- Faculty & Staff
Specific Proposal Writing Websites
NIH “All About Grants Tutorials”
This is an all-encompassing site covering everything you need to consider/include when writing a proposal for an NIH grant. It is very easy to follow, and walks you through a grant proposal from the planning stage to the finished product, and points out ways to make your proposal more “user friendly” for reviewers.
The Toolkit: Getting an NIH R01 Application
The main focus of this site is to help “otherwise competent and qualified” proposal writers get funded by avoiding common mistakes. It explains the criteria a reviewer uses to evaluate your proposal, and explains how understanding this process will improve your chances of being funded.
Annotated NIH R01 Application
Gives a complete example of an outstanding R01 proposal application package. Highlighted comments from NIAID pointing out key items to check for are included throughout the body of the application. It utilized the updated 9/04 forms that are mandatory for all applications received on or after May 10, 2005.
The Foundation Center: Proposal Budgeting Basics
This walks you through a simple tutorial that provides a good overview of the basic components of a project budget, including an explanation of the general concepts of overhead costs and fringe benefits.
NSF Guide for Proposal Writing
This website utilizes a very straightforward approach to the preparation of a grant proposal. It starts with the planning stage “Before you write”, and takes you through each part of the grant proposal, addressing items to consider and include. It also explains the criteria NSF uses to evaluate a proposal, and emphasizes the importance of the “intellectual merit” and “broader impacts” of the research in your proposal.
Suggestions for Revising Proposals
This site offers good points to consider when you are preparing to revise a proposal for re-submission. While it is geared toward NIH re-submission, it contains valuable tips that would be helpful to anyone revising a proposal.
Applying for Research Funding: Getting Started and Getting Funded. By Joanne B. Ries and Carl G. Leukefeld. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1995. 256 p.
Exceptionally thorough details on the process of obtaining research funding. Written especially to "provide guidance for the new investigator and others interested in competing for grant and contract funds." Covers the proposal in depth, including how to provide all research details as well as supporting details, timeframe considerations, suggestions for writing competitively, how to check for infractions, accounting for the reviewer's perspective, and more.
Complete Book of Model Fund-Raising Letters. By Roland Kuniholm. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995
Contains 350 samples and excerpts of fund-raising letters of various types. Includes letters for new donor acquisition, soliciting repeat gifts, and specialty letters such as referrals, volunteer solicitation, and contribution acknowledgment.
The Complete Guide to Getting a Grant. By Laurie Blum. Rev. ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, l996. 368 p.
A comprehensive overview of grant writing, from idea to completed proposal. Offers down-to-earth advice such as how to work with sponsors and granting institutions, where to seek help, what resources to check, and solid guidelines to follow in writing proposals.
Finding Funding: Grantwriting and Project Management from Start to Finish. By Ernest W. Brewer, Charles M. Achilles, and Jay R. Fuhriman. 2d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, l995.
An excellent work on applying for federal funding in particular. Explains the proposal's components, how it is reviewed and finally implemented.
Foundation Center's Guide to Proposal Writing. By Jane C. Geever. Fourth ed. New York: Foundation Center, 2004.
Extremely thorough. Emphasizes proposal writing as part of a planning process which involves a partnership between the nonprofit and the donor. Describes setting funding priorities, drafting the proposal and assembling needed information for the final copy. Also covers packaging the proposal and researching, contacting, and cultivating donors. Has sections on advice from funders, a sample proposal, and "life after the grant" - or rejection.
Foundation Center's Guide to Winning Proposals. Sarah Collins, editor. New York, NY: The Foundation Center, 2003.
A compendium of 20 sample proposals compiled because "they represent great writing," according to the editor. Offers a variety of proposal types, including letters of inquiry to requests for large-scale program support.
Foundation Center's Guide to Winning Proposals II. Judith B. Margolin, editor. New York, NY: The Foundation Center, 2005.
A compendium of 31 proposals varying in style and content along with comments by grants decision makers about what specifically swayed them in selecting these proposals for inclusion. The introduction by Margolin is well worth reading for best use of this books as a resource and tool.
