The main goal of writing any grant proposal is to convince a potential grantmaker that you are in dire need of funds to enable you to roll out your program. This means that you must be persuasive and use words that will easily convince funders to finance your project. There are various steps that must be followed when writing a grant proposal. This article evaluates some of the vital steps that should be followed when doing a grant proposal and the key pieces of information that should be captured at each step.
Information gathering- information gathering is the first and important step prior to writing any grant proposal. It is important to gather information about the specific problem that you want to solve, the beneficiaries of the programme, and the approaches that you will apply in solving the problem. At this stage, it is important to search for grantmakers guidelines, their contact information, and their financing criteria. The information that you gather at this stage is important because it will assist you to understand the best way to write a persuasive and convincing grant proposal.
Proposal organization- in order to have a good flowing proposal and one that is easy to follow, you should organize it in a specific manner. The proposal must contain the following salient sections:
• Executive Summary-This should be summarized on one page. The proposal summary must capture the following aspects: needs statement, a brief summary of your project and its goals, and request for financial support. This part is the first one but should be written last.
• Problem statement-You need to explain what is the problem and ultimately call for action. For instance, substance abuse, violence, and robbery are problems that a post-school programme may help to solve. It is important to offer a comprehensive description of your target population. Additionally, it is important to offer your description using accurate and reasonable figures.
• Programme description- in this part, explore what you intend to achieve, the mechanisms of achieving it, and evaluation strategies to enable you to understand whether you have achieved the intended purpose. In this section, you need to capture the following aspects:
-Goals/Objectives-explain your goals and objectives as results of your programme. Goals generally describe the state of things while objectives are specific and measurable results of your project. For all the problems that you have captured, it is important to assign a goal to each. Goals should be simple, practical, and easy to achieve. You need to assign a number of objectives to each goal that you have identified. There are various classes of objectives including completion of particular activities or items, behaviour change. For example mosquito net (product) may reduce incidents of malaria, teaching communities about the importance of mosquito nets will lead to a decrease in malaria incidents when the communities start using mosquito nets (behaviour change).
• Methods-This section of your project entails explores the activities that you will undertake to achieve your programme goals. Each specific programme has various activities to be performed to achieve the intended goals. For instance, in an educational project, you need to come up with a curriculum, a social programme may use a process. It is important to come up with a timetable on when each milestone should be accomplished.
• Human resources- it is important to explain how many workers and the kinds that you need. For example, you may need 5 nurses, 3 volunteers and 1 cook.
• Programme evaluation-This will assist you to know whether you have achieved your goals. Your evaluation programme emanates from the objectives that you set and the methods used to achieve them.
• Sustainability-it is important to demonstrate to the funders whether the programme will continue in case they withdraw their support.
• Budget-This section explains the revenues that you need and how it will be spent. This is the heart of your grant request. Though your budget entails a projection, it is crucial to be very specific when handling your cost. You can use your rates of payment, supplier quotes and other important resources for your approximation.
• Organization-in conclusion, you need to offer a brief description of yourself, your capacity to implement the programme. Capture the following aspects of your organization in this section: vision and mission statement, summative history, achievements, leadership attributes, and board members.
• Conclusion-This is the final section that should be considered by your grantmaker. Explore how the programme will change things for the better by reviewing programme outcomes.
• Appendices- These are extras that the funder may request.
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