Criminal Justice Paper on Grant Writing Guide

Grant Writing Guide


Lack of funds is a problem to many, and often leads to the failure of many projects. Thankfully, though, there are many organizations that offer grants for various kinds of projects. Often, such grant organizations offer funding for projects of particular kinds. There are grants for writers, startups, and even businesses looking to grow further. Regardless, qualifying for such a grant depends on how well the application is written (Marshall et al., 2006; Miner & Miner, 2013). Funders will often provide guidelines for such applications and one must follow these to the letter. Generally, the following are some of the key features of a good grant proposal:

Writing a Good Grant

  1. Information on Organization/Project

This is the first important part of the grant proposal. Essentially, this involves providing vital information to the funder/funders on the organization requesting funding and/or the project for which funding is requested (Davis, 2007; Miner & Miner, 2013). In this respect, the grant proposal should, first, define the project. The definition covers: the purpose of the organization/project and provides the mission statement; the scope of work; and the broad project goals and objectives.

  1. Situation/Problem Description

The main objective of this section is to convince the funder/funders that the issue to be tackled is important, and also that the organization involved in the current project has the expertise to deal with it (Marshall et al., 2006; Davis, 2007; Miner & Miner, 2013). Davis (2007) offers a number of important tips on this. First, one must be careful to provide all vital information on the issue at hand. In this respect, one must not assume the funder knows about the subject in question. Second, it is important to show why the situation at hand is important, from both the factual and human-interest points of view. This description should focus on the local context – as opposed to describing the problem on a national level. Moreover, it is important to share evidence (such as research findings) as well as the recommended ways for tackling the identified problem/problems. This evidence should also be on the local context.

  1. Work Plan

In the section, one should detail what the project for which funding is required will entail. This begins by restating the goals and objectives of the project in the first place. Finally, one provides the actual details of the activities involved. First, the proposal should state the target audience – that is, who and how many – and the ways in which they will be involved in the project activities. Second, the proposal should state what is to be done. It is important to be specific about the project’s objectives and describe the project’s output – that is, the number of people to be served (in what ways) over a specific period of time. Third, the proposal should show the level of planning already in place, such as the level of commitments from participants (paid and voluntary), among others. Fourth, indicate when (in terms of weeks or months) and where the project is to take place (Davis, 2007). Note: one can always provide updated information on the progress of the project.

  1. Outcomes/Impact of Project

Having stated the goals and objectives of the project, it necessary to indicate the impacts that the project is expected to have on the target audience (Marshall et al., 2006; Davis, 2007; Miner & Miner, 2013). In other words, one should provide answers to the following key question: what will change as a result of the project? Davis (2007) observes that it is sometimes hard to define impacts, especially when such an impact is ambiguous and/or hard to quantify. Regardless, if one clearly defines the problem and the goal of the project, it should not be hard to cite specific impacts.

  1. Other Funders

More often than not, funders will be more willing to commit to projects that others have also committed to. As Davis (2007) notes, few funders are willing to be the sole support of a project, especially where big money is involved. In this regard, it is important to include other sources of funding, including in-kind contributions. Moreover, it indicates transparency and accountability on the part of the organization, which can go a long way in convincing funders to be involved.

  1. Budget

Finally, this section focuses on the fund required. It should show clearly how much the project will cost, and for what part of that budget funding is required. In this respect, this section shows the project’s expenses and income. The expenses may include: administrative/overhead expenses, personnel expenses and direct project expenses, among others. Income includes: earned incomes (what will be paid – if any – for services offered), and contributed income (that is, cash or in-kind contributions from other funders and partners/stakeholders) (Marshall et al., 2006; Davis, 2007; Miner & Miner, 2013). Finally, one should state how much they are asking from the funder in question.


Different literatures on grant writing will include other elements to these. However, these are the major ones.  A well-written grant introduces the organization and project; defines goals and objectives; indicates expected impacts; and provides the budget. It is necessary to indicate that the organization has the capacity of expertise to undertake the project. Finally, one should indicate how much fund they need for the project to be completed successfully.



Davis, B. (2007). Writing a successful grant proposal. Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF)

Marshall, M.I., Johnson, A., & Fulton, J. (2006). Writing a successful grant proposal. Agricultural Innovation & Commercialization Center (AICC): Purdue Extension

Miner, J.T., & Miner, L.E. (2013). Proposal planning and writing, 5th Edition. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press