Fund-Raising Letter Collection Vol. I. Second ed. Compiled and annotated by William E. Sheppard. Ambler, PA: Fund-Raising Institute, l988. 156 p.
Down-to-earth tips on writing fund raising appeals. Letters are arranged in categories by nonprofit type: Universities, Colleges, Schools; Hospitals; Health and welfare Agencies; Youth Agencies; Other Agencies.
From Idea to Funded Project: Grant Proposals that Work. By Jane C. Belcher and Julia M. Jacobsen. 4th ed. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, l992.
Particularly suitable to members of higher educational institutions who wish to work an idea into a proposal. Defines roles of departmental and administrative staff, specific parts of a proposal, and more. Covers submitting a proposal, its administration, and the importance of evaluation in the process. Provides samples of forms and grant applications.
Getting Funded: a Complete Guide to Proposal Writing. By Mary Hall. 3d. ed. Portland, OR: Portland State University Continuing Education Publications, 2003.
This painless workbook-like text first covers how to undertake the necessary planning and information-gathering tasks prior to the writing of the proposal. After it outlines other considerations such as how to responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs), it then leads the reader into the principles involved in the actual writing of a proposal. Describes dealing with forms and applications, and includes examples in the text. A must-read; excellent guide for both individuals and nonprofits.
Grantwriting for Dummies. Beverly A. Browning. New York, NY: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2001
An easy-to-follow comprehensive guidebook on all aspects of writing effective grant proposals and grant applications.
Grantwriting, Fundraising, and Partnerships: Strategies That Work. By Karen B. Ruskin and Charles M. Achilles. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc., 1995. 185 p.
Preface states this book is "written for teachers and administrators who are developing new sources of funding for school and district-wide projects... with the focus on the "conceptualization, writing, and marketing of grant proposals specifically for educators." One-half of the text includes appendices with listings of small grant opportunities and foundations that support educational innovation.
Grassroots Grants: An Activist's Guide to Proposal Writing. By Andy Robinson. Berkeley, CA, 2004.
Extremely well-organized, informal and frank guide for organizations for social change. Stresses the grant proposal as an organizational planning document which is eventually pieced together in a special format. Four examples of proposals are included. Also describes the importance of grants research and grantmaker relations in the process, grants administration, dealing with rejection, and more.
Greening the Grassroots: How Wildlife and Habitat Organizations Can Write Winning Grants. Ed. by Graciella Rossi. Sacramento, CA: The Wildlife Network, Earth Island Institute, and the Humane Society of the United States, l996.
Provides the basics in becoming a fundable organization by helping the reader clarify its goals and develop a realistic development plan - the basic preliminaries of the proposal. Specifics of writing the proposal follow. Includes two sample proposals.
How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters. By Mal Warwick. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001. 304 p.
Nothing on the subject is left out in this tome. Loaded with down-to-earth advice and examples. Warwick is a specialist in direct mail fundraising and a regular contributor to The NonProfit Times.
"Proposal". In The Complete Guide to Getting a Grant. By Laurie Blum. Rev. ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996. p. 242 - 303.
Well-written, easy to follow chapter on planning, writing, and packaging the proposal. The next chapter on follow-up (what happens after the proposal is submitted) might prove useful to some as well.
Proposal Planning and Writing. By Lynn E. and Jeremy T. Miner and Jerry Griffith. 3rd ed. Oryx Press, 2003. 184 p.
Easy-to-use and resourceful text on how to find grants as well as how to plan and write quality proposals. Useful for both beginning and professional grant writers and grantseekers. Includes advice and recommendations on searching for information through the Internet as well as tips on computer editing and more. Excerpts from this book can be found online in pdf format as A Guide to Proposal Planning and Writing.
Proposal Writer's Swipe File: 15 Winning Fund-Raising Proposals: Prototypes of Approaches, Styles, and Structures. Ed. by Susan Ezell Kalish et al. Washington, DC: Taft Corporation, l984. 162 p.
