Funding through Grants

Funding through Grants

Grants are one way of obtaining the funds needed to achieve set goals and objectives. Lauffer (2011, p.301) defines grants as “institutional gifts that permit recipients to pursue activities of their own design within the purposes set by the funder”. A major requirement for an entity to obtain a grant is that a proposal must be written that outlines the activities and objectives to be accomplished, the projected budget and time frames (Lauffer, 2011). This is to say that there are several elements that define an effective/winning grant (Nelson & Ruffalo, 2017). These include an executive summary and/or institutional background, problem statement or needs assessment, goals as well as objectives of the proposed program, implementation plan, sustainability, and budget. The executive summary and/or institutional background briefly describes the organization and its history as well as mission. It also describes the problem that is sought to be tackled, the proposed solution including beneficiaries, and the amount of money that is required for accomplishment of the program. The needs assessment/problem statement offers evidence, statistics and facts to convince prospective funders that the project is worth undertaking. The goals as well as objectives of the proposed program, and the implementation plan may be covered under the project overview section, while the budget outlines projected expenses in terms of personnel costs, office supplies, travel, equipment, and office space.

The Proposal from LifeLong Medical Care to Bella Vista Foundation is an excellent example of how a grant should look like. This grant proposal is written with the objective of soliciting funds to facilitate evaluation of an innovative program that seeks to empower high-risk, low income towards self-efficacy as well as improved health for themselves and their children. A major strength of the proposal is that it begins with a concise executive summary that precisely states the amount of money being sought. In this summary, Lifelong Medical Care clearly states the objectives of the program while also presents a compelling case for need for funds. Secondly, the mission statement reinforces the case for need as it describes Lifelong Medical Care as an organization that exists to champion the issues of underserved populations. The breakdown of activities into phases with clear timeframes is another remarkable thing about this grant proposal. Perhaps the only improvement that could be made to the proposal would be to include a sustainability plan, besides attaching a copy of Lifelong Medical Care’s operating statement for the last three financial years. This may help the prospective financier to make judgments regarding the accountability, transparency and creditworthiness of the organization.

To further convince the funder that this program would have a positive, measurable impact on the community, it would be necessary to provide a more detailed description of the program outcomes. Lifelong Medical Care states that the program will evaluate effectiveness of the program from four outcomes: mother-infant bonding, infant health, mother health, and mother self-efficacy. It would be helpful to provide more detail, for instance, outlining when and how mothers will be evaluated based on the metrics identified above.


Lauffer, A. (2011). Understanding your social agency (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.

Lifelong Medical Care. (2007). Proposal from LifeLong Medical Care to Bella Vista Foundation.

Nelson, D., & Ruffalo, L. (2017). Grant writing: Moving from generating ideas to applying to grants that matter. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 52(3), 236-244.

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