Writing a Grant Proposal - Part III of III
Evaluation This is not something to consider only at the end of the project. Evaluation is something that is an ongoing part of any well-managed project. By including an evaluation section in your proposal, you let the funder know that you take the project seriously and your agency will be accountable throughout the project. Depending on what kind of project you are proposing, it may be appropriate to include an evaluation of the final outcome and/or the process by which that outcome was attained. For both types, it will be necessary to explain how the relevant data will be collected and analyzed. You should also explain how your results would be presented to your chosen audience.
Sustainability (if required)
This is sometimes a very important aspect of the grant writing process. Most grant makers cannot take on a permanent funding commitment to agencies, so when they are considering giving funding away, they want to know one or more of three things, that:
- You have a finite project
- Your project will contribute to future self-sufficiency
- Your project will make your agency attractive to future donors
Even though you may not be able include very specific figures, have financial data at hand about both projected earned income and future fundraising goals so that if a prospective donor requests these figures, they will be readily available.
The Executive Summary (if required)
Some funders require an umbrella statement about your program/project and a summary of the entire proposal, generally no more than one page. This is the section that will either be interesting enough for the reader to continue reading your proposal and buy into it, or cause them to put it down in favor of another. That means your first paragraph is the grabber. Your case should be compelling and interesting and provide a snapshot of what is to follow, but include:
- The Problem – What is the problem or opportunity that your agency is trying to address?
- The Solution – This is a short description of your project. What are you going to do and how many people will benefit from this? How and where will the project be conducted and how many people will staff it?
- The Funding Requirements – Explain the amount of grant money you are requesting for the project and what your plans are for funding in the future.
- Your Organization and Its Expertise – In one paragraph state the name and history of your organization and its purpose, and emphasize its capacity to carry out your proposal.
Once you have written the final draft, your job is not nearly over. Grant review procedures are many and the decision-making process can take from a few weeks to a year. If your proposal is funded, follow up with a thank-you note. If your proposal is rejected, it doesn't mean all hope is lost. You can apply again next year.
Recent grants received by our clients include:
$25,000 for an agency that provides wishes and financial assistance for children terminally ill with cancer - for general operating expenses
$20,000 for an organization that trains and supervises community volunteers to make recommendations to Juvenile Court and Family Court judges about the best interests of abused and neglected children in Dallas County - for volunteer recruitment
$20,000 for an agency that collaborates the efforts of other ministries to positively impact West Dallas' needs - for general operating expenses
$20,000 for an agency dedicated to helping juvenile offenders reach their law abiding potential – for general operating expenses
$15,000 for a clinic serving low-income, uninsured patients - for general operating expenses
$10,000 for an organization that provides temporary housing and support services to women recovering from the diseases of alcoholism and drug abuse - for general operating expenses
The topic of our next blog on Tuesday, October 4th, will be “Reasons Not to Pay Grant Writing Contingency Fees.”
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Murray Covens, Principal