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Planning, Developing, and Writing Grant Proposals

By Nancy Davis

Grant proposals are a means of generating money from an outside source to fund a “need” for a program or organization. Funding from grant proposals can be a wonderful opportunity to increase monies for special projects or innovations when organizational budgets are limited. Grant proposals are a partnership and a contract with a funding agency to pursue common goals and objectives. The recipients must perform the proposed activities in exchange for the funding agency’s money.

Before writing a grant proposal, target funding resources that seem like a good match for your project. Write or call funding agencies that seem appropriate and get as much information about them as you can. Ask for a Request for Proposal (RFP) or proposal guidelines, and if possible, a list of past recipients of funds. Research all available articles about the funding agency and review their Web site. Cheryl C. New and James A. Quick, authors of Steering Your Way to a Winning Grant Proposal, offer the following practical thoughts to keep in mind when looking for a match:


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