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How to Write a Grant Proposal for a Small Business

how to write a grant proposal for a small business

This section addresses “How” you intend to achieve the set objectives. Also include aspects such as effective time management, discipline, and methodologies that will influence the quality of the outcomes. The applicant’s introduction should entail pertinent information that the grantor can use to have a clear picture of who they will be awarding the grant. The information included in this section includes history, mission, infrastructure, biography of crucial staff, business track record, client recommendations, feedback from customers, experience, etc. Start the proposal with a brief executive summary that introduces the applicant and states what they are trying to accomplish.

how to write a grant proposal for a small business

The way this request is handled can vary from department to department. For example, the NIH uses the Just-in-Time (JIT) process, located in its eRA Commons. Craft your argument patiently, and make sure to use any supporting data and research you have to back up your argument and plan.

Grant Proposal Cover Letter (Format, Samples, and Tips)

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  • On the other hand, writing effective grant proposals can seem like stepping into a confusing, long labyrinth, and one that comes with many strings attached.
  • In addition, there are no restrictions as to who can request a grant.
  • Grant funding can be a great way to get the money you need to start or expand your business.
  • The amount of small business funding, as well as information about the venture, should also be listed.
  • If revisions are needed, make sure to address all of the comments and resubmit your proposal.
  • Explain your business and its objectives clearly and effectively.

Additionally, you can search the economic development directory for regional offices and local resources. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs enable US-based, for-profit small businesses to become involved in federal research & development. The STTR also includes a partnership between the small business and nonprofit research institutions to formally collaborate in Phase I and Phase II. Nonprofits, universities, colleges, K-12 schools, and government organizations can apply for competitive grants.

Key Tips & Strategies for Grant Proposal Cover Letter

Determine a way to evaluate the project you’ve just received funds before. Client recommendations, letters of thanks, feedback from customers and the general public are must-have things to write in a grant proposal. Here you include a biography of key staff, your business track record (success stories), how to write a grant proposal for a small business company goals, and philosophy; essentially, highlight your expertise. Proposals vary from funder to funder, and each may ask for a different order that the information above should be included. It’s vital that you follow the grant’s instructions exactly and include everything that’s asked for.

  • Discuss your experience, qualifications, and other funding sources.
  • You can visit the site’s FAQs to learn more about eligibility requirements and more.
  • Discuss the specific needs and issues your project aims to address.
  • Dates are posted to the company’s website once they are finalized.
  • In addition to that, while many grants are project-specific, there are plenty of grants that are unrestricted and can fund some of your operating costs or capital campaigns as well.
  • When applying for a small business grant, doing your homework is crucial.

Regardless of the format, these components are typically included as they will cater to most of the requirements needed by grantors. At this point in the grant proposal, justify the amount quoted. Demonstrate the services and products that will have a monetary impact. Avoid overcharging or underquoting because this might be seen as greed and might affect the quality of deliverables.

Spending requirements

Firms can expect to spend between $20 to $150 per hour for a grant writer. If you’re not ready to make that investment just yet, then you’ll have to write a grant proposal on your own. Before writing a grant proposal, you must understand the basics of grant funding.

  • When considering your goals, stick to objectives that can be tracked and measured.
  • You get to dial in your objectives, methodology, and more, clearly defining what problem you’re addressing, how you will achieve your objectives, and more.
  • You can review feedback, address the issues, and resubmit your application.
  • Headings, bullet points, and bold text also help guide the reader through key points.
  • The database includes a wide range of grant types you can search through, from fellowships to post-doctoral to equipment, facility, and organization grants.

A great grant proposal should clarify how you will measure positive outcomes and impact. This is where you sell why you’re submitting your grant request and why it matters. There are different requirements, expectations, and formats—not to mention all the prep work you need to do, like market research and clarifying your project timeline. When considering your goals, stick to objectives that can be tracked and measured.

When done successfully, grant writing can open doors to vital funding sources needed to make your project a success. As mentioned earlier, if there are keywords in the call for proposals—or in the funding organization’s mission or goal—be sure to use some of those terms throughout your proposal. You want to help your readers understand the connections that exist between your project and their purpose without belaboring these connections. Many government grants will have stringent personnel requirements because they want you to create employment with the money that they are giving you. If the grant needs specific information or provisions regarding personnel, make sure your personnel planning matches those requirements. Aggressive objectives might have to be matched with substantial growth in employment in certain industries.

how to write a grant proposal for a small business

The FedEx small business grant, as one would expect, is available to US-based, for-profit small businesses that have been in operation for a minimum of six months. You can visit the site’s FAQs to learn more about eligibility requirements and more. It also provides search filters that make it easy to quickly find a funding opportunity that fits your needs. While GrantWatch can be an excellent database to search for grants, it does require that you become a member. With the free account, you gain access to a number of features and can search for grants using different dimensions, such as location and grant type. Many corporations and larger companies offer nonprofit and small-business grants.


We consider grant proposals; overall purposes, audiences, and expectations in order to make this information applicable across a range of contexts. First, you will need to get more tailored advice about grant writing within your specific discipline or sphere. Second, you’ll need to follow very carefully the exact instructions about proposals from the granting agencies to which you are applying. As you reach toward this unrealized vision by developing a grant proposal, you should think about successful grant writing as an act of imagination. Professor Vieira recommends approaching the task of writing a grant proposal with an attitude of wonder and excitement as you strive to turn your ideas into something real.

how to write a grant proposal for a small business

The objectives section includes measurable aspirations of the venture such as achieving a hold of a certain percentage of the estimated market. Break down objectives in a bulleted list so it’s easier to read. Detail the methods and strategies you plan to use to accomplish your project goals. Provide a step-by-step explanation of how you will execute the project and measure its success. Matt Webber is an experienced personal finance writer, researcher, and editor. He has published widely on personal finance, marketing, and the impact of technology on contemporary arts and culture.

Perform a Final Review & Have Your Team Help

Share as much relevant information as you can, including your infrastructure, history, goals, philosophy, and experience, as well as biographies of key staff. Highlight your successes and expertise by adding client recommendations, positive feedback, and testimonials; you may even be required to include certifications, licenses, and permits. In your cover letter, you’ll write a formal introduction that explains why you are sending the proposal and briefly introduces the project. If the organization has been giving out grants for a while, it never hurts to get in touch with a prior winner and ask for advice. They likely have a few tips or insights they might share with your company, and this information can be a secret weapon in learning how to write a winning grant.

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