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How to Create Your Grant Application's Abstract or Executive Summary

3 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Constructing Your Grant Application

The abstract or executive summary of your grant application is a brief, one-page overview of what the grant reviewer will find in the full grant application. Keep your abstract short (this section should be no longer than one page unless the guidelines indicate the need for a two-page summary).

Write (or assemble) your abstract or summary after the grant application narrative has been entirely written because, by then, you should have all the wordy explanations out of your system!

You can create an abstract or executive summary by pulling the most significant sentences from each key writing section in the grant narrative and doing a quick cut and paste. This figure shows an example of an executive summary.


Click here to view this example.

Take key sentences from the following areas and keep them in the same order in the abstract or executive summary as they appear in the narrative:

  • Proposed initiative: Enter the name of your project or program, and the full name of the funding competition you’re applying to for grant consideration.

  • Introduction of target population: Copy and paste a sentence or two about who you’re planning to target and serve with grant monies.

  • Goals: Copy and paste your goals from the project design section of your proposal narrative.

  • Program measurements and performance targets (also known as objectives): Copy and paste your objectives and performance targets from the project design section of your proposal narrative.

  • Plan of action: Copy and paste the key activities that comprise the program’s implementation process.

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