13 Ways To Write A Grant Proposal Efficiently Today

Below we offer actionable tips on how to draft a grant proposal that has the best odds of getting funded. The grant proposal process is becoming increasingly competitive.

The introduction outlines the goals of the project, timeline, and enough background to provide a context of common knowledge for the reviewers . Misspellings and grammatical errors will impede reviewers in understanding the application.

  • To see a sample budget, turn to Example #1 at the end of this handout.
  • Writing a grant proposal starts with finding the right funders to partner with and support your organization’s work.
  • Allow your discipline and its conventions to determine the general style of your writing, but allow your own voice and personality to come through.
  • While bulleted lists are useful, just as with graphics, you want to use them judiciously.
  • This handout will help you write and revise grant proposals for research funding in all academic disciplines .
  • Outline any partnerships you have built with complementary organizations and individuals.

This handout will help you write and revise grant proposals for research funding in all academic disciplines . It’s targeted primarily to graduate students and faculty, although it will also be helpful to undergraduate students who are seeking funding for research (e.g. for a senior thesis). We systematically check many page limit requirements and provide error or warning messages to minimize incomplete or non-compliant applications. These systematic checks may not address all page limit requirements for a specific FOA and do not replace the checks done by staff after submission.

You may also find that thinking about your project in these terms reveals new aspects of it to you. Pay attention to everything the granting organization requires of you. If you receive any advice that contradicts the expectations of your particular situation , ignore it! Study representative samples of successful proposals in your field or proposals that have received the particular grant you are applying for. Some page limits apply to multiple attachments that when combined must stay within a designated limit. You may want to prepare your information in a single document to ensure you are within the page limit and later break-up the information into the various separate attachments.

The Grant Writing Process

Will you be using new methodologies or covering new theoretical territory? The research goals or objectives should identify the anticipated outcomes of the research and should match up to the needs identified in the statement of problem. List only the principle goal or objective of your research and save sub-objectives for the project narrative. Reviewers will use only the information contained in the application to assess the application.

This brings us to Slab (), which is the focus of this post. Slab is a browser-based knowledge management tool that companies can use to create, organize, store, and share information. You can read about several use cases for Slab on Slab’s website.

We are pleased to be able to offer our readers an annual subscription to the funder database GrantStation at a significant discount. To save additional space, create graphics in a vertical layout. Some of us may feel ashamed or embarrassed about asking for money or promoting ourselves.

Clearly describe the connection between the objectives and the methods to show that the approach is carefully developed and thought out.

Design Preferences And Formats

If any required information or data is omitted, explain why. Make sure the information provided in each table, chart, attachment, etc., is consistent with the proposal narrative and information in other tables. Think about the people from the agency offering this grant who will read this proposal.

Most funding agencies have specific requirements for the title page; make sure to follow them. Remember that most readers are lazy and will not respond well to a poorly organized, poorly written, or confusing proposal. Follow all the guidelines for the particular grant you are applying for. This may require you to reframe your project in a different light or language. Reframing your project to fit a specific grant’s requirements is a legitimate and necessary part of the process unless it will fundamentally change your project’s goals or outcomes. For students, faculty, or staff at UW–Madison, a great place to learn more about grants, grant proposal writing, and granting institutions is the Grants Information Collection at UW–Madison’s Memorial Library. Check out their website and our review of some of their materials as well as links to other useful grant resources here.

To help you decide whether hiring a freelance proposal writer makes sense for your organization, we’re going to look at three scenarios when hiring a grant writer makes sense. We’ll also discuss the different types of proposal writers and tips for collaborating with a proposal writer to help the process go more smoothly. In proposals, magazine articles, and blog posts, bulleted lists are a mainstay. Bulleted lists are a popular way to communicate information because they are faster to scan than densely written paragraphs.

Additional Resources About Grants And Grant Writing

Consider including an exhaustive budget for your project, even if it exceeds the normal grant size of a particular funding organization. Simply make it clear that you are seeking additional funding from other sources. This technique will make it easier for you to combine awards down the road should you have the good fortune of receiving multiple grants. A well developed evaluation process can create more carefully articulated project objectives.

grant proposal table of contents

If your current and past grants were not appropriately allocated toward goals, you wouldn’t be able to demonstrate strong program performance in new grant proposals. One way to ensure that all of these elements are present is to develop a proposal template. Another way to ensure that your proposals are of high quality is to develop a style guide that can serve as a reference for you and others at your organization. The style guide can cover everything from how to spell certain words to which font style to use. To create your own style guide, check out our blog post How to Create & Use a Style Sheet for Grant Writing. You can also find tips about creating a style guide on the website Daily Writing Tips. If you work with people who have limited skills in Microsoft Word, you may want to develop a “model” document that people can refer to that includes the right fonts, colors, and text box styles.

Tip #6: Use Bulleted Lists

The green squares to the left are colors pulled from the color of the grass in the photo. You can also use a free service like Color Code Picker to analyze the colors found in a jpg of your logo or in a photograph you like. The spacing between paragraph 1 and 2 is the default 12 point spacing. The spacing between paragraphs 2 and 3 has been reduced in half to 6 point.

How much should I charge for a grant proposal?

How Much Does Grant Writing Typically Cost? Typical grant writing costs range from $20 per hour for new grant writers up to $150 per hour for experienced grant writers who have won many grants. Standard, intermediate fees range from $30 to $75 per hour.

Project personnel will also require regular transportation between rural field sites. If it is not possible to remain overnight, daily trips will be necessary. The average rental rate for a 4×4 vehicle in Rwanda is $130 per day. This estimate is based on an average of $50 per day in transportation costs for the second and third project phases. These costs could be reduced if an arrangement could be made with either a government ministry or international aid agency for transportation assistance. For multi-year research proposals with numerous procedures and a large staff, a time line diagram can help clarify the feasibility and planning of the study.

Applicants must write grant proposals, submit them, receive notice of acceptance or rejection, and then revise their proposals. Unsuccessful grant applicants must revise and resubmit their proposals during the next funding cycle.

For the headings and subheadings, you have more freedom to use a little bit of color. For main headings, you can use the default blue color found in Word’s style bar, or you can use a color from your organization’s palette of official colors. One spacing change that will attract less attention is spacing between paragraphs.


On the other hand, if you have a paragraph that covers multiple subjects or items that have complex or indirect ties to one another, a list probably is not the best approach. Bulleted lists also introduce more white space into a document, which helps readability. Another advantage of bulleted lists is that they encourage brevity. Although the information conveyed may be identical, items in a list tend to be written more concisely than sentences in a paragraph.

Key images, “stills” and a brief description of each video must be included within the page limits of the research strategy. In addition to using past performance data to win new grants, encourage repeat funding from existing investors by providing accurate, ongoing reports on spend and performance. The more detailed these reports are, the better you’ll be at demonstrating your grant-spending and program-performance competencies. The necessary components of a project budget include income and expenses, estimating the cost of a project, and other financial documents you may need to submit with your proposal. The majority of grants are awarded to a particular cause as opposed to just general support. By focusing your grant application on a single project, you will increase your chances of getting funded. And be detailed, because this will show that you’ve thought through how the project will be executed.

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