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Also realize that a funder may specify a different way to measure success. Identify the Key Outcomes Some projects will have a long list of outcomes. Work with your stakeholders to develop a consensus on two or three primary outcomes. Set Realistic and Achievable Outcomes Your projected outcomes must be realistic.

Some pollution will always exist within the river. Reducing the pollutants to an acceptable level in one year or even five years might be impossible. Consult with experts—local ones are fine—and determine what is realistic for your situation. If the river clean up will take ten years, say so. Failing to meet goals will make getting additional funding in the future more difficult.

It is far better to promise less and exceed your goals than to over-promise and under-deliver. However, don't seriously underestimate what can be achieved.

How to Get a Grant

Promise too little, and the project may not appear cost-effective. Measure and Record the Result of Your Work State what measurements you hope to achieve and when you hope to achieve them. If you are going to reduce pollutants in a river, to what level will they be reduced? Use specific numbers or a range. For example, a pollutant will be decreased by 15 to 20 parts per million, or ppm. If you cannot measure or count an output, do not include it.


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Perhaps your stakeholders agreed on the following key objective: People will be able to fish and eat their catch. You can make this objective measurable and observable by stating it this way: "Pollutants in the river will decrease by ppm. At this level, people will be able to eat from the river at least once a week.

How to Write a Grant Proposal: Step-by-Step Guide (Free Templates)

Every activity should be evaluated on how it helps to achieve the ultimate goal s. Step 3: Design Your Program Now that you know where you are and where you want to go, your next step is determining the best path to get there. The best path is not always the shortest, quickest, easiest, or cheapest. So, how do you decide the best path for your project? Get Expert Opinions Grant makers, both governmental and private, often have experts on staff who can help you.


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When contacting a funding source, explain that while you might be asking them for funds in the future, for now you're interested in their expertise. Try to find organizations that have developed projects similar to yours. Look at the failures as closely as the successes. Knowing what does not work is often more valuable than knowing what does. You may also get information from the popular press and from professional journals—one exists for just about every topic you can imagine.

Search the Internet and contact professional associations. If you are near a college or university, find out if a faculty member or researcher has studied the problem. But don't just read about what others have done. Learn about projects firsthand by visiting the project site. If a visit isn't possible, contact those involved in similar projects by phone, email, or letter. Get "Buy In" From Stakeholders Whatever solution you choose, it's essential that all key stakeholders agree fully on the plan.

This is often referred to as "buying in" and is often critical to your success. You may never get percent agreement, but you want to prevent overwhelming opposition. People are most likely to support a project they helped create. Ask your stakeholders to show support through letters of support and commitment. Letters of support state that the person or organization agrees with what you want to do and will not oppose you. More valuable are letters of commitment that specify how the person or organization will assist you.

The assistance may include contributions of time, money, labor, space, supplies, materials, and other necessities. Clearly Describe Your Solution With your key stakeholders' and experts' assistance, clearly describe your solution. What will be done, and by whom? If your project is technical, you may want two versions: one expressed in technical terms and the other in lay terms.

It is important that both technical experts and the general public understand your plan. A clear description of how you plan to achieve your desired outcomes, with a timeline and detailed workplan, can be a great help in obtaining funding and getting a broader range of stakeholder support. Step 4: Locate Funding Sources Now that you've agreed upon a solution and program design, you need to find the resources—the people, the equipment, and the money—to get your project done. Locating funding requires an investment of time and careful planning.

Many funders have a lengthy process for reviewing proposals. Start with Organizations or People You Know As most funders, both government and private, provide money for rather specific purposes, your search can be targeted. Inquire with the most obvious choices first, like those that have funded similar projects in your geographic area. If your solution is outside the scope of their funding, they may be able to point you toward the right source. Can they introduce you to contacts at organizations with which they have a relationship?

Then, meet with the individuals to whom you've been referred. An introduction from someone the funder trusts lends you credibility. In addition, check individual federal agency Web sites, as not all programs are listed on www. Also check state and local government Web sites to see what grants they offer.

State and local governments administer many federal and private grants and will list these as well. Questions to Ask When Reviewing a Funding Source Once you find a promising funding source, learn as much as you can about that organization and its particular funding program. Arrange to meet the program officer, preferably in person, or by phone. Program officers are usually experts in the application process and may be knowledgeable about your type of project. Confirm that your project is eligible for funding. Ask any questions you have about the grant announcement and clarify anything you don't understand.

You will not appear foolish by asking a question; however, it would be a real mistake to omit a main item from your grant application. Make every effort to fully involve them. Invite representatives to be on hand for key milestones. While some funders want little involvement beyond giving you the money and periodically receiving a report, others want to be very hands-on and share in your success.

Writing An Effective Research Proposal

Step 5: Write Your Proposal Once you have a written description of your program, needs, outcomes, and activities, use this as the basis for numerous grant applications. Tailor each proposal to each funder. Use the style and format that the funder prefers. Most organizations make their winning proposals public. Study these proposals.

Use them as guides for how to assemble yours, what information to include, and what style and terminology is preferred. Each RFP usually specifies what information to include and in what format. Some specify page limits and even font size. Many request electronic or online via the Internet submission of applications.

Carefully read through all of the directions and ask about any that seem unclear. Follow the Instructions If there is a ten-page limit, stick to ten pages. Discuss in a financial strategy section how you plan to use the funds from the government grant. Include as much detail as possible in terms of where the money will be spent. Do not leave too much money left over without a purpose; that might decrease your chances of being accepted for funding.

Take into account the many different areas where spending might be required: marketing, advertising, employee wages and any other expenses you might incur. Explain in an eligibility proof section exactly why your small business is the ideal one to be chosen for the government grant. You might find that some grants require special information such as a particular rate of income. Consult the grant description regularly to double-check for eligibility requirements. Hundreds of other applicants may apply for the same grant, so make sure your application stands out from the rest.

This section is your chance to shine. Devise an introduction that tells the grant application reviewer who you are and what your business is all about. This is perhaps the most important section, as it is the first part the grant application reviewers read. It should always be written last. Use a formal tone when writing this section but express your need for funding clearly and concisely, without too much unnecessary information. The later sections are where you discuss finances, plans and goals.

How to write a grant proposal

Check the government grant's instructions again to see if there is any other information indicating a specialized format or style for the application document. You might find that some grant providers require extra sections or that they need to be structured in a different order. Follow their guidelines exactly. Carefully proofread your government grant application.

It is vital that you check for any errors in both spelling and grammar to ensure your application looks as professional as possible. Double-check all information to make sure it is accurate, set out properly and that it is easy to read. Daniel Tolliday has more than five years experience in online marketing and copywriting. Since finishing a Bachelor of Communication, he now works as a content marketing strategist with Internet Promotion Australia, assisting trade services and entrepreneurs in growing their businesses online.

Skip to main content. Find a Funding Program Research the government funding agencies in your local area. Study the Program Information Check through all the information provided in the grant program's description to fully understand the requirements. Create a Mission Statement Outline the main objectives of your small business in a mission statement. Detail Your Small Business Strategy Describe in a strategy section how you intend to expand your business; if it is a start-up, describe how you expect to build it from the ground up.

Write a Financial Strategy Discuss in a financial strategy section how you plan to use the funds from the government grant.