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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Basic Elements of a Grant Application

1. Cover Letter – A one page letter, addressed to the funding agency, which briefly outlines the need for project.

2. Project Summary – A two to three paragraph summary, usually at the beginning of a proposal, which addresses the objectives of the project. The summary should explain the problem being addressed, outline the goals of the proposal, describe the strategy used to resolve the problem, provide an overall budget for the project, and explain how the project will maintain funding after the completion of the grant.

3. Introduction of Organization – This portion is a brief description of the organization and an opportunity to illustrate their qualifications to carry out the proposed project. It is important to highlight the mission and goals of the organization, past successes, and grants that were previously received.

4. Problem Statement – This portion is a succinct and clear statement that defines the problem being addressed by the proposed project and should be no longer than two pages.

5. Project Goals – This section is a realistic description of what the organization aims to achieve. You should be careful not to confuse goals with methods. A goal should be stated as “to improve the overall health of the community” as opposed to “building a health care clinic.”

6. Project Method - This segment is a detailed explanation of how the project is anticipated to resolve the issue outlined in the Problem Statement.

7. Evaluation – This portion of the proposal outlines a strategy to measure if the set objectives are being met. This evaluation may be completed by the organization, by an outside expert in the field, or both.

8. Future Funding – This segment of the proposal details how the program will maintain funding after the completion of the grant. Be sure also to include fundraising efforts taking place and upcoming plans to apply for additional grant opportunities.

9. Budget – This section is a detailed explanation of how the funds will be disbursed. Please be sure that all estimates are realistic and that you provide a clear budget format. Your plan should also include a Budget Summary.

For additional information on grant writing, you may visit: CFDA’s Developing and Writing Grant Proposals, or take the free online Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course.