Developing a competitive application for any grant requires preparation and planning. Grants can help support existing college programs or create new ones. Even a modest grant award will be based upon how closely the proposed project matches the interests and guidelines of the funding source. The Grants Office recommends that you decide up front what specific activities you want to support, estimate how much they will cost, and compare those details with the stated purpose, eligibility requirements, funding cycles, and maximum funding limits of grantor agencies.

The following resources are provided to help you decide:

Initial Grant Proposal Form

The Initial Grant Proposal Form can help you develop a first draft of your project objectives, activities, and estimated budget. The form is designed to address questions that are typically included in a grant application, but is not a substitute for a detailed proposal that fulfills all of the funder's requirements.

Download the Initial Grant Proposal Form

Pre-Proposal Checklist

The Grants Office suggests the following guidelines to identify proposals that advance the college’s mission and have the best chance of being funded:

  • Is the proposed project consistent with the planning priorities of your Division or Department?
  • Is the proposed project consistent with the Mission Critical Priorities and Strategies in the college’s Educational Master Plan?
  • Will college resources (space, equipment) be needed /available to support the project if the grant application is successful?
  • Is there sufficient evidence/data to demonstrate need for the project?
  • Does the college currently have a program (or programs) that address the need(s) you have identified? If so, do you plan to collaborate with the project director(s) and coordinate activities and resources?
  • Is your project scalable?
  • Is there a strong, committed team ready to collaborate on proposal development?
  • Has the responsible Dean or department administrator approved development of a grant application for the project?

Grants Checklist

The Grants Office suggests the following guidelines to determine if a grant opportunity is a good match for the college and for the proposed project:

  • Are higher education institutions and non-profits listed as eligible applicants for this grant opportunity?
  • Are previous projects that have received awards under this grant opportunity comparable in scope and purpose to the proposed project?
  • Are the funding amounts consistent with the funds required to perform the project?
  • Will the number of awards ensure a reasonable probability of success?
  • Does the grant require sustainability? If so, is there a plan or potential to institutionalize the project when grant funding ends?
  • Does the grant require matching funds? If so, it is unlikely that the college will approve an application to this source.
  • Does the grant require partnerships? If so, are relationships in place that could be leveraged to meet this requirement?
  • Is there adequate time to write a quality proposal before the deadline?