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Crafting a Great Proposal

Call the Program Officer
Once you have decided on a funding agency for your project, contact a program officer. A phone call not only enables you to find out if your proposal is "on track"; it also gives you an opportunity to make a personal connection and to verify the foundation’s current priorities. A well-planned phone call that asks informed, specific questions can be extremely beneficial.

Alert the Grants Office
We may be able to offer you some background on the funding agency, including Calvin's current (and past) relationships. In some cases, there may already be a proposal pending, precluding us from sending another one at the same time. This is important information for you to know before getting too far into the proposal-writing process. Contact us.

Know the Essential Elements of a Good Proposal
Although foundations and government agencies all have their own guidelines and requirements, the attached list outlines the basic sections of a good proposal.

Proposal Components

1. Cover letter: usually from the President or Provost
2. Executive Summary
3. Proposal Narrative

Goals and objectives
Methods, procedures, steps
Partners (if relevant)

4. Budget and Budget Narrative
5. Organization Information (as requested)

501(c)3 status
Financial information: audited statement, budget
Board of Trustees listing

6. Appendices
7. Letters of Support

Listen to the Experts
Program officers and proposal reviewers have offered ten pieces of good advice.

Helpful Links

The Grant Writing Process
- Getting Started
         Proposal Clearance Form
         Helpful Links
- Finding Funding Sources
         Arts & Humanitites
         Social Science
- Crafting a Great Proposal
- Final Steps