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The Standard Components of a Grant Application Explained

Once you have defined your project and identified potential funders, it’s finally time to start preparing your application. Every application is different, depending on the requirements of the funding agency; but there are some fairly standard components of capital funding applications.

The budget is the single most important element of any application. The budget is the financial expression of your project and shows funders exactly where their money will go. The budget usually consists of two components: budget form and budget narrative. The budget form must define every cost associated with the project. The budget narrative provides an explanation for items included on the budget form.

The narrative is the written description of your proposed project. The component parts often request the following information, though the headings may vary: project summary, project goals or objectives, project description, and performance measures. These sections are fairly self-explanatory, but be sure to remember that there is usually a word count associated with the narrative. Multiple rounds of editing are needed to ensure you include all the necessary information in the most concise manner possible.

Additional documentation in the form of organizational attachments will be required including mandatory federal forms, letters of support, and resolution. These documents are important to provide evidence of compliance and support. Technical attachments are required as well, which include documents such as a map of the project area, land use compatibility statement, permits, and environmental crosscutting requirements.

It is important to familiarize yourself with every requirement of a specific application before you get started so nothing is missed. While it may seem daunting, identifying and understanding each element early will help you make a plan that allows the application to be completed by the application deadline.

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