Where to Begin?

Writing a grant on your own? Where to begin? You must clearly follow the application directions and respond to every single question with appropriate data, details and research.  

When you conceptualizing your program – think in terms of the whole being equal to the sum of all these parts:  

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Organizational Background and Description
  3. Existing Resources
    1. Board of Directors 
    2. Staff
    3. Financial Management
    4. Facilities
    5. Licenses
    6. Equipment 
  4. Needs
  5. Program Narrative – Program Description
    1. Goals
    2. Objectives
    3. Activities
    4. Timeline
    5. Program Evaluation
  6. Budget
    1. Proposed Budget
    2. In-Kind Budget
    3. Budget Narrative 
Although the Budget comes last, Libby Hikind, CEO and Founder of GrantWatch.com and GrantWriterTeam.com, recommends the following:
"Start with the proposed budget. Be very clear how you will use the funds to address the programmatic needs.
Will the award of the grant combined with your existing resources (in-kind support) be enough to successfully run the proposed program? Only include allowable items in the proposed budget (read the RFP – grant application – very carefully). Perhaps you will need to scale down or scale up your ideas or seek additional funding from other sources.
 The budget will become the blueprint for the entire proposal."

Within the budget section, you will list all expenditures so that the funding source may see where and how the grant money will be applied. You will then describe in narrative format the details of why the funds are needed and how they will be spent. Every section of the budget narrative is an individual short paragraph.

Libby Hikind reminds grant writers,

"Throughout the grant, be sure to reference the items in budget.  When the funder reviews the budget and narrative, they will recognize the need for each budget item and its importance and relation to the proposed project."

About the Author: This article was written by Sabeen Faquir, MPH, in collaboration with Libby Hikind, CEO and Founder of GrantWriterTeam.com.