Writing a Government Grant Proposal

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Grants Works’ approach to developing proposals to secure government grant funding centers on fully understanding the objectives of each funding opportunity. We also carefully assess the prospective grantee’s capacity and experience, the intended scope of work, any similar projects, available organizational resources, and the application guidelines. This is similar to the approach used for private sector grants, but, as you may know, writing for a government grant is typically a much more complex process.

Carefully assess the funding opportunity

While the goal is to fully understand the objectives of each funding opportunity, here are some of the sections of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) or solicitation that we note immediately:

  • Background and purpose
  • Application evaluation criteria
  • Program requirements
  • Deadline
  • Eligible applicants
  • If there is an upcoming pre-application webinar
  • Award ceiling and award floor
  • Anticipated award date
  • Cost sharing or cost match requirements

A key part of writing a government grant is the ability to use narrative to substantiate why the prospective grantee should be awarded the grant. This typically entails conducting research to highlight the need for the funding using historical, technical and other data such as population data, market analyses, and feasibility studies.

The data helps with the development of a cohesive narrative that outlines why the prospective grantee is best suited to execute the project or program. The research also helps identify any best or promising practices that can be integrated into the proposed scope of work, project timeline, logic model (if applicable), and performance measures. 

Develop an application management plan

We also develop a comprehensive application management plan. In addition to other benefits, a well-developed plan also ensures the team can adapt and accommodate any material changes to the funding opportunity such as a substantive addendum or detailed Frequently Asked Questions.

Well-formatted, compelling and complete

After close analysis of the NOFO and development of an application management plan, the next step is to compose a well-formatted, cohesive and compelling proposal. While some federal agencies have elements of an application that are mandatory to meet basic minimum requirements, here are some of the sections that should be included in a well-formatted non-research federal or other government grant proposal: Proposal Abstract, Proposal Narrative, Goals, Deliverables, Objectives, Timeline, and Budget and Budget Narrative. It is important to note that some agencies have specific guidelines on the information that must be provided in the proposal narrative.

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A collaborative and time-sensitive endeavor

Because grant writing is a collaborative exercise bound by a firm deadline, formatting requirements, and other restrictions, our team consistently reinforces the need for timely feedback on written content. This gives us ample time to modify and refine the written components, ensure the budget reflects the project scope, and submit before deadline.

Use a comprehensive checklist

To learn more about Grants Works’ services including offsite grants management, customized federal grant management training, grant writing, or government grant consulting services, contact us to schedule a free consultation.