Key Facts You Need To Know About Grant Proposals

Timothy Akinleye
August 12, 2022
min read

Trying to secure grant funding for your big idea?
We understand your plight.
You have plans to make the world better through your business and non profit organization. You have laid out the plans. But you lack the funds to execute the plans.
And now, you want to secure grant funding. But you are confused on  how to secure grant funding and what grant proposals are.  

If this is you, we have you covered.

This article will provide you key information you need to know about a grant proposal. You will learn what a grant proposal is and the key components of a grant proposal. You will be able to know what a funder expects from you as you prepare your proposal.
So, let’s get started.

What is a Grant Proposal?

A grant proposal is a document or set of documents that is submitted to an organization with the explicit intent of securing funding for a project. This document will make the case that you have a compelling need for funding and that you are uniquely positioned to utilize those requested funds to realize positive outcomes.

What are The Common Sections of a Grant Proposal?

Writing a grant proposal can be stressful and tiring. However, if you divide a grant proposal into its most common sections, it gives you the opportunity to write in shorter spurts.
Thinking of the proposal as a sum of its parts gives you smaller benchmarks to write toward. The following is a list of some common sections of a grant proposal and things to keep in mind as you write.

1. Executive Summary

Grant proposals typically lead with an executive summary; however, you may want to write this section last. Just as its title suggests, this is a summary of your proposal.
An executive summary is your first impression, high-level overview of your project. Whether the funder finds your project in alignment and interesting may lie in only reading your executive summary.
Writing the remainder of your proposal first makes the most sense. You are more likely to accurately and succinctly summarise your proposal after you have already written the other sections.

2. Needs/Problem Statement

A needs statement is what really drives the entirety of your proposal. This is the section that will lead your narrative outlining why you have submitted your funding request. Your needs statement should outline the fundamental problem or gap that exists that you are uniquely qualified to solve with the requested support.
A needs statement is a statement, so think in terms of writing a few sentences, not multiple paragraphs. Your needs statement should align with the goal or intent of the funding opportunity as presented by the funder.
To make your need statement stand out, you should include Facts, Analogies, Quotes, and Stories (FAQS). Include recent research from relevant sources to showcase the severity of the problem. Include stories to support your research.

3. Goals and Objectives

The intent of a proposal is to clearly articulate your plan of action if you were to be awarded funding. The goals and objectives portion of your proposal is where your reviewers will be able to better understand your intended outcomes.
One highly-regarded strategy for writing goals is to follow the SMART framework. In this framework, goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. After outlining your project goals, you will also be presenting your aligned objectives. Think of your objectives as your action steps for achieving your goals. The goals are the end outcomes and your objectives break down how you are going to get there.

4. Method and Strategies

While the objectives outline action steps to meet goals, you will still need to describe your method and strategies for taking these action steps.
If your proposal is a funnel, the goals are the widest part of that funnel. As you become more specific, you describe your objectives. Carrying down further in specificity, you will provide the method and strategies you intend to use to achieve the objectives.
The method section is where you will tell the reviewer how you intend to meet the stated need at the outset of your proposal. This is your plan of action. Your strategies will tell how you will execute your methodology.
Some proposals use these two terms interchangeably or ask for one or the other. They both speak to how you intend to act on solving the problem you outlined in your need statement.

5. Evaluation

Grant reviewers want to know how you (and they) will know you have hit the goals of your proposed project. Proposals should have an evaluation section that tells exactly how and when achievement will be measured. This evaluation should tie back to the stated project goals.
If you intend to utilize specific tools or rubrics to measure your project, call those out specifically and include them if the page count and appendice rules allow.

6. Information About Your Organization

When you write a proposal, you need to describe who you are for the funder. You don’t need to narrate your organization’s entire history and daily work efforts. Rather, briefly provide the most important details about your nonprofit that are connected to your current funding request.
The following are what the funder wants to know about your organization:

  • Full, legal name of your organization
  • Company address
  • Your mission statement
  • Who you typically serve, detailing your target audience further helps to align your proposal with the stated mission and goals of the funding organization
  • Similar projects you have done in the part or traction of the organization


Writing grant proposals can be tiring, time-consuming and tasking. But the joy and satisfaction of securing grant funding can be incredibly rewarding. By dividing a proposal into its most common sections, you have the opportunity to write in shorter spurts. And if you need expert assistance in writing a winning grant proposal, we are here to help. Click here to get all the help you need.

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