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How to Write the Purpose Statement on Your Grant Application

As the first part of your program design narrative, the purpose statement tells the grant reader why you’re asking for grant monies. You have two types of purpose statements to choose from: direct and indirect.

A direct purpose statement includes the amount of the requested grant award. Remember that even when you mention a dollar amount, the purpose statement shouldn’t exceed one sentence. Get to the point and tell the grant reader the purpose of the grant request and the amount of funds needed. Use the following example as a guide for writing your own direct purpose statement:

The Grant Writing Training Foundation is seeking your initial and ongoing financial support in the amount of $10,000 for its Missouri Road Trip Grant Writing Training Program.

An indirect purpose statement simply tells the reader the purpose of the grant request — a program or project in need of funding. The example that follows shows you how an indirect purpose statement should read:

The purpose of this request is to seek grant funding to conduct a four-week residential grant-writing training program in six Missouri cities.

It’s a good idea to use a direct purpose statement in foundation and corporate funding requests because it more efficiently gets to the point for the reader who will make the final funding decisions.

However, you should use the indirect purpose statement for government grant proposals because government grant peer reviewers don’t make those same final decisions; an agency staff person with authority over the grant-making initiative does. Therefore, no actual amount of monies requested should appear in the purpose statement of government funding requests.

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