How to Complete Grant Application Cover Forms - dummies

How to Complete Grant Application Cover Forms

By Beverly A. Browning

Many groups of grant makers, from foundations to corporations, have created their own customized common grant application forms and formats. These types of commonly developed and used forms and formats can be found on the Foundation Center’s website.

No one group of funders is using the exact same formatting or forms. So, in the following list, you’ll find the most commonly requested information fields you can expect to see with any of the state-level applications and the Regional Association of Grantmakers common grant applications:

  • Organization name, tax-exempt status, year organization was founded, date of application, address, telephone number, fax number, director, and contact person and title: These items give the funding source straight information about your eligibility to apply for funds.

  • Grant request: The funding source wants to know how much money you’re asking for before it even reads the full proposal. The amount listed here is the first clue to the funder that you’re counting on it to provide a specific percentage of your project support.

    This figure doesn’t mean that you’re requesting the total amount needed from just one funder; you still send your customized common grant application proposal package to other funders willing to accept this format. Having more than one potential funder lined up increases your chances of receiving the full amount needed.

  • Period grant will cover: Most foundation and corporate funders award grant monies for only one year. Some fund you for multiple years, but they don’t represent the norm among private sector funders.

  • Type of request: Typically, the funders want to know whether you’re requesting general support (money to pay the day-to-day bills), start-up funds (you’re just beginning operations), technical assistance (training, accounting aid, or some other type of specialized consulting), and so on.

  • Project title: Some reviewers like for every funding request to have a project or program title. A title gives your request personality. Remember to be consistent in the use of your title. It should be the same from the cover letter to the cover form to the grant proposal.

  • Total project budget: The amount you enter here is the total cost to implement your program. Include the value of your in-kind and cash contributions in addition to the amount needed from the funder.

  • Start date of fiscal year: The date your organization’s financial year begins. For example, your fiscal year may begin on January 1, July 1, September 1, or in any month. Check with your financial staff to determine your start date.

  • Total organizational budget: This amount is your organization’s total operating budget for the current fiscal year.

  • Summarize the organization’s mission: The word summarize is key here. If you have a long mission statement, give the abbreviated version. Remember that the entire cover form usually fits on one page.

  • Summary of project or grant request: Fill out this field after you’ve written the grant application narrative. Cut and paste into this section the sentences that most effectively summarize your project. This field includes one sentence that provides a brief project overview. For example, “The purpose of this project is to provide 145 homeless families residing in the Emergency Shelter with apartment rental deposit assistance and transportation stipends.”