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How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal

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This report is intended for grant seekers in districts and states. It is based in part on “Developing and Writing Grant Proposals” from the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) [] and draws on archived CRS Report 90-430, Grant Proposal Development, by Rhoda Newman. The CFDA focuses on federal grant proposals; this report has been expanded to include writing proposals for both government and private foundations grants. In preparation for writing a proposal, the report first discusses preliminary information gathering and preparation, developing ideas for the proposal, gathering community support, identifying funding resources, and seeking preliminary review of the proposal and support of relevant administrative officials.

The second section of the report covers the actual writing of the proposal, from outlining of project goals, stating the purpose and objectives of the proposal, explaining the program methods to solve the stated problem, and how the results of the project will be evaluated, to long-term project planning, and, finally, developing the proposal budget.

The last section of the report includes a listing of free grants writing Web sites, some in Spanish as well as English, including the Foundation Center’s “Proposal Writing Short Course.”

Related CRS materials include two Web pages for Members of Congress only, [], the CRS Grants Information Web site, and [], the CRS Member’s Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance Web page. Related CRS Reports are CRS Report 97-220, Grants Work in a Congressional Office; CRS Report RE20514, Grants Information for Constituents; and CRS Report 21117, Ethical Considerations in Assisting Constituents With Grant Requests Before Federal Agencies. This report will be updated as warranted.