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FAQ: Grants and Grant Proposal Writing

Resource Center - Foundation

What are the basic steps to grantwriting?

  • Determine that you have a need.
  • Suggest a solution through planning, research, and experience.
  • Determine whether the grantmakers' goals will help you achieve your objectives, while matching your purposes.
  • Target your proposal to grantmakers appropriate to your field.
  • Present your proposal.

What are the components of a grant proposal?

Every grantmaker has different guidelines, priorities, deadlines and timetables for their organizations. Some accept a Common Application Form (CAF), a single proposal accepted by a number of grantmakers to help grantseekers save time and streamline the grant application process.

  • Always follow the exact specifications of the grantmakers in their grant applications, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and guidelines.
  • Present your full proposal neatly, professionally, and in an organized package.
  • Type and single-space all proposals.
  • Write, organize and present your proposal in the order listed in the application and guidelines.
  • Only include the information and materials specifically requested by the grantmaker.
  • The proposal is judged on content and presentation, not weight.
  • Unless required, do not include an index or table of contents, or bind the proposal, and be sure to sign it and submit the number of copies requested by the grantmaker.

How do I find someone to submit my grant proposal to?

Research is the key to finding a compatible grantmaker. While there may be many grantmakers that match your organization's interests, locating the handful that will be most swayed by your proposal is important. Various methods of locating grantmakers include:

  • Web searches. Many organizations have websites devoted to their philanthropic interests. Find one that coincides with your goals.
  • Philanthropic publications. Many publications and periodicals publish reports of grants coming from different organizations.
  • News reports. Often an organization or individual will publicize their grant program for specific purposes. This is often useful for locating grantmakers in the local area.
  • Direct contact. It is beneficial to specifically tailor your grant request to the organization you are submitting it to. Knowing the details of the organization's philosophy and mission is an invaluable tool to beginning a grant relationship.

How should I construct my full proposal?  A suggested sample is as such:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Cover Sheet
  3. Narrative
  4. Needs Assessment
  5. Goals and Objectives
  6. Methodology
  7. Evaluation
  8. Budget
  9. Qualifications
  10. Conclusion
  11. Appendices

Where can I find more resources on grantmaking?

Consult your local AFP Affiliate Library for resources.

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