How to Write a Grant Proposal

See more videos and subscribe to the Proposal Kit YouTube channelProposal Kit How-to Videos

This video shows how to use Proposal Kit to create a document to respond to any grant funding application or RFP including to private organizations and government agencies. Using Proposal Kit you can select a design theme, select a set of chapters to match your RFP or grant submission guidelines, generate a document, fill in with your content then deliver as needed.

Read this related article: How to Write a Grant Funding Proposal

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Write an RFP Response

Video Transcription
How to Write a Grant Proposal

In this video we're going to show how to create a response to a grant RFP to create a proposal. Now grants can come in many different sizes and types. The most common are going to be grant responses to private organizations or to government grant RFPs.

Also most of the information you may find on how to go about writing a grant proposal responding to an RFP that you'll find elsewhere will be applicable to using the Proposal Kit. Most information you'll find is going to be the general how to go about responding, how to write your content and so on. And since Proposal Kit is focused on creating you a document that's going to be the main document you're going to fill in to submit, anything you'll learn about how to fill in or do your content for your proposal you can apply when you are filling in your Proposal Kit template.

So Proposal Kit is going to focus on how to create documents that's going to cover all the things you need to talk about when you're responding to a government grant or a private grant. Another thing to think about is what you want the document to visually look like. If you're submitting to a private organization you might use a proposal that has more graphic design to it whereas for a government grant response most documents are kept fairly plain black and white.

Maybe you might put your logo on the front cover, maybe a little accent graphic on the front and that's about it. So Proposal Kit is designed to work across all these situations. Another issue is how complex this grant proposal is going to be.

Is it going to be less than ten pages long? Is it going to be more than ten pages? Very comprehensive ones, government RFPs for agencies. Maybe twenty, thirty or eighty pages long depending on how complex the situation is. Now using the Expert Edition of our Proposal Kit is the best option for most grants and any documents of any complexity.

The basic Proposal Packs with our entry-level Novice software will still work fine for documents up to say ten pages long. Now we're going to illustrate how to use the Proposal Kit for a couple different situations. We will illustrate using one of our education design themes.

Now each Proposal Pack already does come with a preassembled document for a general purpose grant and that will be the FullProposal-NonProfitSupport. docx. This is a good document to use if you really don't need to use the software to custom assemble a document.

So this document will start with an introduction cover, a graphic designed Title Page, a Table of Contents and these are all the chapters already built into this general purpose grant document. Now using the Wizard software you can completely assemble a custom template using any combination of the thousands of chapters that are included in every Proposal Pack. This preassembled one just happens to use this particular set of chapters.

If you scroll through you see the design theme applied, the graphics in the chapter headers, sidebar, watermark graphics in the backgrounds, accent graphics on the footer and so on. So each design theme will have different graphics, different colors, but the overall structure and layout of the documents will be the same. We scroll all the way down to the final Back Page.

The Back Page will have a little design to it as well. We'll also illustrate using another design theme. The Energy #9 that might be good for green or energy type grant submissions.

If we look at this preassembled document you'll see the introduction letter is the same but now this had a slightly different design theme, different graphics but you'll see that overall structure is the same. Different sidebar, different logo, different colors, same set of chapters. So what you do with the Proposal Kit is you just select whichever design theme you want to use that's going to visually match your company or your style.

And we have a plain design pack called Proposal Pack for Any Business and that will be exactly the same as you're seeing here except it'll be just be plain text with a very minimal graphic design. And that version is also good for branding with your own logo, your own colors. So once you have the Proposal Kit installed, your design theme selected, each time you're going to create a new document you'll go and create a new project.

And this process will be the same for any kind of proposal or business document, business plan you're going to create with the Proposal Kit. And you click this Pick Documents button and this will get you to the screens where you can start selecting all the chapters for your grant proposal submission. Most proposals are going to start with a Cover Letter, a Title Page, a Table of Contents if it's a longer proposal, some introduction chapters, chapters about the project or the grant, the organization that you're responding to, how you're going to meet their needs or whatever pitch you need to make to secure the grant.

You'll also add project chapters chapters about your company, financial templates. So the first thing you want to do since you are responding to a grant is if they give you instructions you want to follow the instructions to the letter. And grants and RFPs will vary widely.

