We are often asked for examples on all things grant related. Where can I find an example of a grant budget? What is a good example of a grant proposal? Where can I see a sample letter of inquiry?
We have written several blog articles on tips and pointers about what to include in specific grant documents, and we will certainly generate more. So the blog pages you're in now are a resource to keep in mind. (Click here for a full list of past articles.) There are many additional places you should consider looking before you start your hunt online for examples. Of course, you can always pose grant questions to our experts. We are here to help you wherever we can in developing your grant. Here are a few additional resources you might consult on your own.
1) Consider the source. The actual source of the grant money can double as a great resource for you. Funding agencies want to receive high-quality proposals, and because of this, they sometimes offer sample documents of past grant recipients, or at least documents that are similar or acceptable.
2) Consider those around you. Obtain previously successful files or documents that your organization has submitted in past grant applications. If you have nothing from the past to reference, consider contacting colleagues in similar, non-competing organizations. Ask them if they have any examples that they would be willing to share. Do not hesitate to reach out to those around you for help, whether they are inside or outside of your organization.
3) Search the web. The Internet is an endless, albeit sometimes overwhelming, resource of information on just about anything. As previously mentioned, it would be best to start with the funding source to look for sample grant proposals, grant budgets, etc. However, if you need to look to other areas, a Google search will yield results. To pick some random examples, Kurzweil Education Systems offers a PDF file with a sample grant proposal that includes a sample cover letter, a sample cover page, a sample grant proposal, and a sample letter format to use in grant proposals for foundations. The Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency of Wayne, Michigan provides a grant proposal template. The Michigan example is a more general outline of what should be included in a grant, whereas the Kurzweil example provides samples of the documents that are actually included. A few things to watch out for when using materials from the web:
Avoid the temptation to simply copy information you find. Writers are often tempted to “over-borrow” another person’s words. Many agencies essentially place materials in the public domain by making them available online, but that does not make them yours. Aside from legal and ethical issues, agencies might get a negative impression if they see their own examples parroted back to them without being made applicable to a particular proposal.
Relevance of the material is another concern. What’s relevant or required of one grant may be irrelevant to another. Don’t ever assume that all grant documents are equal in what needs to be included on them. Each grant is unique, so be sure to fulfill all requirements and recommendations completely.
Credibility of the source is a key aspect to consider when reviewing materials on the web. You wouldn’t ask a construction worker for advice on your health. Similarly, make sure that when you are seeking grant advice, you get it from a source knowledgeable in the field. There are scammers in all fields: caveat emptor. Overly busy or ad-filled sites tend to be suspect.
Finding examples of grant documents is a wise action to help your grant development process. Remember, if you are in need of advice or direction, we are here to help you.
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