Step 1, an introduction to you, the applicant organization, encompasses two parts: Mission & History and Philosophy & Approach. You will set the stage for what is to come in the grant proposal by establishing organizational credibility and a sense (on the part of the reader) of “I want to learn more.” In Mission & History, you will convey to the reader your passion for working with your target population and solving the problem identified in the proposal. In Philosophy & Approach, you will demonstrate the organization’s capacity and expertise in addressing the specified problem.
As we focus on effective ways to introduce your organization to the potential funder, we will deliberately be hitting two birds with one stone. First, you will be doing the kind of self-analysis and reflective deep dive that will result in crafting strong narrative sections you can use in many grant proposals. So actually, we will begin to craft some of our written proposal. But second, and almost more importantly, this exercise will help prepare you for the actual grant research process. As you will see, the effort put into Step 1 will come in handy as you work on identifying the likeliest funding prospects for your project or program.
In thinking about the most helpful approach to teach grant writing, we decided to combine practical strategies with real world writing examples. So, throughout this course, as we take you through the grant writing process, you will have the opportunity to see actual writing samples for each specific section of the proposal. We will use narrative from actual funded proposals, although we have created fictitious names for our two sample organizations.
Example 1: South Health (our foundation proposal example) is an organization that provides health services to underserved families in Southern California.
Example 2: STEM Teens (our federal proposal example) is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics organization designed to empower youth through diverse educational activities in the state of New Mexico.
To familiarize you with these proposals, we’re providing links to the guidelines for the grant opportunities that our example organizations chose to apply for. At this point, simply glance at each one to give yourself an idea of where we will be headed. We will break it all down as we navigate through the course (South Health link; STEM Teens link).
This approach (breaking down two real world proposal examples) enables us to maintain a consistent frame of reference as we demonstrate the type of content and sequence that goes into a well-crafted proposal. At the conclusion of the course, by following along with each section and creating as you go, you should have a master grant proposal with strong narrative in each section. Let’s begin.