Some will give you a lot of information. They will even give you forms they want you to include. Some would be very high-level.

You'll have to pick out the buzzwords in the RFP to match those to chapters that they're asking you to talk about. So whatever the RFP guidelines are you'll be able to come up with a list of chapters that you need to assemble into a document. Now the Proposal Kit comes with a lot of pre-made lists and examples and categories of chapters to help you decide what to include.

The first screen you'll see here are just a list of the most commonly used chapters in most proposals. You actually have over 2000 chapters to pick from using this drop-down. You're going to look at sets of chapters that are industry specific, project specific.

So some grants may use more nonprofit chapters. These grant chapters if we start looking at these you might want to include a Compliance Matrix, RFP Cross Reference and so on. Support Letter pages and so on.

If you need to find chapters to talk about your company specifically you know you can come down to the category of About Your Company and you'll find all sorts of chapters to add to talk about your company. Another way you can find chapters Search by Name. So let's say we are doing a grant that's going to be supporting a local community and you need to talk about some community issues.

Just search for single words that are related to what you're looking for and you'll see we have a Community chapter, an Outreach chapter and so on, Demographics. If you need to find financial chapters such as you need to include a budget you'll find the Budget chapter. But also it will show any chapters that are related to what you're asking for.

Another thing we can do is we can go over to the samples and there are hundreds of samples included. And the samples are actually completed proposals other people have written and they're included in here as general guidelines so you can see how someone else went about selecting a set of chapters, applying a design theme, filling in the pages and then the examples are their final work. If we want to narrow that list of hundreds of samples down to just say federal government grant proposals you can see there's ten included for various agencies.

And if you want to open one of these samples once you scroll down past the first information page you'll see all the pages of the sample. Now this is a completed example that's used a combination of our chapter templates and also including forms provided by that agency at times. Obviously this has a very plain design theme just in colored shape graphics in the front cover and that's about it.

Another place to go to find chapters for your grants is in the Quick Start list. Now there are many hundreds more pre-made lists of chapters that we've assembled from working with companies over the last 20 years and you can pull up any of these example lists of chapters and use these as your starting lists. We can also narrow that list down to just ones that are RFP response related or federal government grant related.

So I'll just pick RFP Response. Now that narrows the list down to about 50 or so. You're going to scroll down through these and see if any come close to your specific situation.

We can also search the import lists. So let's say we are responding to an educational related RFP and there are a number listed here. So let's pull up the Educational Training for Special Needs.

Let's import that list into our project and you'll see it selected 22 chapters for us. Cover Letter, Title Page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary. We're talking about Special Needs, Training Plans, Lesson Plans, Tutoring, Course Materials, Personnel and so on.

So you can see how assembling any set of chapters in any order from the library of thousands that are available you can create basically any kind of response document. Now once we've imported the list we can change that list any way we want. We can remove any of these chapters.

So let's say let's remove the Endorsements and maybe the Lesson Plan. Let's remove those chapters but what if we need to say add a budget we can just go in to any chapter or Search by Name and add an extra chapter. Now we've added a Budget.

You'll see the Lesson Plan is removed the Budget is down at the bottom. Now if we want to move that up we'll just put the Budget after the Cost Summary. So once we've decided on our list of chapters we can save the project and you can go into the Company Data screen, Client Data screen and fill in the name and address of who is writing the proposal and who you're writing it to.

And when we are done selecting all of our templates, adding our data we can build the document. Now there are a lot of other customizations you can make to the system depending on what features you need. Whether you need a database of items and content you want to be able to select from and drop in.

You can tie this into Excel spreadsheets right into calculations that are updated into the Word documents. You can integrate this with third-party quoting systems you can completely customize visual design themes and so on. There are many options for customizing the system but this is the basic process of building a document for a grant.

Okay now that its generated the document we'll pop that open and take a look at it. And remember we're using the Education #3 design theme this time and you'll see our customized set of chapters. Our list of chapters that we started with from the Quick Start list and then customized by removing a couple chapters and adding this Budget.

You can scroll down and see the entire document ready to start filling in. Now for submitting a proposal generally you want to read the RFP instructions and follow the instructions. You might have to email PDF documents, you might have to upload a PDF or a Word document to the agency's system.

