Tips for Writing a Grant Proposal
You've decided which grant to apply for and have reviewed the grant materials and requirements. Now it's time to explain how the design and purpose of your project are consistent with the requirements and goals of the grant.
Before Starting to Write
First gather the required documentation. You will need background information in at least four areas:
- Your School or Organization
- Your Need
- Your Project
- Project Expenses
Your project goals and objectives must be clearly defined and fall within the guidelines of the funding source.
Determine how your project fits into the philosophy and the mission of your school or organization. It is important for the funding source to know that your proposed project reinforces the overall direction of your school or organization.
Provide background information on other projects your school or organization has been involved in and be able to describe their relationship to your proposed project.
The Abstract is where you will need to write an overview of your project. Here you can briefly lay out the components about which you will go into more detail in the main part of your grant proposal:
- Need and/or Problem
- Goals and Objectives
- Strategies and Activities
- Expected Results
- Estimated cost
- Demographics: Describe your school or district: location, grades, numbers and kinds of schools, total students, socio-economic populations, etc. Describe the groups involved in your grant project: students, teachers, administrators, parents, etc. Include numbers and percentages of students in various categories who are part of your project: Title I, English language learners, special education, etc.
- Need: Establish the need for your project. You can do this by enumerating student scores on your state assessment or on various standardized reading/language tests – such as the Woodcock Johnson, CELF, TOLD, etc. – and the levels where student scores should be if they were at grade level proficiency. Discuss how the stated need has adversely affected your school, district, and community, and what it would mean to improve the situation.
- Goals and Objectives: What are your project’s general goals (e.g., students reading by the end of third grade) and specific objectives (e.g., 85% of third grade students reaching grade level reading proficiency as measured by your state assessment).
- Strategies and Activities: What strategies (e.g., implement the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant software) and specific activities (e.g., students will use Fast ForWord Language 40 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 9-13 weeks) will be undertaken to achieve your goals and objectives? Describe your implementation plan.
- Timeline: When will your activities be conducted and completed?
- Evaluation: How can you prove you have been successful in meeting your objectives? What tests will you use? Who will be responsible for the evaluation process?
- Sustainability: Provide a statement on how the school, district, or organization will sustain the innovation once funding has ended.
- Budget: Describe the costs necessary to carry out the activities you have described in your proposal. Include costs for the Fast ForWord and/or Reading Assistant software, staff, administration, etc.