tips for writing grant proposals

Tips for Writing Grant Proposals

Program Purpose

  • Describe the need for this program; show you have researched community interest

Program Description

  • Provide an action plan, strategies, timeline
  • Explain how this project fulfills your mission and why your organization is especially qualified to do this
  • Know the guidelines/criteria of the grantor and provide the specific information requested. Use the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” model.
  • Have you done this or a similar program before; do you know anyone who has?
  • How will you know if goals are met? What follow up will be needed after completion? What are your plans for continuing or expanding the program in the future?
  • Do you have public relations/media/outreach capability to promote the activity?
  • Tell the funders what they don’t know about you

Program Participants

  • What has been your success with recruitment for this or other programs; who will do your recruitment?
  • How will you assess retention?

Program Impact

  • Explain how the community is enhanced/impacted by the program

Organizational Capacity

  • Describe what you are doing to keep your organization viable and to provide for community needs
  • Explain how staff, board members, volunteers are engaged and invested
  • Do you have necessary staff on board at this time?
  • If hiring, do you have job description, expected salary, and timeline for person to be ready to work?
  • Be specific about who will do each portion of the program
  • Prepare a realistic time-line with benchmarks; be reasonable

Program Partnerships

  • If a similar program exists, explain how yours is different, how you are collaborating, or what niche you fill
  • If you have weak areas, explain who will partner to support this activity or who will provide technical assistance

Budget information

  • Provide an itemized budget with correct totals
  • Clearly state each cost item (be prepared to provide rationale for each item)
  • Clearly state the use of any funds from partners, other funders, government, in-kind sources
  • Is the expenditure reasonable for the number of people served and outcomes expected?
  • Are all items essential to fulfill the program objectives?
  • If printed materials are needed, are there existing sources, can they be used for multiple efforts, and can they be done electronically?
  • Are staff and line item costs justifiable to outcomes?


Prepared by and shared with permission from AAWGT member Melanie Teems.

2020 and Prior Grantees

AAWGT membership voted in 2020 to award $139,381 to nine nonprofit organizations supporting programs that improve the lives of women and families in Anne Arundel County bringing AAWGT’s total dollars invested in County non-profits to over $1.2 million since 2007.

See list of all Grantees here.

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