Write a Strong Application

Work Strong image.

Writing a grant application can take 40 hours or more.

Before you begin, you should be able to answer "yes" to the following questions:

  • Have I read the Notice of Funding Opportunity (i.e. Grant Guidance or Grant Instructions) completely and carefully?
    • Do I understand it?
  • Is my organization eligible to apply, based on the eligibility criteria described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity?
  • Does my organization have the technical expertise, the personnel and the financial capacity to successfully implement the kind of project described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity?
  • Are all the stakeholders in my organization supportive of applying for this grant?
  • Is my organization prepared to do what it takes to successfully implement the project within the budget we're proposing?

What are the important parts of the application?

A team of independent, objective reviewers with expertise in the relevant disciplines will rate and score your application.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) includes the criteria they will use in their review and specific information you must include in your application.

Be brief (applications must not be longer than 80 pages), but precise in describing:

  • Goals and objectives - should be clearly defined and specific;
  • Need - includes both the need for the service or activity that the grant will support and also your organization's track record in fulfilling that need;
  • Response and impact - should clearly show how you plan to achieve the purpose of the grant program; include supporting data whenever possible;
  • Resources and capabilities - defines the knowledge, staffing and fiscal stability that you have to carry out your proposal and meet the goals of the grant program;
  • Budget - a realistic plan that matches your goals and objectives and includes a narrative that justifies the costs.

What should I do before I submit my application?

Because your submission is final, you can't make edits after submission. So be thorough when reviewing your application before you submit it to us.

Note: do not wait until the last minute to submit. We do not accept late submissions.

  • Check your proposal for spelling, correct calculations and adherence to page limits and font and file-type requirements.
  • Use the checklist provided in the NOFO or create your own, but make sure you include all required documents, and in the order specified in the NOFO.
  • Review the content. Be sure you have addressed all the criteria against which your proposal will be scored.
Date Last Reviewed:  December 2017