S E A R C H   
Keys to Writing a Successful Grant Proposal


Assessing Relevance of Request

Only when the bidder's conference has been held, and the granting authority officially releases the grant application can then a thorough analysis of the request for proposal should be conducted.   This analysis should determine the following: overall goal of the grant, technical tasks required, award criteria, final date for submission, writing and format requirements, length of proposal, personnel requirements, required level of experience of submitting organization, and grant management expectations.

  If there is one thing that is absolute doctrine in grant writing it is
" Do exactly what they tell you to do."

Granting institutions spend a lot of time thinking about how to ask for services and/or products.   They have specific criteria that must be met, including: the length of your proposal, the spirit and intent of the grant, the format of your proposal, the type and size of print you are to use in your proposal, how the grant will be managed, prior experience, award criteria, the statement of work to be performed, what they expect to be the result of your effort, the time and date for delivery of the proposal, an overview of the critical issues and problems both in terms of the real world and the political ramifications of the intended effort, and the limitations placed on them by such things as the FAR's (Federal Acquisition Regulations) and their own chain of command. 

It is often said that the first part of reviewing grant proposals is in truth a de-selection process.   De-selection in this context means that if a proposal does not meet the most basic criteria as laid out in the grant request, the proposal and its corresponding organization forfeits its right to be considered.   Failing to address even the most minor criteria of the grant request can result in your proposal being declared "unresponsive" and thrown out with no further consideration.  

The example solicitation clearly demonstrates the basic items required to ensure that your solicitation is declared responsive.   Before beginning the writing process, the intent and focus of the words used to describe the proposal response must be analyzed, because, as in the example proposal, narratives are limited (in this case 30 pages),

To that end, it is vitally important that in preparing to answer a grant request you formulate a response approach.   It is only in this way that a grant writing organization can properly dissect the requirements and begin to mold an appropriate response.   More importantly, resources within grant writing organizations can are scarce and convincing one's own organization that pursuing a particular grant is a good idea, can in and of itself be a difficult task.   Resources are limited and senior managers in any organization must decide how, when, where and why they should use the limited resources at their disposal to write a grant.  

After the initial grant review has been thoroughly review, a more in-depth analysis should be completed. This analysis will become the foundation upon which the grant will be constructed and negotiated.   One of the most valuable tools that a grant writer can use for his or her grant writing efforts is a simple matrix.




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Using a Matrix
Writing the Grant
Organization Techniques
Context of tutorial
Relevant audiences
About the author