Developing a Grant Proposal

The following itemizes the parts of a grant proposal. Not every part will appear in every proposal guideline (RFP).  For instance, a federal RFP will require more complete documentation and discussion by the project investigator (PI) than the typical RFP from a private foundation.  Read your RFP carefully.  Be especially aware of the "point" values assigned to the different sections of your RFP. 

For instance, the plan of operation statement is typically assigned more points than the statement of need or evaluation plan.  This does not mean that the other sections of the RFP with fewer assigned points can be treated lightly.  It does mean, however, that the PI must calculate where in the RFP to allocate the longest and most detailed documentation.

There are two very important principles to remember at all times when developing a grant proposal.

  • Follow the RFP guidelines to the letter. 

  • Make your proposal easy for its reviewer to read and understand.

It is the reviewer who decides if you get funded or not.  Your chances of getting funded are greatly increased if  you write and format your proposal for the convenience of the reviewer.

The definitions and discussions given on the following pages cover the minimal concepts for each section of a grant proposal.  Be sure to investigate the examples and resources where given for more complete information.

Title page and abstract

Objectives of the project

Statement of need (the problem you want to address with the project)





Additional Proposal Writing Assistance:

Proposal Writing Short Course from the Foundation Center, a clearing house of private foundation opportunities.