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Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal

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Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal
Holly Regan
HSM/270
June 8, 2014
Fedder Williams

Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal Grant proposals are a crucial element within a human service organization for new programs to find and request financial funding from grantors. These grants come from a variety of sources which are usually to fund a specific target population program within an allotted time frame. For an organization to receive funding they must write and submit a grant proposal. A grant proposal is a written presentation of a program plan that is comprised of several different elements or components that include an abstract, table of contents, specific aims/background and significance/needs and problem statement, target population, approaches and methods, long and short-term goals, process/outcome and impact objectives, activity plans/scheduling (timeline), evaluation plan, agency capacity and project management, and a budget/budget justifications. The first step is to find an organization that shares the same mission with a published request for funding opportunities written by the grantor, also called an RFP (request for proposal) or RFA (request for application). Applicant agencies or organizations are given about six to eight weeks to respond to the RFP/RFA which details all major important information such as due dates, funding focus, eligibility, and the program type the grantor wishes to fund.
Part one of the grant proposal is the table of contents. The table of contents is a guide for the reading audience which “provides the road map for your readers to understand the structure of the applicant proposal and assists them to find the information they want,” (Yuen & Terao, 2003, pg. 22). A clearly written and well organized table of contents is necessary considering it is a tool provided as a guide through the proposal for the reading audience. “During the proposal writing process, the table of contents also serves as a checklist and framework to guide the development of the proposal,” (Yuen & Terao, 2003, pg. 22).
Part two of the grant proposal is the specific aims. The specific aim is where the needs and problem statement is located and where the background information on the problem is given. Providing the funding organization with as much detailed and statistical data gives the grantor more facts which need to be considered. The more abundant the amount of information provided the more likely be the chances of receiving the requested funding.
Part two of the grant proposal is of great importance for PEACE Domestic Violence Agency as this is when to express how the city of Portland has experienced increased reports of domestic violence, youth violence, spousal and child abuse, and road rage incidents in conjunction with how these reported incidents have affected the community by summarizing how the agency’s direct services and education will help the areas target population. A needs/problem statement should briefly state the current population need, the reason it is happening, and what action is currently being taken to address it. A literature review is normally written which is a rational, data filled document stating the history and current views of the problem or need for the reading audience to better understand and grasp the significance of the specified problem or need. Literature reviews are secondary sources and do not report any new or original experimental work. This review is asking what do we know or not know about this particular subject or topic.
Part three introduces the target population. Explain why the target population is at risk or why the situation is so urgent. Since the funder will want to know who the program is aimed toward helping provide the target population demographics and why this population will benefit from the PEACE Domestic Violence Agency proposed program. PEACE Domestic Violence Agency will use the statistics pertaining to the increased violence and abuse cases in the city of Portland and how it effects the community and the victims and their families to justify their request.
Part four of the grant proposal is reserved for discussing the approach or methodology the program will be using to deal with the social problem. PEACE Domestic Violence Agency’s program values and mission statement is introduced and presented, the programs short and long-term goals are provided and an explanation of the program objectives and how the agency will achieve the desired outcomes are presented as well. The timeline should be accurate and detailed and state what will be carried out, when it will be carried put, and by whom. The timeline should also state when the program will reach its desired outcome as the funding organization will be looking for and expecting to see a clear timeline providing knowledge as to what will be completed and by what date. Comparatively, long-term goals are to be general while short-term goals should be more specific.
Part five of the grant proposal is the evaluation plan. The evaluation plan will analyze how the program employees will be monitored and determine how the organization will show objective completion in an effective manner.
Part six of the grant proposal is the agency capacity and project management. This is how PEACE Domestic Violence Agency will need to “convince the funder that they are a uniquely qualified and competent agency and that they can entrust it with the funding and the attainment of the desirable program results. The agency is to show that it has the track records as well as the abilities to design and to carry out the proposed project, if funded. These track records include both the agency’s program capacities and the fiscal abilities. Funding source and monitoring entities need to know how the agency plans to manage the project,” (Yuen & Terao, 2003, pg. 36-37).
Part seven of the grant proposal is the budget and budget justifications. The importance for the accuracy on the budget is to make sure that if the organization receives the proposed funding grant that there will be enough funds for the fiscal year. Inaccuracies could cause the program to fall short on funding. PEACE Domestic Violence Agency’s budget will detail the dollar amounts for each of the categories, and justify the amount and allocations. The budget should include a line-item budget with an explanation for each item within the line-item budget that is realistic and cost effective. In this part of the proposal is where the organization must explain and defend its budget.
Part eight of the grant proposal is the abstract. The abstract is among the first pages of a grant proposal and last to be produced. An abstract provides the summary of the proposed grant which according to Yuen & Terao, “includes a detailed description of the problem or need, target population, the cost of the program, how the program will be evaluated, and the introduction of the organization and its statement on how the program meets the funding agency requirements,” (Yuen & Terao, 2003, pg.22 ).

Grant proposals are long writing processes and one of the most important elements of human services. Writing these proposals should be done in a systematic, well-organized and documented way. Grant proposals could determine whether or not an organization will even begin to exist or cease to exist.

References
Yuen, F., & Terao, K., (2003). Practical Grant Writing and Program Evaluation. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole

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