Introduction to Grants
Grants most often come from a wide range of Government departments or an even wider range of public and private trusts and foundations. According to the Foundation Center these trusts and foundations number in excess of 88,000 and disperse in excess of $40 billion every year. Government grants can be searched for on grants.gov. Trusts and Foundations are a little more complex to research and can be found through subscription based directories, such as the Foundation Center Directory Online. Subscription to the FDO cost $240 for one year. There are also free resources to utilize such as BusinessGrants.org. Due to the complex and evermore competitive nature of grant seeking, many grant seekers engage the services of professional grant research and grant writing services.
Most often, grants are issued by the government to students through attending post-secondary education institutions. In certain cases, a part of a government loan is issued as a grant, particularly pertaining to promising students seeking financial support for continuing their educations. Writing successful grant applications is a long process that begins with an idea. Although many people think of grant writing as a linear process (from idea to proposal to award), it is a circular process. Applicants must write a sample grant proposal, submit it, receive notice of acceptance or rejection, and then revise their proposals. Unsuccessful grant applicants must revise and resubmit their proposals during the next funding cycle. Successful grant applications and the resulting research lead to ideas for further research and new grant proposals.
Sample Grant Proposals
- Make the structure of the proposal clear. Use a variety of "road signs" to guide the reading and to highlight important points. Foreshadow what is coming and indicate what has been. Techniques for doing this include headings, marginal notes, sectional introductions and prefaces, summaries and appendices, outlines, charts and diagrams. Overusing them however, clutters the visual field.
- Make the proposal easy to skim. Clear organization with distinct "road signs" eases skimming. In addition: Set a topic sentence into every paragraph. If an important topic sentence does not begin the paragraph, show where it is embedded with underlining, italics or boldface type. Use white space to set off and highlight significant items, as well as to provide visual relief and to frame the text pleasingly.
- Make transitions smoothly. Do not let the reader get lost at junction points. Proper sequencing, clear reference to earlier discussion, and constructive reasoning from such references join up with selective repetition of key phrases and words to assure easy shifts of perspective between sections, paragraphs and even sentences.
- Use active verbs and simple constructions. Active verbs bring lucidity to sentences. Complex, passive constructions diminish the intensity of the communication by leading the reader into grammatical bottlenecks, thus breaking his or her concentration. By striking out words and phrases and rearranging the remainder (changing only a few words), good technical editors markedly clarify meaning. Change passives to actives. For example, "It has been reported by the NIH that the India proposal was found to be complex," becomes, in the active voice: "The NIH found the India proposal complex."
- Simplify sentences. When a page seems one big, black, unbroken wall of words, skim it for periods. Find sentences that go on and on and break them up. But keep an interesting rhythm of long and short sentences; don't let the writing become too choppy, too staccato.
- Use concrete, "picture" language. Except when familiarity with technical terms must be shown, substitute everyday words for the more abstruse (eg. "end" instead of "terminate"; "begin", not "institute").
- Convey liveliness and enthusiasm. This marks the proposer's commitment to the project.
Top Sample Grant Proposals:
Educational Sample Grant Proposal
Excellent grant proposal from KurzweilEdu.com, Includes Sample Cover Letter, Sample Cover Page, Sample Grant Proposal, and Sample Letter Format Grant Proposal for Foundations.
Grant Writing Kit
Stand out from the crowd and show your audience what you can do for them, how you plan on doing it, why you are the best candidate, what you have done for others and that you understand their business and needs.
Sample Police Department Grant Proposal Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) sample of a successful grant published so that applicants can use as a “model” grant.
More Grant Writing Samples:
Non Profit Grant Proposals
Two RFP and proposals from npguides.org, which provides grant writing tools for non-profit organizations.
Sample Education Grant Proposals
Dozens of school and education sample grants from k12grants.org, created to help small, financially-strapped school districts.
Sample Research Grant Proposal
Sample grant proposal fro research from the Council of Writing Program Administrators.