How to write a grant proposal: a step-by-step guide


Last updated: 5 months ago

The goal of a grant proposal is to convince potential donors that your project has merit and should be funded. In this article , we’ll go over the basics of how to write a grant proposal.

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How to write a grant proposal: a step-by-step guide

A grant proposal is a document that explains the problem you are trying to solve, the goal of your project and how it will be accomplished. It should also explain how any funds received from the grant will be spent and provide clear evidence of why you should receive funding from this particular organization. The goal of a grant proposal is to convince potential donors that your project has merit and should be funded. A well-written proposal makes it easier for readers to understand why they should support your project and provides them with enough information to make an informed decision.

Step 1. Write a strong cover letter.

A cover letter is a letter of introduction that explains the purpose of your grant application. It should be no longer than one page and should include:

  • Why you are applying for funding from this particular source (i.e., what do they fund, how did you find out about them, why are you interested in their work?)
  • A brief description of your project and how it will help meet the goals outlined in your proposal (this is where you can use quotes from experts or past supporters)

Things to remember when writing a cover letter

  • Keep it short: A cover letter should be no longer than one page.
  • Keep it personal: Use the first person “I” rather than third-person “he/she,” and describe how the grant will benefit your community or organization.
  • Say what you need: Include what you need from the grant, and how you will use it.
  • Keep it concise: Do not include extraneous information or personal details that are not relevant to the funding request.

Step 2. Start with a short executive summary

Every winning grant needs to start with a brief executive summary. An executive summary is a brief overview of your grant proposal. It should be no longer than one page, and it should summarize the purpose of your project, its goals, how much funding you are requesting, what you will do with the money if awarded.

Step 3. Introduce your organization

First, explain what your organization does. This can be as simple as stating that it is a nonprofit or public benefit corporation. If your organization has been around for a long time, include its history and mission statement.

Things to remember

  • Be objective: It’s tempting to tell the story of why you started your organization, but keep this brief and save it for later. The focus here should be on what you need funding for.
  • Provide a backstory: If there’s a compelling story behind your organization, tell it. This could be about how you started the company or why you decided to start this particular project.

Step 4. Write a direct problem statement.

A direct problem statement is a sentence that identifies the problem you are trying to solve. This helps potential funders understand what you need funding for and why it matters. It should be brief (under 100 words) and clearly describe your organization’s goals.

Things to remember

  • Use comparable data: Use results from what you have already done. Example: “Our program has helped over 1,000 children in the last year, and we want to expand our efforts to reach an additional 5,000 children this year.”
  • Highlight urgency: Urgency is one of the most important factors when it comes to fundraising. You must show your audience that the problem you are trying to solve needs immediate attention and funding. This can be done by using statistics and facts about how many people are affected by the issue, why it matters, and how it affects other countries or communities.
  • Focus on the main problem: It’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your organization is trying to accomplish and how it will help people. Then, make sure your audience understands this by using clear language that focuses on one problem at a time.

Step 5. State your goals and objectives

Another important part of the grant proposal process is clearly stating your goals and objectives. Your goals and objectives should be based on the problem you’re trying to solve. They should also include concrete steps your organization will take to accomplish its mission. For example, if you’re applying for a grant that will fund a new program, your goals might include things like increasing awareness of the issue in your community or developing materials that people can use to help themselves.

Things to remember

  • State objectives as outcomes
  • Make sure the goals and the objectives are connected.
  • Make sure that your objectives are clear, measurable, attainable (capable of being accomplished), real (feasible and possible to accomplish), and have a deadline by which they should be met.

Step 6. Project design: methods and strategies

At this stage let the funding agency or grantee know how you plan to achieve the goals and objective you stated earlier. This is where you’ll explain the methods and strategies you will use to achieve your goals. This can be done through a detailed project design that includes:

  • The tasks involved in achieving each objective, including who will do them and when they will be completed.
  • A description of how all these tasks fit together into an overall strategy for achieving the objectives.

Things to remember

  • Provide examples
  • Demonstrate cost-effectiveness
  • Connect to the objectives

Step 7. The evaluation section: tracking success

In this section, you're required to describe how you will track the success of your project. This can be done through a detailed description of your monitoring system, which includes: The types of measures you will use to evaluate progress (e.g., number of participants or number of jobs performed). An explanation of how these measures align with each objective from Step 5. A description of how often each measure will be used throughout the project and after it's completed.

Step 8. Outline a project budget

Of course, one of the most important grant proposal topics is budgeting. You should include a detailed budget that outlines how much money you'll need to complete the project, as well as an explanation of how you've arrived at those figures. This can be a difficult task if you're not familiar with the grant-writing process. But don't worry—we've got your back! Contact us at to schedule a free consultation with an expert.

Provide full justification for all expenses and clearly explain why each item is necessary to the project. This includes all materials, supplies, equipment and labor costs.

Overcharging or having a high quote can lose you the grant you're applying for, so be sure to carefully consider your budget and make the necessary adjustments before submitting.


Writing a grant proposal can be difficult , but it's definitely not impossible. To make the process easier on yourself, consider hiring a professional grant writer to help you with your application. Be sure to follow the rules of the grant you're applying for. If there are many required forms and documents, be sure to submit them on time.

If you need grant proposal services talk to us at Topview creators. We can help you with your grant proposal and ensure that it's written in compliance with all of the rules.

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