Successful Grant Proposal Writing Style   Leave a comment


Winning Grant Proposal Writing style is a complete challenging and technical work,  requires practice with specific sets of Skills, Style, Experience and Requirements to meet donors’ criteria. Usually, donors (Grant reviewers) prefer clear descriptions, and realistic goals.

This is a step by step proposal format guideline to help you devise proposal quickly and easily comprehend on how to convey your project idea effectively to donors. Consider following points:
• Especially, when donors do not have specific proposal writing format and proposal intended for Social Development programs rather than more scientific in nature.
• It is kept in mind that a proposal writer has been proactively participated in the project planning meetings, visited project sites that enrich his overall project idea.
• The “WH…?” questions is very importance to a proposal writer. However, don’t make the common mistake of focusing more heavily on the wording than its credibility. Proposal be free of grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.
• A project should be designed with consent, informed and supported by the local people most directly affected.
-Formatting best is the first impression to grantee. Avoid Grammar & Spelling Errors. (Proposals with errors make reviewers question your ability to carry out a proposed project.)
-A strong proposal articulates a complete and concise project description.Be sure to provide the reader with all necessary information.Grant reviewers change so don’t assume the reviewer has background knowledge, but, doesn’t mean that you keep obvious sentences in a redundant manner, which lengthens proposal pages, and this is really bad.  A scientific proposal could go in a specialized, technical way.Be speculative from point of a proposal reader with diverse specialization.

The Basic Required Headings are as follows:

Cover Page
Project Overview
Project Summary/Abstract
1. Project Background
2. Project Location and Target Groups
3. Project Goal & Objectives
4. Project Activities/Methods
5. Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E)
6. Collaboration with Other organizations
7. Sustainability
8. Project Time-Line
9. Means of Verification and Promotion
10. Project Estimated Budget
Log Frames

NB: Above all HEADINGS should be BOLD, CAPITAL LETTER and Numbered to distinguish as Major Topics.

This is a First Page everyone see, so need to be attractive and should include following:
• Write on top “Project Proposal”
• Project Title (Larger Font size)
• Submitted by: (Organization’s name and Logo)
• Submitted Date
Project Title
Your title is the First impression to make because your donors see first thing and will determine whether they will keep reading about your complete project proposal. So, consider:
• 15 words about (Max. 25 words)
• Clear, Concise and demonstrate a benefit, not vague or acronyms
• Use simple and common positive words
• It should have a goal perspective with actions.

Bad Examples:
-Protect the Environment
-Send a Child to School in Nepal for a Year.
-Build a compost for 10 villages in Nepal.
-Heritage Preservation, Hospitality and Waste Management Training for Hotel Entrepreneurs in Langtang Valley
Good Examples:
-Improving the livelihood of deprived community of Sunsari district (Dumre- ward 8) through Zetropa Cultivation and Biodiesel Production 2010-2011
– Tourism Development Skills Training for hotel owners: Langtang Valley.

PROJECT OVERVIEWpower of grant writing

Project Title: ……………………
Project Location: ……………………
Project Timescale: ……………………
Estimated Budget: ( in number and in words) ……………………
Implementing Agency/Organization Details: ……………………

Name of Organization: ……………………
Contact Person: ……………………
Position: ……………………
E-mail: ……………………
Phone Number: international code -local code- Telephone number (Personal and Official) ……………………
Website: ……………………
ATTACHES: Organizational Profile, Audited budget of Last two years.

It is usually written major points after complete written proposal and should be 10% of it. It should be maximum of 75% coverage of a A4 size paper. Make sure, it includes:
– Who is being helped?
– Where, How and What are you doing?
– Any collaborating organizations

Include organizational history, mission, perhaps short biographies of the board members or trustees or key staffers.
Does your paragraph answers the following questions?
-What is your organization and what are you going to help with?
-What challenges, problems, solutions are you addressing?
– Share you past experiences

Provide – Country, State, Province, City, town, village
– Put a Google Map by using the “prt sc” –print screen on keyboard that includes latitude and longitude, altitude, display from International Airport city to Project location

3. Explain Rationale or Need Assessment (Need Purpose):
Who will benefit from your projects and why do they need it?
what is the opportunity that you see as a project developer?
What is your relation with them as a job or researcher or interest?
In what ways,  have members of the local community been involved in the preparation of proposal?
How will local community will be involved with the  project implementation?
What is the unique subject of your research interest?
Clarify why it is important for the funding organization to be concerned about your target groups.

