In order to secure grant, it is important to have a good grant proposal. It is importnat to carry out adequate research before writing your grant proposal. Make Every Woman Count has gathered resources which can guide women's Organisations and grassroots step by step to successfully secure funds for their projects.
IMPORTANT: Please note that Make Every Woman Count does not provide funding but give information about Funders and how to write funding proposal.
Read the whole grant application carefully. Highlight all of the questions you have to answer and materials you have to include. Underline key words or phrases you might want to use. Before you start writing—brainstorm. What are the strong points of your organization? Your program? What are your best arguments and examples? These ideas give you a place to start writing.
Start by writing a one paragraph (3 or 4 sentences) description of your request. It should include:
This summary lets you start with the big picture—the rest is filling in the details. You may be able to use this summary in the proposal, or as the first paragraph of your narrative.
Most grant applications ask for the same information, but they often have different formats. Some will have a list of questions. Others will ask for a “narrative”—the story of your project.
Start by writing a draft—don’t worry about making it look good, just get the ideas down and polish them later. Look at the ideas you brainstormed before, and start with the questions that you have the most answers for. If you get stuck on one question, work on another one for a while.
Talk most about the parts of your project that they’ll like best—use their guidelines for clues.
When you’re done with the draft, go through and polish it up. Make sure the ideas are clear. Read it out loud to see how it flows. You may need to rewrite a lot—that’s okay.
You can use the key words and phrases you underlined in the application. But don’t worry about getting fancy—just say what you have to say, briefly and clearly.
When you’re done with the writing, go back and look at the summary. Make sure it exactly reflects your proposal—your ideas might have changed!
Proofread everything! Reading the whole thing out loud is a good way to catch mistakes. Have someone else proofread it too.
Finally, add all the other required materials, which may include:
Make sure the fit is good. Your project should closely match their guidelines, make sure you understand the aims of the funder's organisation and have aligned your project with them. Otherwise, you’re wasting their time—and your own.
Follow the instructions exactly. They have to read lots of proposals. When one is exactly right, they’ll appreciate it—and remember it.
Convince them that funding you is a smart investment—you’ll use their money carefully, you’ll get a lot done, and you’ll help them achieve their goals. Use active language "this will" as opposed to the passive "it is our intention to."
Show them that you will give them what they need. That may be strong evaluations, good publicity, or knowing that they are really making a difference. Tell a story about how your sucessful project will benefit individuals, make the funder feel that they want to be part of the project.
Make connections and build relationships with foundation staff and board members whenever you can. People give money to people they know.
Sometimes it’s hard to just sit down and write a particular section of a proposal. So instead, talk it out. Have one or two people talk through the section while somebody else writes down their exact words. Then, see if you can use that as a start for your written answer—make whole sentences, move things around, make it flow together. Finally, when you’re done with the writing, read it out loud again to see how it sounds.
Additional resources on Grant Wrting Guidelines: