Nonprofit Grant Proposal Example
Heike Moeller October 4, 2021 Proposal
Hey everybody, today we're gonna talk about the ten common elements of a nonprofit grant proposal. You probably heard me say that every grant is different. You would think that funders you know for the most part would have common processes. But as you go to different funders, you will see different questions, you will see different formats, and different processes for submitting your grant proposals. But across all of that, you will see the same kind of questions, the same kind of information that they're requesting of you. So, I thought, I would do about the 10 common sections that you'll see in just about every grant proposal. So you're ready. Let's go.
1. Executive summary
The first thing, you'll typically see is a summary section, or an executive summary section. So this is basically summing up your request, in a very succinct format, probably in a paragraph format, they're asking for the budget that you're asking for, or the amount of the request they're asking for the location of the grant, they're asking for just a bit about use an organization who you are. Just things that kind of sum up the whole request. I think a lot of funders use this as a way to easily organize their process when they're reviewing their grants. And also it's an easy way when they've awarded certain grantees they can pull from the executive summary that kind of summarizes the request. And they can use that in whatever dissemination, or whatever marketing that they do to describe what the programs are.
2. The need section
Or it may be called the problem statement, the need statement, statement of need. You'll see those common terms used for that section. And this is one of the most important sections of your grant proposal. In this section is just all about whom you're serving, what are their biggest issues that you're trying to address and trying to resolve, why is it such a big issue, what is the key to solving this issue. So this is where you talk about why the people who are serving need you, why your services are so key, why they're so integral. So this is where you can pull in stories about your organization, about success, and really about how you are uniquely situated to be the organization to address this issue. So the founder doesn't necessarily want to know about your need as an organization. That's part of it, but the most essential part of it is why do the people you're serving, or whoever you're serving, why do they meet you, what is that issue that you're trying to resolve.
3. About your programming
So it's about program activities, program objectives, anything that describes the work that you do. So, as an organization, you may have one program, or you may have multiple programs. If you're writing for a particular program or project rent, they want to see information, they're meaning the funder, they want to see information about the program, they want to see what the activities are, who are the staff working on the project, how often do you provide the service, what is entailed in the services a timeline for your services. All that kind of stuff that kind of details what you do should be listed in that program section.
4. Organization information
So any information about who you are as an organization, when were you incorporated, what's your mission, what's your vision, what your overall goals for the organization, what are your recent accomplishments, things like that describe your organization are things that the funder wants to see.
5. program outcomes and data
So what outcomes are you collecting, what outcomes are you interested in, are you interested in seeing improvement in reading scores, are you interested in seeing improvement in graduation rates, whatever it is that you want to see change for the people that you're serving. Those are your outcomes and the funder needs to know what are those outcomes, and how are you doing on those outcomes. So are you reaching those goals, are you hitting you know those goal posts that you set for yourself, and what data are you collecting the show, whether or not you're getting there. So that's where you talk about the kind of data you're collecting. What does the data look like, how often do you collect it, who's responsible for data collection, how often do you report out on it, things like that about your organization success will be listed in that section.
6. Staff quality
This can also be listed as organizational qualifications and staff qualifications. So this is where you kind of talk about your organization, you hype yourself up, why are we this good, why are we excellent, why are we the best people to do this, we have this training, we have this excellent staff, we invest in professional development. This is who we are. This is where you kind of pickup what you've done, what you've accomplished, and why you're qualified as an organization, and why your staff in particular are qualified to receive this grant, or to provide the service that you're trying to provide with the support of the grant.
Which is one of the most important sections, and often the section that funders look at first. So your budget is could be just the particular budget for the program that you're writing the grant for. They could also want information about your whole organizational budget. It depends on the funder, it depends on the type of funding request, but this is where you list out expected revenue. What you're bringing in, and what you're spending in the format vary by thunder. So, I can't really say, well, this is typically what you have to put in your budget, and these are typically the category.
Every funder is different. So this is where you should pay a lot of attention, and ask a lot of questions to make sure it has everything that the funders looking for. But also keep in mind, that the funders also expect, just like funding, or budget justifications, or a budget narrative to explain.
What the numbers mean, so if you have $30,000 for staff, you need to break that down, what staff, how much are they getting paid, how many hours for the particular project period. So it was not just about creating a budget and creating the numbers, but it's also creating the narrative behind it, to make sure that it matches, and the funder can understand why you did things the way you did. And always remember, whatever's in your budget, should match what you said you're doing in your program area, or your program narrative.
So, you'll see this question; where funders will say, well, how do you plan to continue this program once the funding is over? Or what other funding sources are you seeking out to support this program? You'll see the question kind of posed that way, if funders really are trying to get it. So, we don't wanna be the only person supporting you, and then once we're out of the picture the program goes away, we're interested in impact to we're trying to make a change. But you can't really make a change as soon as we go away, everything shuts down. So, it's your responsibility to be able to say, well, we're working on this fundraising goal, or we're doing this to supplement the income that will be lost when this grant is over, or we're also seeking monies from this person, this person, and this person.
So funders typically for the most part, don't wanna see that they're the only person supporting you. They don't want to know that as soon as they finish finding you, you close your doors. That's not really attracted to them have a funder. So you have to show that you're doing other things, and have other activities to support the operation of your program, and also to support your overall organizational functioning. So that's one thing to keep in mind.
What are the community partnerships that you have as an organization, that makes you look much stronger as an organization, and it gives the funder confidence that you'll stick around. And that you have some kind of credibility when you've been able to leverage the whatever you know programs are around you, businesses, or other people you can partner with lawmakers, government partners. If you're able to kind of leverage that you're seeing is a way more savvy organization, and understand more confidence that you'll be around for a while.
So, what partnerships do you have? What things have you done jointly with other organizations? What resources have you gotten from other organizations? Just anything that you've done in conjunction with somebody else. Partnership can be a huge partnership, or partnership can be a joint event, or we sponsor something for this organization. They creatively about how you can see, or how you can show a funder, how you freeze out, and kind of connected, and built a network for yourself in your community. That's very, very important funders like to see that.
10. Attachments, supporting material
So funders want to see certain information from you. They wanna see your 501 C3 letter from the IRS. They probably want to see your Articles of Incorporation from your State. Likewise, they more than likely want to see a list of your board members. Not only that, but they wanna see financial statements. Likewise, they may wanna see other program materials that you will need to provide as an attachment to your grant proposal. So it would be wise that you have all that information already stored up in the place. So that, when it's time to submit your package, you have it already there. You can just pull from it, and keep it moving.
Okay, so those are the 10 most common sections or components of non-profit grant proposals that you'll see across most of the grants, which will apply for. I wish you all the best happy grant writing, and I'll see you next time.
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