A compendium of successful proposals from a variety of nonprofit institutions and programs and which represent different approaches. All were written by professional proposal writers.
Proposal Writing. By Soraya M. Coley and Cynthia A. Scheinberg. 2d. ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2000. 101 p.
A very well-written all-purpose guide "written primarily for students or beginning to moderately experienced grantwriters working in nonprofit corporations, school districts, or city or county agencies." A good resource especially for human-services professionals.
Proposals that Work: a Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals By Lawrence F. Locke, Waneen Wyrick Spirduso, and Stephen J. Silverman. Fourth ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2000. 350 p.
Written particularly for graduate school students, this textbook-type work covers the basics of writing research proposals, particularly for qualitative research. Includes sample proposals.
Research Projects and Research Proposals: A Guide for Scientists Seeking Funding. By Paul G. Chapin. Cambridge, U.K. and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
An excellent work on the proposal funding process from the perspectives of the principal investigator, the grant reviewer, and the funding agency official. Sections also include grant review and grant administration processes.
Scholarly Arguments: Strategies for Writing Persuasive Proposals in the Humanities. By Christina M. Gillis. Berkeley, CA: University of California Townsend Center for the Humanities. 56 p.
Very brief general advice for proposal writers for humanities research.
Successful Grant Writing: Strategies for Health and Human Service Professionals. By Laura N. Gitlin and Kevin J. Lyons. 2d ed. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2004. 305 p.
Thorough overview from researching funding to writing and submitting the proposal, receiving and managing an award. Includes appendices with faqs, acronyms, web sites, sample budget sheets and flow charts. May answer numerous questions readers have about applying for federal grants. Samples of well-crafted proposals for a variety of programs.
Treasury of Successful Appeal Letters. Ed. by Joseph Dermer. Hartsdale, NY: Public Service Materials Center, l985.
A compilation of letters asking for money or for for equipment, or just to initiate a relationship or increase membership. Note that this work is from the pre-Internet era.
Winning Grant Proposals: Eleven Successful Appeals .... Edited by Jay Frost. Rockville, MD: Fund Raising Institute, The Taft Group, 1993.
Samples of well-crafted proposals for a variety of programs. Proposals by American nonprofits to corporations, foundations, individuals, and government agencies. Still an excellent resource despite date.
Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing, Writing, Successful Proposals By Mim Carlson. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers, 2002. 110 p,
A step-by-step workbook approach to proposal writing. Bases its approach on the idea of the proposal being a reflection of a well-planned project, one which demonstrates filling a genuine need, and at a reasonable cost. Support Centers of America is a national network devoted to increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.
Winning Science Equipment Grants: Model Proposals from the Federal and Private Sector. Ed. by Leslie Ratzlaff. Alexandria, VA: Capitol Publications, Inc., l993. 289 p.
Seven successful sample proposals are reproduced here "for institutions seeking to purchase, upgrade and/or use science equipment," according to the preface.
Writing for a Good Cause: the Complete Guide to Crafting Proposals and Other Persuasive Pieces for Nonprofits By Joseph Barbato and Danielle S. Furlich. New York: Fireside/Simon & Schuster, 2000. 334 p.
A somewhat different and much-welcomed work which focuses on writing well, and applying good writing practices when drafting a persuasive and polished proposal. A must-read for all fundraisers and proposal writers, beginners and professionals alike, and entertaining to boot.
Writing Grant Proposals that Win. By Phale D. Hale, Jr. Second ed. Alexandria, VA: Capitol Publications, Inc., 1997. 213 p.
Includes guidelines on proposal writing for both private and federal funding. Includes sample proposals and critiques.
Writing Winning Proposals. By Judith Mirick Gooch. Washington, DC: Council for Advancement and Support of Education, 1987.
Emphasizes the importance of researching funders, pre-proposal organization, then outlining, revising and editing the actual final product. A good source for helping an organization with budget preparation.