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Grant Writing Basics

Saptakee Sengupta

Writing down a grant proposal requires you to follow a set of rules and guidelines. You should be accustomed with the basics for this purpose. Read on to know about grant writing basics, like the various aspects of the proposal and a few writing tips.
Grants are sums of money donated or awarded to a particular activity, facility or to non-profit organizations. They are a non-refundable sum sponsored by federal agencies and other organizations for various purposes. To follow-up with the process a proposal is generated. Understanding the goals of the program and the agencies is vital.
Successful accomplishments of the program is done by analyzing the Request for Initial Proposals (RFIP) or Request for Applications (RFA) or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). This official procedure is important to understand the eligibility of the funding object and the original concept of the funding idea.

Proposal Aspects

Grants are applied mostly through a proposal for funding. Sometimes the organization which is supposed to receive a grant must have a federal non-profit status as per the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The most important aspect is that you apply for the sum that you are qualified or eligible for.

Define your Project

Clearly mention the significance of the project and clarify the purpose. Write down a concise mission statement. Define the scope of work and determine the broad project goals. State the objectives and focus how you will accomplish the goals of your project. State the beneficiaries of the project and draft the planning phase.

Choose the Right Funding Sources

There are various funding sources like foundation centers, station development offices, publication houses, public libraries, etc., that assist the funding process. Identify the source and do not limit yourself to only one organization.
Inquire about the maximum amount they can fund that will be suitable for your project. Establish a direct contact with the funders for better support. Note down the agreements between the parties.

Contact with Funders

Contact the project officer or the officer in charge. Inquire how the proposals are made and decisions are carried out. Make yourself aware of the official rules and regulations. Learn the payment processes and the mode of payment. Get the details of budgetary requirements and preferences. Build a solid contact so that it is useful in the future.

Proposal Guidelines and Timeline

Read the guidelines carefully and know the deadlines. Try to submit your proposal before the deadline. Determine the format and update the time sheet. Write multiple drafts and solicit the project officer for review. The proposal must be clear and relevant.

Writing Tips

You need to focus on the structural details, and the proposal should be concise and persuasive. These tips will help make the picture clear.


Focus on the statement of need, approach, method of evaluation, project timeline, credentials. Specify your identity, needs, importance of the project, how beneficial it will be, priorities, objectives, and outcome of the project.


Mention the cost projections and how the grant will be managed to accomplish the project. Compare the cost with the market and if the funding is reasonable enough to support the project. List in support and the revenue matching with the grant. Be flexible with your budget in case there are negotiations.

Supporting Materials

Make an appendix to note down the supporting materials. Supporting materials usually endorse the applicant and his project. It also provides certifications and includes information about consultants and project personnel. Draw tables and charts for this section to be concise and clear.

Authorized Signatures

The authority should sign the proposal or else it will be null and void. Give enough time to yourself to prepare a detailed report and then get the authorized signatures.

Specifications in Guidelines

Check the specifications in the guidelines and observe the format. It should not be just page fillers. Elaboration should be in depth and try to write more than one draft. You must be careful with the spacing and formats of the written report.


The completed proposal must be submitted on time in the specified format with the original authorized signature. Include the required documentation and retain copies with yourself.
This was a detailed analysis about grant writing basics. Follow these tips and use your writing skills to frame a grant request by yourself.