How to Write Your Narrative Efficiently and Effectively

The narrative is one of the most important aspects to your grant application but it can also be the most time-consuming. Even if you are on schedule to make the application deadline, too much back and forth on the narrative could cause you to miss it. We have some simple tips to help you efficiently and effectively draft your narrative that will yield better chances at securing funding.

There are two narratives required for most grant applications: the budget narrative and application narrative. The budget narrative lists dollar amounts for every expense category and describes every line item in the budget. The application narrative addresses major expenses and puts it in context of the project’s goals and objectives, highlighting their role in the project’s success.

Structuring your narrative around your budget will demonstrate to the reviewers that your project is well planned. Be sure to explain every expense concisely. When writing your application narrative, tie in community benefits as much as possible. If you polled the community or gained official support from local organizations, emphasize that.

Before writing your application narrative, try to determine what the word count for each section is. When you receive feedback from the program officer, incorporate every suggested edit. The program officer knows what the agency is looking for. Lastly, have multiple people read, review, and edit the narrative for grammar and flow. It’s easy to lose sight of small errors in the text after working on it for a long time. This narrative should read smoothly and in lay-mans terms. Avoid over-complicating the narrative. The funding agency reviewers should have zero questions after reading your narrative.

Good luck with your applications!

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Newport Local Leaders Travel to DC for Big Creek Dam Funding

Last month, representatives from the City of Newport, including Mayor Dean Sawyer, council members, and city administrators traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for federal funding to advance the Big Creek Dam Replacement Project. This trip allowed local leaders in Newport to come face-to-face with legislators and ask that the $60 million authorization for the Big Creek Dam replacement project be included in the final negotiated Water Resources Development Act bill.

Replacement costs to the dam were estimated to be at least $80 million before the pandemic, but now costs are rising. The city of Newport has invested $6 million to the project and Rep. Gomberg secured $14 million in lottery bonding from the Oregon Legislature. Combined with the authorization from Congress, these funds could help the Newport community move forward with replacing the failing dam.

After concluding the trip, Mayor Dean Sawyer said, “I was impressed that our congressional delegation had such a depth of knowledge about our dam replacement project in Newport, Oregon. They were very receptive…We appreciate Senators Wyden and Merkley and Congressmen Schrader and Defazio for their work to include our authorization in the final bill.

Rep. Gomberg stated that, “this [trip] was meaningful, well-organized, and critically timed…We met with the committees that are making the decisions…We, and they, are encouraged that there is momentum to bring home much-needed federal funding to replace Newport’s failing dams.”

We regularly blast out more in-depth information regarding tips for your application, downloadable resources, and grant alerts. Sign up for our email newsletter here.