How to write a grant proposal

The best advice for writing a winning proposal is to make it easy for reviewers to read. Follow these ten grant writing tips to ensure your message is clear and professionally presented.

Tip #1

Label each section using the same headings in the same order from the Request for Proposals (RFP).

Tip #2

Write the narrative as if you are talking to the reviewer in person, and convey enthusiasm.

Tip #3

Avoid typical and tired language and invented descriptors. Be simple, clear, and compelling!

Tip #4

Ask colleagues to read your drafts to ensure you are getting your points across. Consider someone outside your discipline area for a fresh eye, since reviewers may not be content specialists.

Tip #5

Write each section in order — except the abstract. Do that last.

Tip #6

Use tables, charts, and diagrams liberally for clarity and brevity.

Tip #7

Use course titles, not course numbers, and explain abbreviations or in-house acronyms, which may be unfamiliar and confusing to the reviewer.

Tip #8

Check and re-check to make sure you’ve included all required RFP components, including required forms called “statements of assurances,” cover page, documentation, or other attachments.

Tip #9

Always adhere to the stated page limits, font size, margins, and guidance on allowable attachments. Your proposal can be tossed out if it doesn’t meet the requirements!

Tip #10

Professional presentation is key. Proofread for spelling and grammar more than once.