Grant Writing: Creating a Project Description

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When preparing to apply for grant funding, your first step should be to develop a convincing project description. Many agencies choose to write their project descriptions before they look for funding opportunities, as it helps them define the agency’s goals and the purpose of grant funding. Your project description should include the following information:

  1. Identify the problem you want to solve by acquiring grant funds. The majority of your project description should be dedicated to defining your agency’s needs.
  2. Include information about any steps you have already taken to solve the problem.
  3. Create a timeline for your project. Grantors like to know when your project will be completed. Don’t worry if this is an ongoing project.
  4. Define who will profit from your project. Don’t just say “everyone” – be specific. Use statistics about your community to define populations that will benefit from decreased crime, improved call response times, or any other goals you are trying to accomplish.
  5. Describe how you plan to track the project and how you will measure its success.

While writing, be sure that you are answering the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “how” questions that relate to your project. Make sure you answer these questions fully and be aware that reviewers like to read grants that are well-written. Spelling or grammar errors that are particularly glaring may cause a fussy reviewer to reject your application. You may even want to pretend that you are in English class and your instructor is requiring you to be concise, clear, and informative. Do not leave questions in the mind of the reviewer; reviewers are not clairvoyant and do not have the time to fill in your missing information.