How to Write a Narrative Statement for a Grant Application


Writing successful grant applications can be a valuable skill leading to full time employment. Grant writers serve the nonprofit and educational communities by efficiently communicating the work and vision of applicant organizations. Key to a successful grant is the narrative component. The grant narrative summarizes the scope of the work that will be performed and the resulting impact of the completed project.

Things You'll Need

  • Grant application form
  • Articulate the need. The narrative should impact the decision makers with a clearly presented reason why they should support the grant application. This should include how a population or community would be served by the proposal, quantifiable outcomes, and background conditions that give rise to the need.

  • Define your approach. Anyone can come up with a good idea. How do you intend to achieve your goals? This portion of your narrative should focus on the role of key individuals and their specific duties. Outline how their tasks will clearly contribute to the end result. Most importantly, describe how your proposal is unique in accomplishing the grant's purpose.

  • Describe how you will evaluate the outcome. How can you prove you did what you set out to accomplish? Depending on the type of grant, this might include statistical reporting methodology, participant feedback surveys, or any means of objectively gauging the consequence of the activities funded by the grant.

  • Communicate the time-line. Successful grant applicants demonstrate a realistic grasp of how much time is required to complete different stages of the proposal. Be specific. This part of your narrative needs to contain actual dates and durations. A time-line outlines specific markers showing progress towards the end result.

  • Support your description of key participants with their credentials. Grant providers want to know the people involved in completing the project are qualified for the work they are being asked to do.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find your narrative "hook." The Corporation for Public Broadcasting's guideline for grant writers says, "The hook aligns the project with the purpose, and goals of the funding source." For example: if the grants stated purpose is to improve quality of life issues for the elderly, succinctly state what makes your proposal unique in accomplishing that goal.
  • Don't exaggerate. Avoid adjectives that "hype" your proposal.

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