How to write a persuasive grant proposal

How to write a persuasive grant proposal


When you run a nonprofit or similar organisation, funding from government bodies and other groups can be essential to your survival. As such, you must ensure you get the resources you need, and that starts with delivering a compelling argument in your grant proposals.

These are highly important documents and you can’t leave anything to chance, so it’s vital to make sure you get your message across completely, clearly and without a single error. Each proposal will reflect on your entire organisation and the efforts you undertake, so perfection is the goal.

The following tips should help you make your grant proposal persuasive and compelling for any recipient:

1. Identify the right grants and sources

First and foremost, it’s vital to research the entities to which you are sending your grant proposals, to ensure your goals are aligned with what that organisation values, according to Lifehacker. If you’re not targeting the right groups, you’re wasting time for everyone involved, so it’s better to identify the right potential sponsors initially.

A great grant proposal is concise but full of pertinent information.A great grant proposal is concise but full of pertinent information.

2. Make a strong first impression with a great executive summary

In much the same way as a great novel typically starts with a gripping prologue or first chapter, your grant proposal should include a compelling executive summary. The Balance SMB recommended that you start with a brief explanation of what you do, why you are requesting the grant, and even the amount you’re looking for. This should be no more than three or four paragraphs, and never more than one page.

3. Explain your need in a simple, clear way

After the executive summary, you should restate (in greater detail) why you are seeking this grant, how you will use it and so on. When there is a clear roadmap for how you will use every dollar, it’s an easier “sell” for the people issuing these grants.

4. Make it short and succinct

Organisations that give out grants to various entities will typically receive a large number of proposals, so you don’t want yours to be the request that seems like a daunting, difficult read, according to Donorbox. Keep it relatively brief — in the neighbourhood of 7 to 10 pages, perhaps — and you should be in good shape.

5. Keep an eye on the fine details

Again, your grant proposals should not have a single error in them. That means no typos and no grammatical mistakes, and use of the proper formatting. You may want to triple-check that you’ve done all this, and perhaps get a second or even third opinion before sending.

Whether you are an employee whose role includes grant writing or you’re a manager whose department depends on this funding on an ongoing basis, a little training will go a long way toward ensuring your proposals are as persuasive as possible. At ICML, we can tailor such trainings to your unique needs as an individual or organisation, so get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you set yourself up for long-term success. Click here to learn more about our Funding Requests Writing training course.

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