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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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