attention to specifications, concise persuasive
writing, and a reasonable budget are the critical
elements of proposal writing.
are many ways to organize proposals.
Read the grant
guidelines for specifications about required
information and how it should be arranged.
proposal components are a cover letter, executive
summary or abstract, narratives, budget, conclusion,
An effective cover letter should:
|Be no more than one page
|Succinctly summarize your proposal,
including your request amount
|Convey institutional support for your
project in both works and tone
|Include a contact name and telephone
|Be written on the Colleges letterhead
and signed by the Colleges President
2. Executive Summary or Abstract
|Many foundation trustees and corporate officers may not read
your entire proposal. An executive summary
or abstract provides you with the opportunity
to encapsulate your proposal in a few short
|Be no more than one page
|Summarize and bullet the proposals
|Highlight both project need and outcomes
|Relate the project to the goals and
priorities of the funding agency
|Restate the request amount
An effective narrative includes:
need introduces the funder to the
issues you will address.
It explains the purpose, goals, measurable
objectives, and a compelling, logical reason
why the proposal should be supported using
both hard statistics and anecdotal data.
|Approach describes the method and process
of accomplishing goals and objectives, description
of intended scope of work with expected
outcomes, outline of activities, description
of personnel functions with names of key
staff and consultants, if possible.
|Evaluation will demonstrate how to determine
if you have accomplished what you set out
to do. Generally, funders require very technical measurements
of results such as statistical analysis,
pre- and post-tests, surveys or focus groups.
|Project Timeline paints a picture of project flow that includes start and end dates,
schedule of activities, and projected outcomes.
Should be detailed enough to include
staff selection and start dates
contains information about the applicant
that certifies ability to undertake successfully
the proposed effort.
Typically includes institutional
background or individual track record and
Tips on Writing the Narrative:
Narratives typically must satisfy the
What do we want ?
What concern will be addressed and why ?
Who will benefit and how ?
What specific objectives can be accomplished and how ?
How will results be measured ?
How does this funding request relate to the funder's purpose, objectives, and priorities ? Who are we (organization, college) and how do we qualify to meet this need ? questions:
There are many ways to represent the same idea. However, the
the description of the idea to the interest
of a particular funder. The HOOK
aligns the project with the purpose, and goals
of the funding source. This is a critical aspect
of any proposal narrative because it determines
how compelling the reviewers will perceive your
proposal to be.
|Budgets are cost projections. It is also a window into how
projects will be implemented and managed.
Well-planned budgets reflect carefully thought
Funders use these factors to assess budgets:
Many funders provide mandatory budget forms that must be submitted
with the proposal. Dont forget to list
in-kind and matching revenue, where appropriate.
Be flexible about your budget in case the funder
chooses to negotiate costs.
|Your concluding statement should be brief, reiterate the significance
and the purpose of your project, and invite
the funding source to join with you in ensuring
the projects success.
Most funding agencies will specify what attachments they require
and what they would prefer you not send. Keep in mind that reviewers will be looking
at hundreds of proposals, so keep the unnecessary
clutter to a minimum. Examples of attachments include:
Audited financial statements
A list of the College’s Board of Trustees
A 501 (c)3 tax-exempt letter
College publications and promotional materials
Most of these materials are available to faculty and staff
by contacting the Director of Foundation and