Grant proposals are to be treated as a project with a defined deliverable or end result for the money sought. Projects must show clear tangible results or funding will not be granted. A successful grant proposal is one that is carefully prepared, planned, and packaged. A Grantee is the individual or organisation giving you the money. And PandaDoc is an excellent preparation and packaging tool, and will create a highly professional look and feel to your grant proposal. Plus, we have a
free grant proposal template just waiting for you!
Tips to write a grant proposal:
- You should become intimately familiar with all of the criteria related to the program for which a grant is being sought
- Be a good project manager, know how to plan, lead and deliver projects. Follow PMBOK methodologies for good project management success
- Know your Grantee! Understand the organisation that is providing the funds, understand their goals and aims and align your proposal to them.
- Ensure that your idea or service is unique and not already funded by other government or private grants or is already implemented
- Ensure that the benefits generated from the Grant are tangible, measurable and benefit a wide spectrum of your community and are value for money invested
A Grant Proposal consists of the following:
- Proposal summary: two or three paragraphs summarising the key points or objectives of the project. This needs to have sufficient detail and specifics. Avoid generalizations and “fluff”, get to the point, and be pragmatic and factual. This section may be the last section that you complete as it is a synopsis of the entire proposal
- Introduction or overview of your business or organization: including a biography of key staff, your business track record (success stories) company goals and philosophy; essentially why your company should be selected. Client recommendations, letters of thanks, feedback from customers and the general public are must have things to write a grant proposal. Include also all valid industry certifications (ISO or Quality Certifications), licences and business and indemnity insurance details.You need to show that your company or organisation has the capacity and the ability to meet all deliverables form both an execution perspective but also meet all legal, safety and quality obligations. You may need to provide solvency statements to prove that you can meet your financial commitments to your staff and contractors
- Problem statement or needs analysis/assessment: Purpose of the grant proposal, who will benefit and how the solution will be implemented. Detailed and thorough analysis is needed for this section. You may need to do extensive research on the history of the underlying problem, previous solutions that were implemented and potentially failed and why your solution will make a difference
- Project objectives: details of the desired outcome and how success will be measured. This section is key to providing information on the benefits that the Grantee, community, government or client will see for their investment. Key Performance Indicators need to be articulated and explained with specific measurements detailed and when they will be taken (dates) how they will be measured and against what baselines will the results be taken.
- Project design: Skills needed for success, what additional facilities, transport and support services needed to deliver the project and defined measures for success. Good project management discipline and methodologies with detailed requirements specified and individual tasks articulated (project schedule) will keep a good focus on tasks, deliverables and results
- Project evaluation: covers product evaluation and process evaluation. Also include the timeframe needed for evaluation and who will do the evaluation including the specific skills or products needed and the cost of the evaluation phase of the project. Evaluation can be quite expensive and need to have entry and exit criteria and specifically focused in in scope activities. All out of scope evaluation activities need to be specified as this phase can easily blow out budget wise. Once again solid project management discipline and methodologies will keep a good focus on evaluation tasks and results
- Future funding: This section of your grant proposal is for funding requirements that go beyond the project, total cost of ownership including ongoing maintenance, business as usual operational support and may require you to articulate the projected ongoing costs (if any) for at least 5 years. An accurate cost model that includes all factors including inflation, specialist skills, ongoing training, potential future growth, decommissioning expenses when the project or products reaches end of life, all need to factored into this section
- Project budget: How much money is required to be funded to deliver the results. Provide full justification of all expenses including a table of services (or service catalogue) and product offered can be used to clearly and accurately specify the services.
Remember that the project budget section is the true meat of your grant proposal. Overcharging or having a high quote can lose you the grant and can be seen as profiteering. Underquoting might win you the business but you may not be able to deliver on your proposal which could adversely impact on your standing with the Grantee. Many companies underquote in the hope of “hooking” in the client and then looking for additional funding at a later stage. This is a dangerous game to play and could affect your individual or company’s brand, community standing or industry reputation. PandaDoc's service catalogue style can be used by Grantee’s and customers to specifically select which particular products or services will be selected for the specific project. The service catalogue can be used to customise offerings that are targeted and specifically focused on individual needs of the grant requirements
One of the great uses for PandaDoc is for the creation of professional looking proposal. Here you can find a library of proposal templates. Anyway, we hope this post will help you to write grant proposals successfully!