the stakeholder’s sine the amount of the evidence that your table is crucial.

Describe what you hope to achieve with your grant proposals

Now in your grant proposals, you have to make known what you want to achieve. Let the funder have a clear understanding of how you are going to achieve your target, and you can do this by:

  • Measure the success in outputs and inputs and be careful not to confuse the two. Outputs refer to the measures of the activities of the programs whereas the inputs denote the resultant effects of these activities.
  • Identify the crucial outcomes
  • Set the realistic and achievable outcome
  • Measure and record the results of your work
  • Focus on the ultimate results

Design your programs

Your grant proposals by now, you know where you are and where you are headed.  As such, you have to identify the best way that will lead you to your goals as far as writing a grant proposal that wins funding is concerned. You have to consider the following:

  • Getting the opinion of experts
  • Researching on what has been done previously
  • Getting buy-in from stakeholders. Simply put, the stakeholders have to fully agree on the plan
  • Describe your solution

Locate the Funding Sources

Now that you agree on the solutions and program design, you have to find the resources to get the project off the ground invest in time and careful planning. Some of the funders have lengthy processes or reviewing grant proposals. As such, you need to consider the following aspects:

  • Start with the people or organizations that you are aware of and target your research
  • Use the internet to look for funders
  • Ask relevant and important question especially when you are reviewing a funding source
  • After landing one, establish a good relationship with the grant program officer
  • Let you funder be involved in the project because some of them want to be hand-on a share in your success

Write your Grant Proposal

After you have everything necessary for your proposal, sit down, and put pen to paper. All grant proposals are tailored to the requirements of the funder. As such, you have to use the required format by the funder because most of the funding organizations are likely to publish some of the winning grant proposals.They are also crucial especially when it comes to knowing the kind of vocabulary t use in the entire paper.  Before you start writing a grant proposal, you need to be aware of the following aspects:

Follow the Instructions

  • If there is a page limit, stick to it and if you feel like you need to make an exception, seek approval first from the funder organization.
  • Study their criteria since most of the funding organizations are competitive and as such, there are awards involved.
  • Ensure you have a checklist to ensure that your grant proposals meet the requirements and are complete
  • Seek the opinion of an experienced writer when it comes to grant proposals
  • Ensure you meet the deadline because some of the funder organizations have a strict policy when it comes to grant proposals. This makes it crucial for you to start writing a grant proposal early to enable you to meet the deadline.
  • Once you finish the writing process, edit your work and submit it.

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