What if you wanted to write a grant application? This is exciting! This could mean that you have valuable research or a specific nonprofit to help or a community resource to develop. You have a vision for how something should be improved or developed, and you are prepared to ask for financial support or other support in order to help make your vision a reality.

By developing a grant application, you can achieve this unrealized vision. You should consider grant writing an act of imagination. Professor Kate Vieira of UW Madison’s Curriculum and Instruction department describes grant proposal writing in terms of fiction writing. These are creative works of imagination. Professor Vieira recommends having a positive attitude and a willingness to try new things. You have an idea that is great and you believe you can achieve it. Now it’s time to get others excited about your vision.


Here are some suggestions and ways to think about grant proposals. We also offer advice on the writing and planning of grants. This information can be used in a wide range of contexts. However , this general approach comes with important limitations . First, you need to receive more personalized advice about grant writing in your field. You’ll also need to read and follow all the instructions from grant agencies regarding the submissions you make.

Talk to professors, mentors and grant recipients to find out more about the success rate of grant proposals.

Before you start to write your grant application, you should:

After you have finished all this, it’s time to start writing your proposal.

Additional resources on Grant Writing and Grants

UW-Madison’s Memorial Library has a Grants Information Collection that provides great resources for faculty and students.¬†Our site inccludes a review of some of the materials, as well as links to additional grant resources.

Consider the Audience, Purpose and Expectations of Grant Proposals

A grant proposal can be a concise, clear document sent to a funding agency to request support. The purpose is to convince the reviewers that: (1) you have a well-thought out plan to promote a worthwhile cause; and (2) you are capable of implementing that plan.

When you are preparing your grant proposal, be sure to ask these questions:

Common Element of Grant Proposals

Grant proposals can be divided into sections. The titles of these sections vary according to the guidelines given by the grant agency, but they serve the same purpose. Here are some tips to help you write grant proposals. Keep in mind that the call for proposals will provide specific section headings and grant guidelines.

An Overview
(a.k.a. “abstract”, or
This section will highlight the most crucial elements of your
Your proposal should be as brief as possible For longer
For proposals, it might be possible to use a full-page
However, for other proposals, you might need to condense.
Keep it to one paragraph. Or, do it anyway.
* What is the purpose and goal of your project or the need that you are addressing?
What problem are you trying to solve?
* What are the expected outcomes for your project and how can you measure them?
These are the things you can do.
* How can you assess and verify the success or failure of your project’s efforts?
* Why is your proposal important?
* Briefly, tell us who you are.

You might also be requested to clarify your position by grant institutions
In summary, what kind of funding and other support are you seeking?
are asking for. Let the mission, purpose, and the goal of the granting be known.
agency to provide your abstract. You may even want to
Key terms and concepts that are relevant to the organization should be included
mission statement into your summary. The summary must be concise and not contain too many details.
Although abstract might be the initial element of your proposal, it is not essential.
It is best to finish it last. Don’t rush to finish this abbreviated
until you’ve completed all the other aspects of your project
Examining the a
Need or Problem
(a.k.a. “statement
problem,” “needs
“literature review”)
Your project is vital because it addresses an important gap
You have the resources, knowledge and opportunity you really need.
filled. It is necessary to assess the value of your projects.
Clarify the problem/need that your project solves.
In your proposal, establish the objectives.
context of this issue (i.e., background). If this problem
A particular population is affected, describe this group.
If appropriate, include data. Particularly in relation to academic grants
This exam may consist of a brief literature review
Let it be known that you’ve done extensive research on this subject.
Learn about the context and significance of your research project.
However, even academic grants are important to be clear about why they exist.
This project will have an even greater positive impact than the immediate one.
will provide an answer to a specific academic question.
Your Project
(a.k.a. “project
narrative”; “project
goals, objectives,
and methodology”
Strategy and
Now that you have identified the need for your particular project, you can begin to plan.
to describe your project. These are the questions you should answer:
* What are your research or project goals?
* What are your project’s goals?
* What will the outcome of your project be?
[As for many other types of outcomes: grant proposal
These outcomes should be SMART-specific and quantifiable
Realistic, feasible, and possible.
* How can you get those results? What
What methods will you use to achieve your goals?
* How can you recognize and measure the success of your project?
* How do you make sure your project is productive?
Answer the question or problem that you have identified.
* What is your project’s timeline?

Many of these questions concern the impact of your project.
Will have. Because funders want to see the impact, it is vital that you do this.
Do you want to be able to clearly demonstrate that the realistic expectations have been met?
The benefits of your work, and the way you plan to verify it.
Take a look at your achievements.
(a.k.a. “resources”)
If you’re asking for funding or any other support, it is important to have this information.
Define exactly what you want and why.
Budgets can be divided into specific amounts. Budgets are usually presented in tables.
figures. Each amount should clearly be labeled.
Notify your budget directly.
Statement explaining the reason for each cost, material, equipment
is relevant, reasonable, and essential for your project.
Other Sections

Cover Letter
Sometimes, grant proposals will be preceded or accompanied by a cover letters.
These often serve as a way to introduce you to the grant-seeker.
seeking individual/organization, establish your ethos and
Professionalism. Please briefly describe your proposed project.
Send enthusiasm for and appreciation of the project
Attention readers
Your request.

Organizational Qualifications
If you are representing an organization that is not for profit,
Sometimes it is necessary to devote an entire section to the description of the item.
Nature, mission, and purpose of your organization. These often include:
Near the section in which you are going to examine a problem.

Supporting Docs
A range of supporting materials may be required.
Your proposal’s end–usually in appendices.
These may include additional records or endorsements.
status information, personnel bios for your organization’s
Support letters from allied organizations to employees
Partnering with you in your project is possible by groups. All of these things are possible
It should be clear that documentation is related to your proposal
An institution granting the grant may ask for it.

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