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Best Practices Guide for Grant Writing

NCJ Number
Bridget Newell; Thomas C. Caves Jr.
Date Published
June 2015
9 pages
Intended primarily for those responsible for accessing grant funding for law enforcement responsibilities, this guide provides background information on types of grants and guidelines for planning and writing a grant proposal.
An introductory section describes the features of competitive and non-competitive grants, as well as the differences between federal discretionary funding and block grants. This is followed by a definition of a grant proposal as a "formal, written request for funds to support a specific program or project." The guide advises that when planning and writing a grant proposal, it is important to remember that most proposals are submitted in a competition with other applicants; consequently, it is important to inform the reader of the activities that will be funded and why the project is worthy of funding. In discussing the purpose of a grant, this guide notes that although the exact content of a grant proposal is determined by the funding agency's guidelines, most grant proposals include information that explains (1) why the funds are needed, (2 ) the activities that will be funded, and 3) how the funds will be managed. The guide outlines the features and recommended procedures for a grant proposal. These include the application form and the cover letter. This is followed by a chart that shows the sections of the proposal, along with the purpose and questions that should be answered by each section. The grant proposal sections included in the chart are the abstract or summary, the problem or need statement, the solution or scope, methods, benefits, qualifications, evaluation plan, time line, budget, and conclusion.