Steps to Writing a Grant Proposal

I have chosen the PEACE Domestic Violence Agency scenario for this course. It is projected to be located in the city of Portland. The city is a large metropolitan area. In the past five years, the area has experienced an increase in the reported cases of such complaints as child abuse, spousal abuse, assaults, domestic and youth violence, and even road rage.

The organization’s mission statement states that: “PEACE’s mission is ensuring there is a reduction in victim trauma, empowering the survivors, and to promote their successful recovery through provision of direct services”. PEACE is thus committed to ensure that there is a reduction in the incidences of sexual assault and domestic violence. This will be through education and will also strive to challenge the societal norms and beliefs that seek to preserve violence in the Portland community.

Two separate grant programs are in existence under which this foundation seeks to operate from. The first is the small grants program which offers one-time only grants of up to $5,000. This goes towards registered charities which operate on an annual budget of not more than $500,000. The second one is the investor program. This is an innovative program that is designed in order to support six organizations. They support each of the objectives that are aimed at Supporting Families Program. This grant is of up to $150,000 annually and is granted for up to 3 years maximum.

In order to effectively address the issues that have been noted to be affecting the Portland community, there is need be for grant proposals for the organization to be written. Writing a good grant is way too different from writing a story, however, it may in many aspects be similar to writing a presentation that is meant for a company (Coley and Scheinberg, 1990). There are several steps that are involved in the writing of a grant proposal. These steps as noted by Carlson (2002) do include the following:

  1. Abstract – This is made up of a maximum of 45 lines;
  2. Table of contents – this should be a maximum of 2 pages;
  3. Specific Aims – it should include the needs, the problems and the objectives of the program amongst others and should be a maximum of 3 pages;
  4. Target population – a maximum of 2 pages;
  5. Approaches and methods – should be a maximum of 3 pages;
  6. Evaluation plan- should be a maximum of 3 pages;
  7. Agency capacity and Project management- should be a maximum of 3 pages;
  8. Budget and budget justification- should be a maximum of 3 pages;
  9. Community support- there is no page limit as should give as much information as is available and necessary;
  10. References and appendices- there is no page limit as should be guided by the reference material used in writing the proposal.

In making the proposal, the abstract should act as the summary of the entire proposal. Notably, this is also the shortest section that is involved in the writing of a grant proposal. Despite this, it is also the most important part of the proposal as well (Black, 2006). In most cases, in the granting process, this is the section that will be read over several times by all parties involved. The abstract should generally contain the name of the agency, the type of the organization, the purpose and the objectives of the project seeking grant, the specific interventions that are being sought by the project, a brief on the target population, the location and the setting of the project and last, the relevance of the proposed project to the intentions of the funding being sought.

This is then followed by the table of contents. The table of contents acts as a map to the reader of the proposal. This is because it provides a guideline on the layout of the proposal and also acts as a guide as to which section covers which information. Essentially, this section remains as a rough draft until when the entire proposal has been put together and all the details have been placed in order.

The specific aims section follows right after the table of contents. This section is also commonly referred to or can be named as the needs and problem statement, or the background and significance, or the literature review. In this section, the grant writer of the agency seeking the grant, they are supposed to presents their case. Thus, this section seeks to state the agency’s what and whys. It also gives details of what the agency determines to do for the community, and the reason behind them proposing such a project. Lastly, this section should provide the proposed interventions to the problem at hand.

Defining the target population for the proposal as well as the organization is the next step in the grant writing process. The target population entails people who are directly being afflicted by the problem and also the community that the agency is seeking to educate on both the prevention and the warning signs.

The next section in the grant writing process is the approaches and methods section. This section seeks to describe the interventions or solutions that the agency intends to introduce, so as to bring change to their target community. Since this section can be pretty long it, therefore, requires an introductory and a summary to appear at the beginning and the end respectively.

The next section, the evaluation plan, seeks to assess the achievement and success that are to be realized from the intended functions of the program. An evaluation plan allows the funding source that is receiving the proposal to determine as to whether or not they can believe in this being a successful program, thus to be worthy of their assistance (Hall and Howlett, 2003).

Next is the agency capacity and project management section. Ideally, the agency capacity can be realized by reading through the mission statement of the program and further by reviewing the history and the accomplishments that have preceded the program. On the other hand, the project management can be illustrated by the inclusion of the resumes of the staff that are to be involved as well as any history of their accomplishments. Including the fiscal statement that shows the agency’s capacity can boast the proposal.

The budget and budget justification for the organization shows both the incoming revenue and the outgoing revenue that is experienced by the agency and or program. It is inherent that the organization shows that they have the capability to operate within the set limits of their budget. They also have to justify the funding they spent on.

The grant proposal also needs to proof that there is community support in the program they want to initiate in. In proofing the support by the community, this acts as an indicator to the organization being successful in its program within the target community.

The last section of the grant proposal is the appendices and the references that need to be added. These two show the readers of the proposal where the information was found and that the same can be researched on for authenticity.

The following is a sample of a needs and problem statement for the PEACE domestic violence program.

The city of Portland’s metropolitan area has in the past five years seen an escalation in the reported cases of violence both domestic and youth related. The community’s background coupled by the situations in which the city’s youth are being brought up in are over time becoming even more harmful to the youth and the community at large. A noted backdrop to the warning signs of violence is the lack of education which ultimately can hinder a resolution to the problem. The target population comprised those educating the community and also those who are afflicted by the noted problems with the target group age range, varying from early childhood into adulthood. The target group was identified as it is where the youth’s exposure to violence turns to the domestic violence. Having addressed the problem in the community, let us reflect on the community’s needs. PEACE Domestic Violence agency has a major objective towards the promotion of the well-being of the young men, women as well as the children whose lives have already been affected by domestic violence. This objective is aimed at seeking to reduce the chances of recurrence of domestic violence. This is to be achieved through education and increasing the service provisions with these two being augmented by awareness. The agency also seeks to improve the quality of life of the families that either has a member, or has multiple members who have been incarcerated through the provision of services that are responsive to these families’ needs. The agency will also seek to provide the young people in the community that are presently or have in the past been involved with the criminal justice system. This will be done through a rehabilitation program that the agency has designed to obtain the skills, confidence and the personal support networks that guarantee such youth to enjoy full and successful lives in the future.

It is the hope of the PEACE Domestic Violence agency to get the necessary funding in order to assist us to undertake such objectives for our community.