Last Words

This is usually the first thing the reviewer (the person who reads and grades your grant proposal) reads. This is your first and only chance to make a good first impression. The sad fact is that the project summary is often a rushed afterthought, slapped together in a mad dash to get the published proposal out the door in time for overnight delivery to the grant maker— a big, big mistake.

Think of a summary as the opportunity to set the stage for the rest of the proposal. Realize that the way most proposals are structured, it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand what is truly going on with a project without reading a large part of the proposal. A well-structured project summary gives the reader the big picture before diving into the sometimes difficult to follow detail of the proposal itself.

A big-ticket budget item is one that expends 40% or more of the requested grant amount on a single purchase. A purchase this size makes this one of the central aspects of the entire grant proposal. Don't try to hide the expense. Don't give cost in the project summary, but do mention the item in the context in which it will be used.

4 Remember that a grant maker's directions (instructions/guidelines) take precedence over any and all other considerations. You must absolutely, positively follow the grant maker's directions exactly, precisely, and painstakingly.

5 Note carefully that it is "mention"—not describe. You do not have space to describe.

Every project has (or should have) a creative feature, a "cool" something, an innovation—the hook. Tell the reader right up front about the hook. Get the reader ready for it. Prepare the reader's mind for the twist that makes your project stand out from the crowd. That puts the coming project description in a different and better perspective for the reader.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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