What is in a Grant Proposal?

Although the questions may be in different sequences, most funders ask for the same information. A standard grant proposal will include the following components.

  • The Cover Sheet (also called Executive Summary or Abstract)

    The cover sheet should clearly present who you are, what your project plans to do and the amount of your request.

  • Organization Description (1 - 1.5 pages)

    This is an opportunity to tell the funder about your organization, what you have done before and what qualifies you to undertake this project. It should include:

    • A brief history, your mission and your current programs and services
    • Meaningful service statistics and recent organizational achievements
  • Needs Assessment ( 1- 2 pages)

    In this section we describe the problem your project addresses. It should include:

    • A description of the problem/need (from a global, national, state or local level)
    • Statistics/evidence from your experience and from other expert sources
    • A synopsis of how this need is related to your mission
  • Project Description, Goals and Objectives (1-3 pages)

    This section tells the funder what you plan to do and how.

    • Describes the project objectives - Who will do What by When,
    • Includes a timeline
    • States how much will be done and how it will be measured
    • Describes specific activities/tasks. What key personnel, other staffing and volunteers are required
    • Identifes other programs/organizations attempting to address the need and how your proposed project is different from existing efforts
    • Explains how you will collaborate/cooperate with other efforts
  • Evaluation (1 page)

    How will you measure your success?

    • Describes how project/program will be evaluated and how the data will be collected
    • Includes quantitative and qualitative measures
  • Sustainability

    • Describes how your project/program will continue after funding ends
    • Describes your plan for securing ongoing finances/revenue
    • Lists other committed and/or projected sources of support
  • Attachments

    • Project Budget (pro-forma): Itemize income and expenses, identify all funding sources and indicate whether funds are committed or projected. Identify in-kind and volunteer contributions
    • Financial Statement and/or Audit
    • Current Operating Budget
    • IRS Tax Status Determination Letter (501 3)
    • Current List of Board Members
    • Biographies of key personnel