You have hatched a grand idea – one that you believe can transform the lives of people or make your dream come true. While that's a good start, you might not have the resources you need to realize your dream.
To get necessary support, you decide to write a grant proposal. You may have already written various proposals, send them out to donors or friends, but they are always rejected. While it can be disappointing, remember that winners never quit. The main reason most grant proposals are rejected is not because of their objective, but because they fail to comprehensively cover the subject matter, which is the project or program. Simply telling someone your problem statement and attaching a budget will not make anyone reach for his or her checkbook.
There are tons of resources about grant proposal writing online and in libraries across the globe. Unfortunately, most of them only explain the basics – why it is important to include a problem statement, why objectives have to be clear, why goals must be SMART, etc. As you seek a grant for whichever purpose, you must bear in mind that there are many other applicants with the same idea, so you have to do everything possible to stand out. This is where most applicants fail.
Tell Your Story
Don’t be so obsessed with the format if you can't use it to express yourself properly. Some people cage themselves and end up writing very boring grant proposals. If you are really passionate about something, show it. Express yourself in a way that someone will feel your need. Touching someone's heart is very difficult, possibly because of what most humans have been exposed to, but you can achieve much more if you tell your story candidly, truthfully and passionately.
Human beings cannot be trusted... or so you believe. Some great ideas have never left some people’s mouths for fear of being stolen. Sadly, you cannot realize a dream if you remain in slumber; you have to wake up and chase it. After working on your first draft, consult a friend and ask for edits. Be open-minded and listen to the views of other people you can trust in your life.
Energy and Expertise
If you are working for an organization, you must clearly convey its passion and energy for what it does in the grant proposal. Donors want to work with experts, authorities in their respective fields. Clearly express why the proposed program is necessary and articulate why the model you are proposing is the best for that particular case.
How committed are you to the proposed project? Is there something you have done in the past that will convince the donors that you are committed to the project? What impact will the implementation of the project have on the beneficiaries? On clarity, ensure that all possible loopholes are filled lest the donors question your real objective.
The formatting of the project proposal is very important. If you are sending it online, make certain that it is converted into an easy-to-read format such as PDF. Other basic formatting such as font style and size, components and length are equally important. Proofread the document for spelling and grammar flaws before sending. If you are posting or sending via courier, ensure it is neat, properly packaged, and the address is accurate.
Writing a good grant proposal is not easy. There are some independent experts you can hire for a fee if you can't do it on your own. However, you must be the source of all the information. The writer can only turn your ideas into a winning proposal.