You might have to print one or more copies and deliver. Most grant submissions are not online so this is another reason why Proposal Kit is used most of the time is because everything is Word based and PDF based and you are in complete control of the submission process. Whereas if you write your proposals in an online system and you are locked into that system you might not be able to get that proposal out into a submission format that's acceptable for the agency or the organization that you're applying to.

Now we'll illustrate a second grant submission using a different design theme and for a different industry. So we're going to change our design theme to Energy #9. Now note that you only get the one design theme that you purchased.

You don't get all three hundred-plus design themes. So only the design themes you've purchased, downloaded and installed will be available in the list here. Now if you have the Professional Edition that comes pre bundled with four designs and you could add a fifth design of your choice from the hundreds of available design themes.

So for example, this company that's going to be responding to a green energy grant will go through the same exact process in the software but they're going to use a different design theme and different sub chapters. I'm unchecking the Excel Dynamic Links right now just to make the video easier but that option is available in the Expert Edition that will link the cells in spreadsheets for financial tables like budgets, calculators and so on, price lists, cost-benefit analysis, any of the scores of financial related templates we can have link the cells to the documents. Now for this green energy company we'll do the same thing but instead of searching for an educational pre-made list we'll just search on the word energy to see what we find.

Now because we have hundreds and hundreds of these lists that will cover many many different industries if you just search on a basic single word that's related to what you're doing. Whether it's medical, insurance, real estate, construction. You'll find premade lists that'll cover a lot of different situations.

So we happen to have an Energy Efficiency Grant Project Proposal layout. Now these layouts many of them come from us working with other companies for their specific projects and we've used a list of chapters that they used and we've included it in the software. Obviously you don't get the content they wrote in their proposal but you get the set of chapters they used.

And these come in handy to speed up your own selection of chapters. So you'll see in this example we still have a Cover Letter, Title Page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary. Those will start off most proposals but the body pages changed significantly.

You know these aren't education related anymore. These are going to be energy, green, eco-friendly, project type chapters. And you see for this grant we're also including an RFP Cross Reference and Compliance Matrix.

So the person reading the proposal will have these appendix chapters to help cross-reference that everything asked for in the RFP is included in the proposal. And this project also adds a couple checklist documents that they can use during their bidding process or submission process to decide if this project is worth bidding on or not. And also a checklist for keeping track of all the little details that might go into the whole development process.

And just like before you know we can reorder chapters or you can remove chapters. We can add additional chapters and we'll just save this project and just like before it's going to create a whole new proposal document in a different design theme, different set of chapters. So basically we're using one piece of software, one common set of content chapters, premade lists, examples and we're just combining different sets of chapters and applying a different design theme to create the final output proposal document.

Okay now that we've generated the new grant response documents we'll take a look at that. Along with the checklists you can see these checklists are just general purpose documents that are for your own use. And you can see this document has the same overall structure just a different visual design theme, different colors.

All the list of chapters this time instead of being education related this one is a green energy related set of chapters. And this document is ready to start filling in. And you can customize a lot of these design themes as well depending on what variation of the Wizard software you have or whether or not you do it manually.

But all of these photographs can be replaced or you can overlay your own or the Wizard software using Expert Edition features you can completely swap out all of the graphics in these documents. And let the Wizard software do it for you. All you have to do is create a handful of graphics of your own.

Note our website address here is actually not put into your documents. This just happened to be in the Client and Company Data screens. This will be whatever you enter into the screens.

So that is all there is to creating a grant RFP response. You need to read the RFP instructions, come up with a list of chapters to match the RFP, use the software to select a design theme, select chapters to match your RFP, fill in some data, generate a document. Once that document is generated you edit it in Word and submit it however the RFP instructions instruct you to.

So basically Proposal Kit gives you a choice of design themes, automation software to custom build a template to match your RFP instructions and a customizable software system that will let you tailor the documents and the whole system to how you need it to work. Plus it comes with many pre-made examples and lists of chapters for hundreds of situations that you can start with.

Proposal KitPublished by Proposal Kit, Inc.
Create winning business proposals & contracts with minimal effort and cost. Downloadable proposal software, proposal templates, legal contracts and sample proposals.
© 1997 - 2019, Proposal Kit, Inc. All rights reserved.
Proposal Kit

Create winning business proposals & contracts with minimal effort and cost. Proposal software, proposal templates, legal contracts and sample proposals.