Recommended Timeline

6-12 months before submission,

  • Define your project: know what you want to do, what you need to do it, how long it will take, and -- most important -- the impact of the project.
  • Begin searching for possible funders and/or grant programs.
  • If your project is collaborative, begin conversations with those involved.
  • Come talk with us: we can help you identify funding sources and help you conceptualize you project in terms that speak to grantmakers.

Once you have identified possible funding sources,

  • Research the grantmaker. What are the organization's priorities? What grants has the foundation made in recent years?
  • Get proposal guidelines (eligibility, format, project evaluation, funding levels, budgeting issues, deadlines) and read them carefully.
  • Come see us: we have had past contact with many funders; take advantage of that knowledge. Also, if the grant you have chosen to pursue requires a University match, we can begin working with the appropriate administrators.

As you prepare your proposal,

  • Read successful samples. They can give you ideas about grantmaker's funding interests, proposal organization and format, and evaluation techniques.
  • If possible, speak with a program officer at the foundation/grantmaking organization. These officers (who are often drawn from university faculty themselves) can answer questions you have about proposal requirements and offer guidance on both your project and your proposal. They can also be great advocates for your when your proposal goes before the funding board.
  • Prepare a draft proposal and solicit feedback both on the project and on the proposal.
  • Again, come see us. We can offer feedback on the proposal and can help edit/format your documents, leaving you free to focus on the content.

Submit your proposal . . .

  • and celebrate! Completing the proposal process is an achievement in itself.