Grant Proposal

Grant writing is used to problem-solve, raise funds, market and optimize growth for universities, corporations, non- profit organizations, and other businesses.  The process of writing this grant proposal is designed to give you experience, tools, and strategies to master this genre of professional writing. 

In order to make this assignment meaningful for you and to provide this grant proposal some context, you will continue with writing for your non profit organization.

Scenario­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________________________________________

The CEO or president of your nonprofit organization has informed you that  America’s Charities ( AC) is making grants of $20,000 available to small community nonprofit organizations.  They would like for you to identify a particular need within your nonprofit, and write a proposal for that grant money.  The proposal should describe the problem/issue, the specific population it affects, and how you would use the $20,000 to address and remediate this need.  Your solution should be specific and concrete, and be something that your nonprofit organization, with its small staff, could reasonably undertake.

In this proposal, you will need to demonstrate how the issue you identify is currently affecting someone—the taxpayer, the population, the employer, etc.— so it will be clear that it is worth the funds the AC will (you hope) be giving you.  It is often effective to start by researching and establishing the financial impact of the problem you are addressing.

 Researching

Expect to start broad and narrow your topic down as you research; a grant proposal is unlikely to get approved if it is vague or general, or it covers ground that has been documented a thousand times before.  Narrowing your focus will allow you to design an effective program/plan which is more likely to receive the grant funding. 

There are pitfalls for going too broad in your approach.  For example, tackling a big problem—the high price of fuel as it affects the supply chain, for example—is too large to cover, much less propose a realistic solution, in 6+ pages.  So it is really important that you start thinking seriously about your approach on how to earn this grant money.

Remember that scholarly research is not a linear process, and it always takes longer than you think. 

Proposal Details

The paper should be a minimum of 6 (six) pages, using Times New Roman 12 point font, with one-inch margins throughout and full block writing. Papers may be done in either MLA or APA format: your choice, but be consistent.  Use headers, bullets, and other graphic organizers to format your text.

Your finished proposal will include in-text citations as well as a carefully, properly formatted (MLA or APA) list of at least five substantive sources.  “Substantive” in this context means sources from government, scholarly, or professional sites.  One or two articles from popular media such as Time or the LA Times are fine, but they should be reinforced by articles on your subject from library databases.

Graphs and charts can be included if you feel the visual makes the point far better than a description would.  Any such graphics should be properly labeled and included as an appendix rather than inserted into the text.  Appendices and lists of sources do not count as part of the total number of required pages. 

The grade will be determined on not only the usual style and mechanics considerations, but also how well, how thoroughly, and how creatively you have researched, developed, and supported your ideas.

The Writing Process and Dates

 “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”

–Zen saying

“It is always smart to work hard; It puts hair on your chest”

–Love

This paper, like all big writing tasks, will require a significant commitment of time and research; that is inevitable.  However, a methodical approach will minimize suffering and writing angst. To give you exposure to a strategic method of a long-term writing project, we will be observing the following due dates:

– Final and complete grant proposals are due Saturday 5/1 by 12:30 pm. Upload onto

  Assignments in Canvas.

The completed Grant Proposal is worth 150 points.

Writing Tips

Keep your audience in mind.  Define specialized terms, give background and context as appropriate, and think persuasion.  A professional audience will be looking for numbers and statistics before they give their approval, and certainly before they give you money.  They will not take your word for anything, ever.  Cite the source of statistics, facts, etc. as appropriate, but try to keep direct quotes, especially long ones, to an absolute minimum.  The readers will expect you to have synthesized and paraphrased much of your research, for the sake of efficiency.

Refer to your textbook early and often.  Remember to keep coming back and re-reading this assignment and stay focused. 

Expect to keep revising, and expect to go back and forth between sections.  For example, the initial draft of your introduction will undoubtedly change as you research and find new material for your proposal. 

Caveats

Remember that this is not an informational paper.  Any and all information that you impart to your readers should be directly related to the proposal you are trying to get funded or adopted.  Keeping your audience’s needs firmly in mind should help avoid information which is irrelevant to your proposal/report.

Remember a big part of being a professional is having a Plan B.  Back up your computer often, and save your paper on some sort of memory device.  Have an extra toner cartridge handy; the same goes for paper.  Imagine your worst-case scenario and plan around it.

You will also need to anticipate objections, complications, and the like—remember, proposals, as solutions, represent change, and you cannot assume your reader will be on board with the change you propose.  You will need to incorporate answers to questions and objections they will be likely to raise.