General Grant Writing Outline: Necessary Information

This list is intended to give a general idea of the kind of information you will need to compile for most grant proposals and provide a guide when no application form is given. Compiling this information will also make it easier to apply to multiple funding agencies. However, grant solicitations should still be read carefully to ensure you are addressing specific needs and that your project matches the call for proposals.

1. Introduction

All proposals should have a 1-2 paragraph summary or abstract with your institution, the project purpose, procedure and expected results, and total budget amounts.

2. Needs Statement

  • Explanation of a clear need, not addressed adequately by any other solution, and how you can address it.
  • Who is affected by this need, who can benefit?

3. Goals and Objectives

  • Your proposal for examining and/or solving this problem
  • Goals are broader and objectives are actions, often measurable, that will be taken to reach these, they should be realistic and achievable.
  • How will you show progress towards your goals?

4. Background Information

  • About yourself/your staff (gather the vitas of everyone who will be working on the project) and your prior expertise/work in area
  • About your institution and its strengths (mission statements and policies/directives can be good here)
  • Your institution’s financial information (operating budget) and status (for profit, charity, tax-exempt)
  • Research different funding opportunities for common needs

5. Key Players and Roles

  • Important components, factors, variable, or people studied in your research
  • Dependent variables are those you are looking to change or be affected, these are the factors or people you are interested in explaining/affecting
  • Independent variables are those you believe affect the dependent variables
  • Expected relationships and hypotheses

6. Project Design/ Process Plan

A detailed description of how the project will be done. This should include how factors will be measured, what outcomes are expected, any staffing or personnel who will be needed and their roles and professional backgrounds, facilities and equipment that will be used, the steps or stages of the project, and a timeline.

7. Evaluation Plan

  • How you will demonstrate progress towards your goals? (ongoing or formative)
  • How the information collected will be analyzed and used. (final or summative)

8. Sustainability Plan

If your project will run longer than the grant funding or be an ongoing project, you should discuss how the project will be continue to be funded. Strategies can include institutional funds, absorption into other departments, or earned income from products.

9. Budget Plan

  • Create categories (e.g. consultants, students, equipment and supplies)
  • Make a list of all income and expenditures, including donated space and time, being as accurate as possible. Use bids where possible. Don’t forget indirect costs if relevant.

10. Dissemination

How the findings or conclusions of the study will be shared with a wider audience.


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