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How to Write a Small Business Grant Proposal
It is a challenge to complete a grant proposal, but if you are passionate about your business, then it is a small hurdle to overcome. Each grant is different in its requirements, but most of them ask for the same basic things as follows.
The cover letter introduces the grantor to the business and extols its virtues about why the business is ideal for the grant. Make sure to cater to the specific grant and not speak in generalities as if you are applying to every financing source under the sun (even if you are).
Table of Contents
This section helps the grantor flip right through to the specific section he wants to see. Make the grantor's life easier and display your professionalism and courtesy at the same time.
The executive summary of a document summarizes the rest of it. In this document you should pinpoint the main reasons the grant is needed and how it will solve the problems of the grantee. The amount of funding as well as information about the venture should also be listed. Use this part of the document to convince the grantor that funding your business is the greatest idea ever and they'll continue reading the rest of the proposal.
Statement of Need/ Problem Statement
In this section of the document, detail the needs and problems that the project or venture is fulfilling and solving. Conduct research and show that you have done your homework. Answer key questions: What is the scope of the problem? What will your business do that someone hasn't or can't easily do in the future? Show that you fill a void in the market and that you need the grant to do so. Be concise and to the point.
The project description section is the main section of the grant proposal. This section is written best by separating different issues and ideas in separate sections. This will make it easier for you to write the section by focusing on idea at a time and make it easier on the reader as well since the section won't jump all over the place.
The goals section doesn't list anything in intense detail, but gives the reader an idea of what the potential grantee is trying to achieve. The objectives section includes measureable aspirations of the venture such as achieving a hold of a certain percentage of the estimated market. Break down objectives in a bulleted list so it's easier to read.
Methods / Project Management Plans / Timelines
This section will show the reader how objectives will be achieved. The methods, plans, and timeline of implementation for those methods and plans will also be shown. Visual timelines are best to show the reader exactly where everything fits into the scheme of things as well as when. This section shows the reader you not only have goals and objectives but that you also know how to achieve them using a detailed well thought out plan.
Many government grants will have stringent personnel requirements because they want you to create employment with the money that they are giving you. If the grant requires a certain number of personnel, make sure your personnel planning matches those requirements. Also make sure that your objectives match personnel planning. Aggressive objectives might have to be matched with substantial growth in employment in certain industries.
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Growthink’s Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Capital from Grants
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Here is a sample of what you will learn in the report: