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Writing Proposals

Before You Start Writing

  • Before writing the proposal, it may be helpful to have your thoughts about your program written down. A tool that can help you organize your thoughts is a logic model
  • There is no one correct way to write a grant proposal. Often the organization to which you are submitting the proposal will make available a detailed list of the information it wants to see in a proposal. The list may be available in print from the organization or it may be available on the organization's Web site If such information is available, be sure you follow their guidelines closely.
  • If the organization or agency provides information on their review criteria and process, be sure to familiarize yourself with that information prior to writing the proposal.

Nitty-gritty Details

  • There are some College and University details that you need to be familiar with prior to or while writing your proprosal.
  • ERE rates Employee Related Expense (ERE) are the expenses the University is responsible for as an employer. ERE is comprised of FICA, Retirement, Unemployment Compensation, Worker's Compensation, Liability Insurance, Health/Dental/Life Insurance, and Dependent Care Assistance.

The Actual Writing

Be sure your proposal is written clearly, concisely, and with no or limited jargon. Do not use excessive or verbose language. Avoid English language pitfalls. A writer's guide called The Elements of Style also has a section on needless words

Generally, the proposal format will include

  • cover letter
  • abstract
  • introduction
  • needs statement
  • objectives
  • activities
  • evaluation
  • budget
  • appendices

Helpful Sites

To find more information about proposal writing please refer to:

Sample Proposals

  • Sample Proposals -- Proposals provided by Cooperative Extension faculty for example purposes. (All proposals are password protected with the usual userid and password.)