Writing the Proposal

In this section we provide you with a breakdown, description and sample of each part of a proposal. This section is for your reference and we welcome comments and additions to this information.

It is important to note that there are no standard formats for proposals. Each grantor will give guidelines for the format that is required to apply for funds. The sections that are required may have different names but in general there will be sections where the applicant states the following:

  • abstract
  • background of organization
  • needs of organization
  • goals and objectives for the proposed project
  • plan of implementing the project
  • organizations capacity to implement te project
  • plan of how the organization will evaluate the project
  • budget for the project
  • budget narrative
  • sustainability of the project
  • support letters
  • bibliography

Some of the topics listed may be combined or not required at all, but in general these are the areas that most grantors require you to provide information in the proposal.

The pages in this section will give a brief overview and some resources for developing the main parts of a funding proposal. Private funders (foundations, corporations, etc) may require less information but may want much closer relationship with the grantee then federal or state funders.  State or federal applications typically require much more detail and are much more outcomes driven as the agencies but justify that the funding stream for their particular state or federal program indeed made a difference in the lives of the people who were served.

The outcome requirements are much more stringent than 10 or 20 years ago. Now funders, private and public, want to know that their dollars are being spent well and that grantees are transparent about their practices.


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