Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal by pab38554


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A non-profit’s guide to preparing
        grant proposals
            Choosing a Funder
The first step in grant-writing is to choose a supporting
  organization. The key to this process is to make sure
  that the funding organization’s mission is consistent with
  that of the applicant and that the proposed program
  identifies with the funder’s objectives.
Some resources for finding potential funders include:
 Individual foundation websites
 Philanthropy publications
 Friends’ and donors’ contacts
 OFBCI Funding Opportunities monthly e-newsletter
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         Researching the Funder
It is extremely important to research the funding interests of
    the organization before applying for funds. It can be
    especially helpful to get a copy of the organization’s
    annual report and mission.

The applying organization should familiarize itself with the
  funder’s entire application process, including their
  timetable, guidelines, instructions, and all grant
  requirements. At the beginning of the writing process, it
  is very important to pay close attention to all directions
  given by the funder. Upon submitting the final grant
  proposal, it is wise to include a cover letter which serves
  as a link between the proposal and the funder’s
  interests. This letter should not be long, but rather a
  short, one- to two-paragraph summary of the proposal.
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                   Writing Process
The following are the basic steps for the writing process of a grant

     Carefully read all instructions.
     Brainstorm ideas.
     Gather all materials: background information, documentation,
      research, current facts and statistics about the population, etc.
     Contact the funder: ask any questions, review deadlines and
      expectations, and notify them of the pending proposal.
     Create an outline of the proposal, followed by a first draft.
     Edit the draft for content. Ask: Is everything included? Does the
      proposal address the funder’s stated concerns? Changes should then
      be incorporated into a second draft.
     Proofread the second draft, and have others proofread it as well.
     Complete a final draft. Double-check that format is consistent with the
      funder’s instructions and that all questions have been answered.

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                              Community Initiatives
                Basic Components
Case for Support

The main purpose of the case for support is to demonstrate the following two
 How the program addresses a community need in a unique manner using
   appropriate logic and outcomes.
 What the impact of the funds will be on the program and community.

The case for support consists of the following basic criteria:
 The organization’s mission and vision.
 The values and principles that guide the organization’s work.
 A connection with the interests of the donors.
 A conveyed sense of urgency.
 An emotionally motivating, yet concrete and logical argument.


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                              Community Initiatives
              Basic Components
Case for Support, continued

Also included in the case for support will be program background
   details, particularly the community needs the program addresses
   (including statistics, trends, and needs already met). This should
   provide a context for the programs and services the organization
   provides. Information should include the number of people
   served, how the money helps, positive trends in the community,
   and the impact the programs and services have had on the

If applying for a new program, a need should be identified and a
    solution presented for the need, based on logic and feasibility.
    For more information on program development, please see the
    OFBCI resource on this topic.

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            Basic Components
Budget Narrative

The first place a funder looks after the cover sheet and
  executive summary is the budget narrative. The following
  are the basic steps for completing a budget narrative:
 Review the program goals and objectives.
 Estimate the resources needed to obtain these goals.
 Determine other necessary costs.
 Explain any budget controls in place..

Depending on the individual funder’s instructions, the
  budget narrative may also include an overview of
  additional support (fundraising, community support, etc).
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          Basic Components
Organizational Information
This short section should consist of a list of the
  organization’s active leadership. This includes
  the organizational chart, board of directors, and

If allowable, attachments should be kept to a
   minimum, including only those most necessary
   to support the proposal. They may include
   testimonials, charts, design plans, etc.

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            The Follow-Up
The follow-up is a very important, yet often
 overlooked, part of the grant proposal. It is
 wise to make sure that the application was
 received and to check on the status of a
 pending application. It is also a good idea
 to request feedback on an application,
 whether or not it was approved. This
 evaluation can help immensely to improve
 on the organization’s next grant proposal.
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          Final Recommendations
     Follow all instructions!
     Proofread, proofread, proofread! Pay special attention to spelling,
      grammar, and fluidity.
     Find an appropriate length: don’t be too long-winded or too brief.
     Make sure that the format of the proposal (including all
      attachments) is appropriate for reproduction.
          Electronic format: All elements should be compatible with the
           organization’s computer programs.
          Paper format: all components should be legible when printed in black
           and white ink.
     Don’t write one sweeping proposal for mass distribution among
      funders! Every proposal should be written specifically to a funder
      and should apply directly to the organization’s request for
     Only apply to a funding organization if the applying program is
      consistent with the stated funding interests.
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               Final Note
This is only a general guideline to grant-
 writing, and for that reason, not all
 suggestions may be applicable for every
 proposal or funder. Keep in mind that each
 different funding organization has different
 individual requirements. Pay attention to
 all guidelines and instructions and follow
 them closely.

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           Additional Resources
 Council on Foundations (

 Foundations Online (

 The Foundation Center (

 GrantSmart (

 The Grantsmanship Center (

 GrantStation (

 GuideStar (

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                         Community Initiatives

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