Writing a grant proposal presents a special challenge: not only is money at stake but so often the audience and expectations are vague. Anne Farmer, formerly of Allen County Community College and currently a professional grant writer, researched these issues as she learned the art of grant writing. With some editing for space, the following document is her contribution to the process of grant writing.
The elements listed here are typical of grant proposals, although funding agencies will emphasize different elements and require specific organizational schemes. Potential funding sources will generally provide information about proposal format, including requirements concerning information to be included in the proposal, the order in which information is to be presented, and the length of specific sections, as well as the overall length of the proposal.
Private funding sources generally require shorter grant proposals, but may also provide fewer guidelines than a public funding sources concerning content and organization.
Public funding sources may not only provide more structural information, but may also be less flexible concerning incomplete information or information that is or not structured strictly according to guidelines (Hall).
NOTE: While this document was written with hard copy documents in mind, the underlying principles and practices hold for both online and hard copy submissions.
This document addresses the following aspects of grant writing:
- Summary or Abstract
- Problem Statement or Assessment of Need
- Program Objectives or Specific Aims
- Methods or Procedures
- Future of Project