Grant Writing Tips
Writing a grant can be intimidating, especially if this is your first time applying for a grant, or if you are not entirely familiar with the grant writing process.
The following are two great Power Points, put together by Southern SARE's James Hill from Fort Valley State University on how to write a successful grant. We encourage you to refer to these Power Points as you put your proposal together.
We also offer grant writing workshops for groups. Please contact James Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tips to Writing a Successful Proposal
- Follow the rules in the Call for Proposals. Use 12 point font. Don't include anything not requested in this Call for Proposals.
- Develop clear goals. Whether you are trying to solve an insect pest problem, conduct a marketing project or do something no one’s even thought of yet, simple and clear goals let the reviewers know WHAT your goal is. Then—as they read your application—they can see HOW you are going to reach your goal.
- Plan ahead on how to accomplish your project. Think about the details before you fill out the proposal. If you are doing a research project and choose to use an experimental design, make sure the design is capable of yielding conclusive results. If you need help on a research design, include a cooperator with experience in on-farm research.
- Measure your results. Chances are you are going to measure something. So, whether it is crop yield, milk protein content, bigger tomatoes, increased market share for a cooperative, etc. make sure that what you are measuring will give you the information you need to tell if you have accomplished your objectives. If you take samples—for example, plants, or insects—make sure that your samples are representative of the whole field or plot.
- Timing is everything. Let the reviewers know WHEN you will be doing the things you plan to do. A detailed timetable lets them know that you have given this work some thought and that you have a clear idea of the time it will take.
- Choose cooperators to complement your skills. When you enlist the cooperation of people who have expertise in areas that you don’t—research, marketing, outreach, whatever—they’ll help you make your project better and increase your chances of receiving funding. Pick your cooperators carefully, and make sure each one has the skills you need.
- Develop a clear outreach plan to share what you learn from your project. Outreach activities can include field days, workshops, publications or any method to get results of your project to people who can use those results to practice sustainable agriculture.
- Develop a realistic budget. Please carefully itemize your expenses on the budget worksheet and enter your sub-totals for funds requested. Do this for each year funds are requested. Look at the sample budget (sample budget included in Producer, On-Farm and Sustainable Community CFP) . Round the cents to the nearest dollar.