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Grant proposals play a key role in the process of fundraising. The corporate or organization you are sending it to pay keen attention to every detail and scrutinize it thoroughly before they agree to offer you the grant.
What should the grant proposal contain? How should one make it easily understandable at the same time develop an emotional connection with the person reading it?
We’ve come up with the following key facets addressing these important questions.
1.Cover Letter- This is an important section as it creates the first impression about the proposal. It should contain a short description of your project, backed up with other projects done by your organization previously, and state the amount of grant you are seeking for. This should be stamped and signed by the head of your organization.
Here’s a sample which you can refer to.
“Dear Dr. Smith:
The Some City Senior Center respectfully requests a grant of $50,000 for our Senior Latino Community Outreach Pilot Project.
As the largest senior center in Any County, serving over 450 seniors every day, we are aware of the changing demographics in our service area. And we are committed to growing and adapting our center to meet emerging needs. The Senior Latino Community Outreach Pilot Project will allow us to pilot a one-year effort to determine if our center can effectively provide comprehensive access to health and social services to seniors in the Latino communities served by our center, and raise and fully integrate the cultural competency of the board, staff, and volunteers of the Some City Senior Center.
Our board of directors is enthusiastic about this program and eager to launch it so we can become the most inclusive and culturally competent center for seniors in all of our communities that need these services. Should we find at the end of our pilot year that this program is, in fact, successful, our board has committed to including a portion of the project's yearly expenses into our annual operating budget so that the program becomes an integral part of our core services.
Through this project, the Center will become the primary referral given by Health Access Latinos, Families of Any County, and three community clinics within a fifteen-mile radius of our center. We will also accept referrals of Spanish-speaking seniors from any other community agency in our immediate service area.
Thank you for your consideration of our request. Meanwhile, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Connie Jones, our Director of Development, at (555) 555-5555, x555, or email@example.com.
2.Executive Summary- The summary should be brief and should entice the reader to read more. It should not be more than a page. It is best if you can represent your project in a mindmap/flowchart/infographic format, making it visually engaging as well as easier for a person to grasp instead of writing long text.
3.Goals & Objective- This section should clearly show your goals behind executing the project and the expected outcomes. Lay out specific steps on how you will achieve those outcomes. Granters usually prefer those proposals which explain in details about all the steps. Transparency is much appreciated. As they are contributing huge amounts of funds, they want assurance about your accountability. This needs to reflect in this section.
4. Strategies/Methods/Program Design & Execution- Write about the entire program design, the people who would be doing the specific tasks, along with timelines. Also, mention the intent behind each strategy. Mention each stakeholder involved and allocation of responsibilities. Pay heed to every single detail.
5.Impact Evaluation Assessment- The funding organizations want to know how their money will make an impact. Mention about every evaluation metric you will be tracking along with data collection and management techniques. These are important for the grant givers as they will use this in media, brand promotion, and other key places for commercial purpose.
This should make them well assured that their money is going in the right place and in the right hands! Give examples of previous projects and back it up with testimonials from granters who have offered you support earlier. Validation always affirms trust.
6.Value Addition to the Granter- This section is extremely crucial as every organization wants to know how will the project add value to their company and brand. State every single aspect right from media exposure to the footfall they will get to the value add to their CSR and sustainability reports.
7.Project History- Mention how meticulously your organization has implemented projects like these, the impact it created, and the names associated with it. You need to do proper branding with facts, figures, testimonials and images to make this look attractive and at the same time authentic. Also, mention about all the accolades and honor awards received by your nonprofit.
8.Project Budget- This is best expressed in tabular form and remember to link it to the excel sheet where you have done all the calculations. Give details of every single expenditure along with the breakup. Support your estimation with facts and data based on previous experience. This section should be done with utmost care, attention, and detail. The granters spend most time reviewing this section.
Following is a sample project budget of Srujna- nonprofit in India.
9.Additional Documents- It is a good idea to attach the following as the funders usually ask for these.
IRS letter stating that your organization is tax exempt
List of your board of directors, key team members, any other affiliations
Budget of your current fiscal year and proposed budget for the next few months
10. Your Story- After all the formal stuff is done, it's time to make the funders connect with your project at an emotional level. Describe your journey, milestones, and impact created by your team till date. Be honest, authentic and real. That's what makes the connect effortlessly.
With these, we hope you can create the ultra-authentic and meaningful grant proposal for your project! Happy Fundraising.
Venkat Dulipalli is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of VolunteerMark
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