How to Introduce Your Nonprofit Agency in a Grant Proposal
Some nonprofit grant proposals contain introductions. Others contain background information sections. Choose which to use by following the preferences of your funding source or, if no preference is given, by deciding which approach allows you to best present the proposal idea. Whichever you use, this section of a proposal describes the nonprofit organization that’s seeking money.
Usually this section begins with a brief history of the nonprofit, its philosophy in approaching its work, and its major accomplishments. Then the writer describes the current programs as well as the constituents served by the programs. After these standard ingredients, the writer draws upon whatever other credentials recommend the organization for the work she’s about to propose.
Drawing attention to signs of outside validation is helpful. Here are some kinds of things the writer can mention:
Citations and awards presented to the agency or its leaders
Credentials and/or experience of the nonprofit’s leadership
Other agencies that refer clients to the nonprofit
Invitations extended to the nonprofit to provide expert advice or testimony
Major grants received from other sources
Although the writer isn’t yet describing the project idea, the items she introduces here should back up the nonprofit’s qualifications to do the proposed work.
For example, suppose that an after-school program for teenagers offers multiple programs — athletics, arts, and youth-led volunteer work in the community. If the grant request focuses on expanding the community service work, the writer can focus this section on how that volunteer work began and evolved, where the teens have provided services, and who has praised it.
Grant writers often are tempted to write on and on (and on and on and on) (and on and on and on) about an agency’s history or its philosophy. Don’t drag this section down by including too many details or by using too much eloquent verbiage. One — or at the most, two — paragraphs on these subjects are plenty.