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How to Introduce Your Nonprofit Agency in a Grant Proposal

Some nonprofit grant proposals contain introductions. Others call this section background information. However you choose to label it, this part of the proposal describes the nonprofit organization that’s seeking money.

Usually this section begins with a brief history of the nonprofit, its mission, and its major accomplishments. Then you describe the current programs as well as the constituents. After including these standard ingredients, you can draw upon whatever other credentials recommend the organization for the work you’re about to propose. Here are some things you can mention:

  • Media coverage

  • Citations and awards

  • The 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 you’re not yet describing the project idea, the items you introduce here should back up your nonprofit’s proposed work qualifications. For example, suppose that an after-school program for teenagers offers multiple programs. If the grant proposal seeks money to expand the program, the writer can tell the story of how that volunteer work began and evolved, where the teens have provided services, and who has praised their contributions.

If your organization is brand new and you don’t have accomplishments or accolades to describe in this section, tell the story of how and why the organization was created, its mission and purpose, and the qualifications of its founders.

If yours is the only organization that offers this program, mention it here. Funders like to know who else is addressing the same issues and how you differentiate yourself as an attractive source to receive financial support.

You may be tempted to write on and on (and on and on and on) (and on and on and on) about an organization’s history or mission. Don’t drag this section down by including too many details or by using too much eloquent verbiage. One or two paragraphs on these subjects are plenty.

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