Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal
When writing a grant proposal it is very important to include each step of the process - Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal introduction. Ensuring that each step is carefully thought out and complete will add peace of mind that a well-written grant proposal has been submitted. A grant proposal should include the following: Abstract, Table of contents, Specific needs and background, Target population, Approaches and methods, Long and short-term goals, Process, outcome, and impact objectives, Activity plan and timeline, Evaluation plan, Agency capacity and project management, and Budget and budget justifications.
This first part of a grant proposal is the abstract. This is usually about a page in length, which is most likely the shortest part of the proposal. Since it is located first, it is often the most read and can lead to a very strong or weak proposal. It is often times one of the last parts written and added to the proposal. In the first scenario, Far West Elementary School would want to include who they are, what there organization is, the purpose and objectives of the project, the target population, location and setting of the program, and the relevance of the project to the funding being offered.
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With these key components in the abstract, the funders would be able to see the Far West Elementary School is an elementary school who seeks funding to improve their staff, curriculum, and materials. The abstract should also state that the school has a population of 700 with 30% of that being Asians who have recently migrated. This shows an urgent need to provide help for these students with limited English proficiency (LEP). By showing the large increase of Asians in a short period, Far West Elementary can show why there is an urgent need to train staff and ensure they have adequate materials to teach these children with LEP.
The next part of the grant proposal should be the Table of contents. This allows the grant funders to quickly and accurately find what they are looking for. The table of contents should be very detailed a list the subjects of the grant proposal and any other documents that are to be included.
The specific needs and background of the organization should be next in the grant proposal. In this section, the organization is showing they know what they are doing by understanding the dynamics of the problems including the target population and how they are affected. For Far West Elementary their specific needs and background of the organization should include that they are a school located in the suburb of New Hampshire with a population 30,000. Of that number, 700 children attend the school and 30% of the children who have relocated from Asian families. The school would also want to address how their professional knowledge is an asset and how additional funding will help to continue necessary education, much needed new materials, and training to keep staff at their highest potential.
In writing a grant proposal, the next step should be stating the needs or problem statement. It is recommended that this section highlight the unique needs of the organization. The grant has already listed why funding is being requested, so this step is a way to readdress the need and show the reader why your agency deserves the money above anyone else.
Far West Elementary is fighting for funds for to help with their LEP population that is growing a very rapid rate. This growth rate is increasing the amount of children who need additional classes to improve their English as well as their overall academics. Far West Elementary needs to write about how the community is being affected by this rapid growth and how the school can make a difference in the community with the grant funding. It is also important to list how the funding could lead to a domino effect of good in the community. Such an example may be that the students who are able to thrive in school without feeling as if they have lost their culture will continue do thrive and do well in the community. Statistics about dropout rates associated with LEP students would be a good tactic. It is extremely important to stand out in this section without being overly repetitive.
The next portion of the grant is the Literature Review portion. Literature review uses articles and information from credible sources to support your argument for funding. The idea of this section is to show that there is concrete evidence that shows the need for the funding. Since Far West Elementary is seeking funding to aid them with their LEP students who are 30% Asian, it would be significant to write about this. The literature reviews could include data and articles that show how these students succeed better and attend college when in a program that supports LEP students well.
Target Population is the next subject addressed. Much like the title suggests, this section talks about the people you are targeting to help. In this section the population in need is to be discussed. Why they are in need, who they are, and what the risks are if no help is received is should be discussed. Often times there is more then one group who have similar needs, but only the group your are targeting should be discussed. Far West Elementary is targeting children ages 5-12 years old that have migrated from and Asian country. They would not want to discuss there other LEP students, as this grant is specifically targeting the 30% of Asian decent.
The next section should be well thought out and can be quite lengthy. This section is the Approaches and Methods section. This section talks about how it will reach the target population and the methods to do so. Interventions or solutions for the target population should also be discussed in this section. Far West Elementary would want to discuss how it will build a bond with both the family and student to improve their education while maintaining the culture.
The next section is a combination of parts. The Vision, Mission, Goals, Objectives, and Activities can all be listed in this section. The vision can be describe as how the agency ultimately sees the agency working if no obstacles get in the way. The mission is a statement that represents what the agency stands for and hopes to achieve in a just a few sentences. The goals are the long-term road maps, while the objectives are short-term road maps. Objectives should define how each goal would be achieved by either
showing the process, the outcome, or the impact. Lastly, the activities, is a list of ways to achieve the objectives. For Far West Elementary they have very clear mission statement. Based off the mission they would need to write a list of goals and objectives and define the activities to achieve this.
When finishing the objectives and goals the agency should be looking at how they will evaluate these. The Evaluation Plan in an ongoing process to be sure that the each section in this grant is actually happening and that the agency is running optimally. In the situation on Far West Elementary, they would want a way to measure that Asian students are attending school, getting good grades, and making a positive impact in the community. It would also be relevant to track that staff and materials are being used as stated in the plan.
The next section includes the agency capacity and management. This section is to convince the funding sources that they have a well-qualified, confident, and credible staff that can handle any obstacles. This section should convince the funders that the staff is competent and can be entrusted to make sound decisions with the money. This section might show how management is divided and how training is handled.
A budget is of course a necessary component of a grant proposal. This section should show detailed information of expenses and costs in the budget of the agency. All costs should be listed as well as the expected costs to update the program. The most common type of budget usually submitted in a grant proposal is a line-item budget. Items that should be included in the budget, but not limited to, are staff, equipment, utilities, office space, equipment, travel, or benefits.
With each of these sections carefully written to ensure it shows exactly what the agency hopes to achieve, an agency has a better chance at receiving a grant. A grant should not just be slapped together quickly, but rather it should be a well planned and thought out process to show a committee the money deserves to be in your agency’s hands. A well-written grant proposal shows that the agency has a well-rounded plan and better chance of success.
University of Phoenix. (2013). Appendix B. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, HSM270 website Yuen, F. & Terao, K. (2003). Practical grant writing & program evaluation. Pacific
Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole—Thomson Learning.