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Common Components of a Grant Proposal

Successful grants management is a critical piece of the entire project puzzle, and in order for all of the pieces to fit, the following components are necessary in a proposal:

  • solid methodology
  • clear objectives
  • competent personnel
  • comprehensive evaluation plan
  • budget that covers all costs of the project (Ward, 2010, pg. 5).

I think the two most important components are clear objectives and a budget that covers all costs of the project. When you have clear objectives, it will set the company or organization up to meet its project’s goals and end results. The budget is the financial side of the proposal which should include all costs to make managing the grant easily. The budget allows the grant managers to know exactly how the funds will be utilized. When writing the proposal, you want to avoid as many problems as possible that could arise including unexpected expenditures.

Technical, Political, and Ethical Issues Related to Writing a Grant Proposal

Some of the technical issues may be the language used when trying to describe your goals and not focusing your intended goals. For example, do not brag on how cool the technology may be that you would like to use, but focus on the goals. Do not try to use words that are trending just because they are trending. You may leave out some very important information that would have been essential to the proposal. Sometimes the local government can already have some type of program in place that is very similar to what you are proposing; therefore, you may have to tweak yours a bit to get an approval. Sometimes not having support from those in political, academic, and professional positions can hurt as you need to have supporters with solid backgrounds. You have to be careful with politics though because it can also hurt you and allow you to be denied a grant. There can be so many ethical issues related to grant writing like conflicts of interest, trying to build relationships with potential funders, being honest about the proposed program, etcetera.


Ward, D. (2010). Effective Grants Management, 1st Edition. [South University]. Retrieved from


Components of Grant proposal

  1. Identify the common components of a grant proposal. In your opinion, which two components are the most important, and why?

The following are the common components of a grant proposal.

Cover page

The cover page contains information that funders will use o track the grant as well as for purposes of data entry. Information contained here include name and or number of the funding announcement, name and address of the applicant, name of the principle investigator, the amount of funding, and the signature of the authorizing official or the executive director of the applicant organization

Cover letter

This component captures the critical information relating to the applicant organization and the reason for requesting funding. To make the proposal a certified document, the cover letter contains signatures of authorizing official or the executive director of the applicant organization.


This component is a description of the purpose and major objectives of the project for which funding is sought. Funders would use this component to assign the proposal document to a given review panel, while the reviewer would use this component to gain perspective of the major concepts of the proposal.


This component contains a detailed description of the project, thus forming the core of the grant application.

Needs statement

This component identifies the problems that will be address in case the grant is approved. It contains scientific data and evident that supports the need for the project.

Goals and objectives

This component contains the goals and measurable objectives of the project for which funding is sought.


This component contains a description of the intended impacts of the project if funded. In other words, this section addresses the problems identified in the needs statement.

Project plan

This component describes the specific activities that need to be undertaken to address the needs identified in the needs statement.


This component identifies the administrators, key staff, and faculty members who will be involved in the project.

Evaluation plan

This component describes the methods and processes the grant applicant will use to measure the effectiveness of the proposed project.

Budget and justification

This component identifies all the costs of the proposed project that need to be paid so that activities and services identified in the narrative can be carried out.

Biographical sketches, resumes and VCs

This component contains “detailed information of the key personnel engaged in the proposed project” (Ward, D. 2010).


This component contains additional documents that support the objectives and goals of the proposed project.

Having described the common elements of a grant proposal, I believe the abstract and the proposal narrative are the most important components of a grant proposal. With the abstract, the funders are able to get the overall summary of what the proposal is all about. It helps the funders to make a quick decision if to fund the project or not. After making this decision, the narrative will help the funders get detailed information regarding the project.

  1. Discuss the technical, political, and ethical issues related to writing a grant proposal.

Technical issue

One of the technical issues of writing a grant proposal is the availability of an actionable plan. Apparently, the plan must be meaningful, and specific to be considered actionable with regards to the proposed project.

Another technical issue regards the mission of the applicant organization. Apparently, the mission should be aligned with the action plan of the proposed project.

Another technical issue regards the funder. Apparently, the applicant should locate and organization that provide funding for projects like the one proposed by the applicant.

Political issue

One of the political issues that relating to the writing a grant proposal regards the legality of a proposed project. The applicant should research the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which the project is to be carried out before writing a grant proposal.

Ethical issue

One of the ethical issues that need to be considered in writing a grant proposal regards the impacts of proposed project in case it is funded. One would want to consider the extent to which the proposed project will create problems to the community.


Ward, D. (2010). Effective grants management. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.


A) Components of a grant proposal

1. Title Page and Cover Letter 

This is the part that enables the readers or the audience get introduced to what they are referring to for instance in the case of a grant proposal.

2. Introduction/Abstract/Summary 

This is a structural overview of the proposal with very crucial information concerning the institution, its capability to finalize the project, need, and the methods that would be applied and how the beneficiaries will benefit from the project. Although this is the first thing a reader will see it is usually written last.

3. Institutional Background 

It gives more information in terms of the institution’s location, population target, mission, relationship to the service environment and past successes in the region. This is done for the purposes of establishing credibility.

4. Problem Statement/Needs Assessment

It contains the issues dealing with the hard data, linking it to the funding source’s goals and prioritizations. The situation that is causing the concern is also analyzed and the reason behind its occurrence.

5. Program Goals and Objectives (Outcomes)

It concerned with the anticipated outcomes and benefits in measurable quantities. Ways in which the situation is expected to change and so on.

6. Methods/Implementation Plan 

It gives the description of the activities in a direct way, hence supporting the achievements of the objectives. A timeframe may be included in this part.

The most important parts of a grant proposal are the problem statement and the implementation plan. The problem statement outlines why the grant is required while the plan outlines how the funds will be used.

B)  Issues related to grant proposal

1 Technical issue- the firm’s management may lack qualified personnel who may assist with the management of the funds. This results in a large number of funds being wasted on very dubious projects.

2 Political issues- there are varied political interests that arise once the funds have been released to the institution by the donors. The political class within the firm’s management may want to control the use of the funds.

3 Ethical issues- the most rampant ethical issue where funds related issues are experienced is corruption. This menace has made most of the funds released not live up to what they were expected to do as they end up in people’s pockets.


Ward, D. (2010). Effective grants management. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Holbrook, J. B. (2010). The use of societal impacts considerations in grant proposal peer review: A comparison of five models. Technology & Innovation12(3), 213-224.


There are five components of a grant proposal, the first being the summary. The summary in my opinion is the most important component in writing a grant proposal because it’s a brief review on the organization, what will be done by who, needs and how it will benefit the organization without the review person having to read the entire proposal. So it’s very important to make sure it’s a great summary. Next is the need statement which addresses the issues and benefits. Third is the methodology which explains the methods used to achieve the objective.  I believe the method section is the second most important part of a grant proposal because it explains what will be done. Fourth is Evaluation which requires both coordination and agreement among program decision makers. Lastly, is budget which should include the use of funds.

Technical issues when writing a grant proposal would include miss or unanswered question or when the problem, objective or methods are not understandable. Political issues and grant proposals should never be discussed. Everyone have their own beliefs and political views.  Mentioning politics in a grant proposal could get your request denied. When speaking of ethics, one should be honest

(massachusetts, 2018

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