Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Value of a Good Grant Outline

Dr. Beaubien was my ninth grade English teacher, a stern woman with a love of language she managed to inspire in some of us; that, in spite of her inflexible, homework-laden methods.

Dr. Beaubien also placed a lot of faith in what she called the I-form method of writing essays. At the top of the “I” was an intro paragraph followed by three topic paragraphs followed by a closing paragraph. Nice, neat, and organized is how Dr. Beaubien liked her classroom and that’s how she liked our essays.

It’s quite possible that Dr. Beaubien is the person responsible for making me a grant writer. I learned early on the importance of a good outline for writing. Grants lend themselves well to developing an outline; although regretfully, I’ve never come across a five paragraph grant narrative.

The first thing I do when writing a grant is to make an outline of the narrative and add comments and key terms I want to use in the writing. I gather this from a close inspection of the request for application (rfa).

Outlines are a good idea for these reasons:
  1. A grant outline ensures that you follow the rfa or rfp guidelines.
  2. A grant outline helps you sort out your thinking about what you need to gather to write the grant.
  3. A grant outline ensures that you see the big picture so that your narrative all ties together neatly in the end.
Dr. Beaubien had it right, organize your writing. It takes some time and effort to create a grant outline, but there are places online where Creative Resources publishes Grant Outlines for writers to use like Whether you decide to create your own or buy one created by our expert writers, a grant outline is a great tool in successful grant writing.


For a limited time, to celebrate the launch of, you can get an outline for the current Full Service Community Schools grant competition (complete with expert tips and suggestions) for just $2.99!
Would you like to read some samples of successful grant proposals?  Visit

This post was written by non-profit consultant and expert grant writer, Derek Link.

No comments:

About Creative Resources & Research

My photo
Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.