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Writing a grant proposal may seem like a straightforward task, but it’s worth taking the time to do well. After all, most grant departments receive hundreds of more applications than they afford to fund. So, when writing your proposal, you must ensure it stands out from the rest. 

Here are some steps to take to write an effective grant proposal.

Be sure to follow all the directions.

First things first, be sure to follow all of the directions on the grant application. If you don’t diligently follow the instructions, you risk making a mistake that renders your application useless. Read the questions carefully and be sure to answer every part of them. If an example is provided as part of the question, follow the format of that example. 

Be detail-oriented with your partnership letter.

Next, make sure that you pay attention to all of the details in your partnership letter. Think of this letter like a cover letter on a resume. It should be personalized to the funder or grant program you are applying to. Do not use a generic letter with language such as “to whom it may concern.” Reviewers will quickly spot a lack of effort, so pay attention to the details. 

Explain your process. 

It’s also important to clearly explain your process in your application. If reviewers aren’t sure how you plan to use the funds you are applying for, they are not likely to approve your request. If you do receive funding, explain who you plan to work with and the vetting process you used to choose them. It’s also a good idea to include details about any cost comparison analyses that you performed. 

Be clear about the finances.

Your grant proposal must include a straightforward financial story. Be ready to submit all of your financial documents, regardless of the size of the grant you desire. When you are able to tell a clear financial story, you show that you are responsible and will be able to manage your grant effectively. 

Explain your goals.

To approve your grant request, reviewers need to know your goals and how you define success. They want to know your intentions, as well as the financial aspects of your mission. Every proposal should include an outline of outputs and outcomes. What are you aiming to achieve, and how will you reach those goals? Clearly defining success will ensure that your message is received and boost your chances of receiving funding. 

Writing a grant proposal can be tedious, but it’s worth taking the time to include all the necessary details. Once your request is approved, you will be glad you took the time to do it right.