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What is a Grant Proposal

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A grant proposal is a formal request for grant funding. Although each agency will have a specific grant application process, all agencies require the grant seeker to provide detailed information about the proposed project and how the funds will be used. When writing a grant proposal, it is important to read the application carefully and provide only the information requested by the funding agency.

Types of Grants

Grants are financial awards offered by state, federal and philanthropic agencies to businesses and nonprofit organizations to help them provide services that serve public interest. There are many types of grants that are available to businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals. These grants include research grants, scholarships, small business grants, project grants and business innovation research grants. Funding agencies generally have strict requirements for the types of projects that they will consider. Before an agency makes a decision to award a grant to an organization, the organization must first submit a grant proposal.

Submitting a Grant Proposal

A well-crafted grant proposal will clearly demonstrate a fit between the funding agency’s objectives and the proposed program. A funding agency wants to see that an organization has identified a problem and come up with a program that is carefully designed to address that problem. Grant applications generally require information about the organization’s leadership, mission and budget. Not only does the funding agency look for projects that are likely to provide positive outcomes; the agency also wants to see that the organization has a plan for evaluation and continuation. A grant proposal should clearly outline the project and how the funds will be utilized. Agencies are more willing to award grants for programs with specific and measurable outcomes.

Because most funding agencies have very specific terms for submitting grant proposals, it is important to follow their instructions carefully. Unless the funding agency specifically states not to submit a cover letter, always include a cover letter with your grant proposal. The cover letter provides a concise introduction to your organization and lets the funding agency know why the project is a good fit for their grant.

Demand for grants is highly competitive. Even seemingly small mistakes can cause a proposal to be rejected. Successful grant writing requires extensive planning and organization. Before submitting a grant proposal, an organization should edit it carefully to ensure that the document is error-free.

For more information read our Grant Proposal Tips.

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