top of page

Grant Insights: Framing A Grant Proposal & Submitting The Application

Foraging and Farming Grant Insights

The organization is your blood, sweat, and tears all rolled into a passionate story. Right? Well, maybe.  A proposal states the problem or roadblock within the organization, and it shares the solution to the problem. It’s a story, and you not only need to share how and what you will do to solve the issues, but it is important to address it with passion, closely aligned with the donor or lender's investment focus. When it comes to corporate or foundation grants, they want to know how you plan on spending their hard-earned money. The deal has to make sense for both parties because each grant or microloan lines up their philosophy. Don't waste your time going after grants or loans that don't align with your project proposal. Because you are leaving opportunities on the table elsewhere.  

The Grant Proposal Distilled 

The application is not the only part of the process; your grant proposal is also a large part of the equation. Writing the grant proposal begins with rationale, finding scientific literature, reports, White Papers, and data to support your project. Knowing how many other farms or food producers within your geography seeking the same funding for the same commodity or different. Make sure to articulate the expected positive outcomes of your project. Articulating the methods and strategies, project timeline, and budget broken down into expense categories. There are typically 10 elements within a Grant Proposal, and we will cover these more in-depth in The Grant Proposal Video. Cover Letter, Executive Summary, Table of Contents, Statement of Need, Project Description, Objectives, Methods and Strategies, Execution Plan and Timeline, Evaluation and Expected Impact, Organization Bio and Qualifications.

The Cover Letter is an introduction accompanying your grant proposal, and this is your opportunity to demonstrate that the funder's goals line up with your project. Keep it succinct; do not repeat what’s in your proposal; this is a place where you differentiate from the competitors. Spell out how your project aligns with its mission and community investment objectives. Finally, how you plan to execute the project and turnaround with a successful Case Study. 

A Grant Proposal And It’s Executive Summary 

An Executive Summary provides a 30,000-foot snapshot; it is written for decision-makers to determine a course of action. A well-written summary states the problem and who will benefit from the investment. Create urgency and share the positive impact of the investment. For example, putting up a hoop house and composting facility will generate jobs and an education center. Quantify the number of jobs and economic stimulation for the community. Back it up with research and key findings. You can share a similar case study related to the project. 

Taking a deeper dive, The Statement of Need drills into the strategic playbook. This is the place you share key information about your organization and how you run it. Share how and where you will be using the funds to support the unmet needs of the community. For example, if you are an urban garden seeking to build a subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, offering boxes of fresh food weekly to 100 families in the neighborhood. Further, if this grant program works, the plan would be to expand to over 500 boxes of fresh produce weekly. Tying the program to the need and how you already run the program on a micro-scale, share how it works and show how the funding will further scale your program. 

Foraging and Farming Grant Insights

The Project Description And Objectives 

Writing The Project Description requires a meat-and-potatoes approach minus the task-list. This is the place where you articulate your SMART Goals, laying out measurable and achievable milestones tied to an itemized budget and timeline.  Check your grant funding program to ensure the details and required content are correct. Use Infographics to share the road map toward project success and paint the mental picture for the reader. Align your goals with your mission and vision. 

When writing The Objectives, it is key to tie your goals with the Statement of Need. It is important not to short-change yourself in the timeline when it comes to project and task completion. Life happens during projects on all fronts, so make sure to add 30% to your timeline.  Setting realistic expectations from the outset shows bravery and the ability to manage multi-dependent details. Share the vendor's data and materials you will use for the project.  Maybe a board member can point you toward better equipment or price discounts on durable goods. Each goal should be tied to the measurable objectives you are setting out to accomplish, including leveling and loading labor, material costs, and workflow. 

Drafting the Methods & Strategies section begins with tying the Objectives throughout your proposal. Drilling into the Statement of Purpose requires a tie back to the pain points and problems your organization is trying to solve. This is where you highlight the innovation and approach to your project, sharing the vision.  Stress the nature of realism and achievability metrics and measured outcomes. Ethics, collaboration, and teamwork should be woven together into the collaboration plan. 

Foraging and Farming Grant Insights
Foraging and Farming Grant Insights

The Execution Plan  

When teeing up an Execution Plan and timeline, you take a bold step toward showcasing your project planning skills. You tie inter-dependencies and make some assumptions because there will be time to re-address the project once the Grantors make a decision in your favor. Share in this section how you will effectively manage a project, and add a sample Ganntt Chart, Org Chart, and any other graphics to address the full picture. 

The Evaluation & Impact reiterates the project and shares valuable insights into community perspective, building trust and accountability. It’s a place where you share other successes your organization has had over the years.  The About Us section should pack a punch with solid graphics and emotion, showing empathy. Just behind that section, add your team’s Biographies & Qualifications.   

Foraging and Farming Grant Insights

Filing The Application 

The application process begins with pulling down the editable web-based document, PDF, spreadsheet, or online login. Make sure to register your organization on the proposed grantor's database and review the profile to ensure correctness. The last thing you want to do is to be disqualified for inconsistency in your organizational data. Read the application samples thoroughly, print them out, and take notes in the margin - frame up questions you might have for the Grants Manager - they are there to help. Build a relationship, and make a positive impact on the community with passion. 

For more information on identifying grant and lending resources or effective planning strategies, click the link to ForagingandFarming below! 

Foraging and Farming Grant Insights

17 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page