Eg.As the student population decreases, it is becoming increasingly hard to offer a broad curriculum which meets the needs of the students. Teachers need to be cross certified and the curriculum needs to meld so that “real learning” can take place and the same curriculum can meet the needs of both the college bound and vocational students. The intention of this grant to fuse the efforts of our 30 teachers and 600 students so that all recognize that math, science, and agriculture are intricately linked and that the subjects would be best learned with hands on activities and practical experiences which will result in improved test scores in all three disciplines.

Goal is the beautiful well thought of dream that will be achieved in futureSmart Goal-Arjun, a success after the project implementation.
Example: Our after-school program will help children read better.

Objectives are the project implementation details on concise actions that will be acted to achieve something. It should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound). Quantify it-Quantify where possible, provide data/research.
EG. Solving world hunger or providing 500 meals; improving # of students going to college or improving test scores.

Best Example: Our after-school program will assist 50 elementary school children in improving their reading scores by one grade level as demonstrated by standardized reading tests administered after participating in the program for six months.

SMART: What is the overall change you are seeking? – Is the amount of change or benefit quantified? Is it clear how the change or benefit can/will be measured? – Is it specific? Is who or what is expected to change or benefit identified? – Is the location/level of where the change will occur identified (i.e. individual, community, school, etc)? – Given the program activities and amount of resources available, are the outcomes achievable and relevant to the program? – Is the timeframe noted for the anticipated change (i.e. six-week course or six-month intervention)?

Priority will be given to programs using evidence-based methodology.
What major activities (project step actions) do you do to achieve your objectives?
How many activities are there, who are participants?
It is the actions parts what will be acted. For scientific researchers, it will be a methodology.

Qualitative Evaluation
– Observation
•Change in knowledge
•Change in attitude/motivation
•Change in skills/behavior
–Interviews/Focus Groups
•Change in knowledge
•Change in attitude/motivation
•Change in skills
•Quantitative Evaluation
–Pre/Post Survey or Test
•Change in knowledge
•Change in attitude/motivation
•Change in skills
–Standardized Tests/Grades
•Changes in test scores
•Changes in course grades

How do you keep records of project progress, and inform progress to donors regularly?
What information or activities will you provide to your donors during different phases of project?

Monitoring is the watchdog period during every step of activities. Progress Reports can be developed through monitoring.
Evaluation is done at the end of the project period.

If you are collaborating with any formal organizations: INGOs, GO, NGO, Local Community.

After project implementation, donors would certainly be concerned about its sustainability.
is it the project is self-sustaining?
Who will be taking care of in case of damage?
How will it be sustaining?
Eg. -School management committee will look for renovation in case of any damaged in future.
-Drinking water committee will raise money on monthly basis for future renovation in case of damage.

When do the project initiate and complete it?
What activities or steps will you be doing in the project periods?
When will you provide progress report and final report to donors?

Use: Activities, Jan to December and relate in a Tabular format

How can you make believe that you have actually implemented a project?
May be pictures, videos, newspaper articles, any veritable indices of success?

A Budget is very important to donors. So, a carefully prepared budget should justify all of your expenses and be consistent with the activities or task listed within the proposal.
How much money you want to do your project?
Put it in a tabular format with Items or Particular or Subject, Rate, Quantity, Number.
Request by mentioning full or partial grant is accepted because partial grant is also of great help to work or look for remaining grant.

$10,000 for reading improvement; for what? How many?
• $10,000 for reading improvement, including $7,000 for teacher training for 10 teachers and substitute time and $3,000 for materials and new books; how were totals calculated?
• $10,000 for reading improvement, including $5,000 for teacher training for 10 teachers at (10x$500 each), $2,000 for teacher substitute time ($20/hr x 10 hrs x 10 classrooms), and $3,000 for materials and new books ($200 new books and $100 materials x 10 classrooms); Great detail!



Funding Sources – Communicating with Funders – Pre-planning and Research – Grant Writing Teams – Grant Writing Formats – Preparing the Case Statemenet – Describing Your Organization – Describing Your Request to the Funder – Developing a Compelling Problem Statement – Writing a Program Design – Developing an Evaluation Plan – Demonstrating Sustainability – Planning the Budget – Recommended Attachments – Finishing Touches – Following Up.

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