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Competitive Government Grant Proposal Bids That Save Time and Money

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This blog is a recap from our latest webinar with American City and County, “Competitive Government Grant Proposals That Save Time and Money.”

To watch the recording of the full webinar, click here

A competitive grant proposal means the difference between those who continue to experience revenue decline in this current economic crises and those who can improve their long-term economic outlook. However, with no single template to address the various (and complicated) types of funding opportunities, where do you start? 

In a joint webinar with eCivis, American City and County, and Carahsoft, attendees learned the do’s and don’ts of grants management and six practical steps they could take to develop more competitive grant proposals to win more revenue. 

Do’s and Dont’s for Grant Writing and Preparation

Jan 28 Webinar Dos and Donts

6 Steps to Assemble a Competitive Grant Proposal 

While no single template can address the complex and myriad types of government funding opportunities, these steps can help you put together a more successful government grant proposal as well as help you get started.

Identify the Need

Be targeted in terms of where to direct grant funding. Some helpful questions to consider are: Whom will this funding benefit? What outcomes are we hoping to achieve? How does this need align with the mission of my organization? Will this be for a new project or services, project expansion, or community needs?

Build Timeline

One of the most universal challenges applicants encounter when pursuing a grant is failing to understand the time it actually takes to develop a competitive grant proposal. That’s why it’s important, if possible, to give your team 6 months to a year in advance to properly prepare. 

Gather Information

This is the stage to gather supporting documentation and statistics. Make sure to use targeted data that represents the populations in question. It’s also crucial to determine the area of demographics to serve; analyze the project data, i.e. determining who, what where, and when; and identify relevant stakeholders, such as project managers, leadership, community members, and your grants team.

Determine the Funding Amount

As stated earlier, make sure you apply for enough funding to cover needs like indirect costs. At the same time, borrowing more than needed can lead to serious trouble–think of audit findings and having to return money to the Federal Government. It can’t be emphasized enough–take the time to read each funding requirement to determine how much you will need for your grant project.

Develop Your Methodology 

The bulk of your methodology should contain details about how you plan to carry out project activities as well as how you plan to measure success. Tying the grant back to measurable results is key, including indicators like: 

  • Number of active grants
  • Total grant portfolio
  • Spending health
  • Task and files health
  • Performance health
  • Overall health
Prepare Your Application

This is where you put together all your hard work from steps 1-5. The following components will shape the overall structure of your grant proposal: 

  • Introduction
  • Organization Description
  • Statement of Need
  • Project Narrative (Methodology)
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Personnel and Resources
  • Timeline
  • Budget Summary
  • Reporting


Did you know we have an in-depth playbook with practical worksheets that walk you through these six steps? Download your free copy today!

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