How to Write a Grant

Every funding source has different requirements, you will need to review the guidelines of the funding agency. Some things to pay attention to are:

  • funding level allowed
  • should the grant be in the form of a letter proposal or full proposal
  • the format requested
  • the specific forms to complete
  • page limitations
  • should the grant be double-spaced or single-spaced

The typical grant proposal includes the following components:

  • Cover Letter (includes date, should be personalized, state the number of proposals enclosed, project information: title of project, need and uniqueness of project, contact person and phone number)
  • Project Summary – 2 pages or less (identify grant applicant, identify lead organization, outline general concepts or proposed project, list expected outcomes, provide budget figure)
  • Title Page – 1 page (title of project, funding agency, name and address of grantee, date of submission)
  • Table of Contents – (follow funding source guidelines for formatting, listing of appendices)
  • Problem Statement (present the problem in such a way that the funding agency will also perceive it to be an important issue that warrants their resources and attention, use a variety of data)
  • Goals and Objectives (maximum of 4-5 goals)
  • Methodology (introduction, background of participating organizations, role of participating organizations, project description)
  • Project Staffing (list each individual’s name, title, time to contribute, area of expertise, assigned responsibilities)
  • Timeline (use graph format)
  • Evaluation (what type of evaluation is required by funding agency, internal or external evaluator, cost)
  • Budget and Budget Narrative (be realistic, follow funding agency guidelines, carefully review methodology section and timeline, use tables, include a narrative along with the budget summary, know requirements for cost sharing, matching and in-kind contributions)
  • Appendices (letters of support, letters of commitment, audited financial statements, other pertinent information)

Before submission, make sure to edit, edit, edit. Then check guidelines for submission binding instructions, check each copy for completeness, include appropriate number of copies, and mail in one box/envelope.

The following are some grantwriting websites that may prove useful before tackling this project:

  • The best place to link up to Internet resources for grants and foundations can be found at This site provides a detailed list of useful Internet links on topics covering Best Starting Places/Megasources, Organizations, Directories, Government Funding, Grant Writing, Electronic Journals/Magazines, and Other Interesting Sites. Definitely a great place to start!
  • The best place to find information on grantwriting may be at website contains four pages of fundraising and grantwriting resources. Some of these sources charge fees; however, many of them do not and some of the better ones are listed below. Within this website is also a section on informational web sites and resources, nonprofit salary surveys, and forming nonprofit organizations.
  • A good site that includes a grantwriting tutorial is This website offers an interactive software tool that walks the user through the grantwriting process and helps them learn to write more competitive grants.


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