A grant is a simple request for funds that involves a description of a precise need and the suggested program that will fill that need. So, basically, a grant is a document which is required to obtain a sum of money for some specific purpose. Whether it’s for a business or organization, writing a grant proposal is a skill, which can be learnt. Here are some grant writing tips that will help you write a well-structured proposal.
Stop, Think, Organize
It is highly important that you read and understand what exactly the funder wants. Highlight all questions you must answer and materials you have to include. Once you have gathered all the required information, re-read the guidelines so that you are writing exactly what the funder wants to know. Before you start writing, take some time and brainstorm. Ask yourself, what are the strong points of your organization or your program? What are your best arguments and examples that best highlight your strengths? Identify the main point, concept or theme of your proposal. Make this your central idea, and start writing around this point.
Is Your Proposal Wanted?
You might want to make sure if the funder is actually interested in your program. Don’t assume that just because there is a significant amount of money available, that the funder will fund just about anything. The funders are usually very specific in what they are looking for, and they will rarely deviate from their targets. No matter how good your program or organization is, if it is not something that the funder is looking for at the moment, you will not get the grant.
The summary comes after your cover letter. It helps the funder to understand at a glance what you are seeking. It should include who you are, what your project is, and how much money you’re asking for. The length of the summary can vary. It can either be just a couple of sentences, or a few paragraphs. However, make sure you don’t run longer than one page. You should aim to be complete but brief. Touch all the main aspects of your proposal, but in a very brief manner. Your summary statement should entice the reader to keep going. It doesn’t need to be very inventive, but it should be well-written, complete, and specific to include details of the proposed program, to involve the reader.
Simplify the Content
Contrary to popular belief, the length and complexity of your proposal does not change the amount of money you receive. It is imperative that you stick to the main points, avoid rambling, and present your ideas as briefly as possible. Describe manageable problems and propose doable solutions. Don’t promise more than you can deliver. You don’t want to test the patience of the funders. A short and crisp grant is more likely to win them over.
Make it Shine
When you are done with your draft, go through it again carefully and polish it up. Make sure the ideas are clearly mentioned and the writing is crisp. You could also read it out loud to see how it sounds. Rewrite if needed, even more than once, to ensure the best possible draft. Don’t worry about getting fancy though. There is no need to use big words, just say what you have to say, briefly and clearly. Finally, once the final draft is ready, review your original summary and make sure it exactly reflects the proposal you’ve actually written. Once this is done, you are ready to submit your grant!
Image credit: Keith Cooper on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Pranay.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Pranay Kanagat is a freelance writer who has a love for writing on various subjects. In particular, he enjoys creative writing. He is also studying for an Engineering degree.[/author_info] [/author]