How to Prepare a Grant Funding Timeline
6 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Constructing Your Grant Application
A timeline in your grant application tells the grant reader when activities (also called process objectives) will begin and end during the grant’s funding period. When you develop a project timeline, keep in mind that the grant reader wants to see answers to the following questions:
What key tasks or activities need to be carried out to implement the program successfully?
Did the grant applicant include all tasks, from the day funding is announced or awarded to the last day of the project’s funding time frame?
Can each task realistically begin and end in the proposed time frame?
Are evaluation activities included in the timeline chart?
Who's responsible for seeing that each activity is implemented and completed?
You can use your word-processing software to create a simple timeline table. Just be sure not to overdo it with color; stick with one or two shading selections (gray or a light color so the reader can still read the text in the table’s cells).
Because you probably can't absolutely determine the number of disruptions and malfunctions in implementing a grant-funded program, consider setting up your activity start and stop dates in quarterly increments. However, if you do have total control over the activities, you can use monthly increments to show when they start and stop or begin and end.
See this figure for an example of an activity timeline. It shows what the program plans to accomplish, when it plans to accomplish it, and who's responsible for seeing the activities (process objectives) through the completion phase.
For programs that request funding for multiple years, you need to include extra timelines in the grant application or contract bid that show each year’s activities and the quarterly time frames for each activity.