Growing Your Business: A Guide To Grant Writing

Should a business or organization consider seeking grants, the first thing they should know is whether or not their business or organization is qualified to receive the grant. If grants are not appropriate for their business or organization, other ventures such as bank loans should be considered instead. In the event that they are worthy of a grant, they should seek funding that is directly related to their mission. Being clear about the organization’s mission and strengths as well as the activities of the organization will ensure that the time they spend on writing the grant is worthwhile.

Below are some of the most important things that should be included in a good proposal:

The Business or Organization’s Mission

This section of the proposal focuses on the mission statement of the business or organization. Adding a sentence or two may be necessary to make the application more appropriate to the funder. But this should be as realistic as possible.

Project Summary:

A project summary in a proposal is always a good idea even in those that do not require it. Standard length of a summary normally ranges from 100-150 words. But be sure that it is no more than the length indicated in the guidelines which the funder has provided.

Project’s Goals and Objectives

The project’s goals are the bigger, conceptual aims of the project. Meanwhile, objectives refer to the more specific actions in accomplishing the goals. Based on this definition, objectives should be measurable and tangible. If possible, it should include a positive result as a consequence of the proposed measures.

Plan of Action

This includes the proposed activities for meeting the goals and objectives. Required materials and services for the project are provided in detail as well as the manner that they will be used. This is actually a documentation of the detailed action plan as well as a timeline for accomplishing the project.

Staff and Facilities

This section provides a detailed description of staff and volunteers, including their qualifications and professional experience relative to the project. Also included in this section is a full description of the facilities or equipment needed to ensure the success of the program.

Evaluation Process

This section of the grant on evaluation demonstrates to the funder how objectives are achieved. This should provide a detailed account of the evaluation procedure, such as the tools to be used in evaluating the program or organization, the way success will be measured in the long-term and in the short- term, and the policy for carrying out the evaluation process.


This is one of the most detailed sections of a proposal that needs to be very realistic and accurate. Included here are the budget specifications of the funder, such as the amount of administrative cost that they will pay for or the allowable percentage of funds that can be shifted from one line item to another. Also, the costs and expenses of the program should be clearly defined. The person who will manage the money should be identified and the process by which financial dealings will be accounted for.

For more about grant writing, visit the following links:

Shaking the Funding Tree: A guide to grant writing for literacy programs developed by California Literacy in partnership with CALPRO.

Associated Grant Makers, Inc.: The Common Proposal Format made available for the nonprofit community by Associated Grant Makers.

Writing Effective Proposals: A web page from the California Department of Education that provides guidance for writing grants.

Association for Fundraising Professionals: This group has been a standard-bearer for professional fund raising for 50 years. This site gives a detailed account of their activities and people.

Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI): Administers a certification program called the Grant Professional Certification (GPC), which determines the ability of a person in providing valuable and ethical grant-services.

Proposal Writing Guide: This guide helps an individual wanting to be either a principal investigator (PI), or project manager for a grant. Likewise, UCC policies on grant writing and administration are also provided here.

New York State Library Internet Bibliographies of Grant Resources: This site provides a listing of selected grants and fundraising resources, as well as which organizations can search online and apply for grants.

Grant Writing Tips Sheets: This is a valuable source of guides and tips for writing grants.