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HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT NARRATIVE
HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT NARRATIVE

Writing a successful Grant Justification Paper, or Grant Justification Narrative, or Grant Narrative Paper, is one of the most focused parts of obtaining the funding to pay for equipment, software, or training. And it is important. However, the Grant Justification Paper is a portion of the strategy needed to end your funding problems! Think of writing a grant as making a key. You can make the perfect key in the world, but it will be useless unless you know the specific lock to put it in. Understanding that, let us focus on making that perfect key and unlock the doors where the grant funding is waiting for you.

What is a Grant Justification Paper?

In the most simple terms, a Grant Justification Paper is an affirmative case addressing the current problem you are experiencing and showing how your project will solve the problem for your public safety agency and community. All Grant Justification Papers have the following components:

  1. Identifying the Problem or Problem Statement
  2. Quantifying the Problem
  3. The Project or Solution
  4. Project Implementation Plan
  5. Cost of the Project

The only difference from one Grant Justification Paper to another is the syntax or sequence of the five components. So now, let us dive into each of these five components and better understand what they are and why they are essential to the Grantor.

Identifying the Problem or Problem Statement

No grantor will write you a check for your project unless you clearly state what is happening in your community. Therefore, your responsibility is to express to the Grantor your problem and why you are requesting funding. Express to the Grantor what is going on in your world that is affecting your community adversely.

Quantifying the Problem

Once you have expressed your problem to the Grantor, you must show how significant your problem is to your agency and your community. How do you do this?

Geography: 

  • Do you work in a Rural or Urban Environment?
  • Is the geography Flat, Hills, or Mountains?
  • Are there Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, Streams, or Creeks?

Quantify your city or county’s population:

  • The population of your community
  • The population of your community during the workweek (If it increases)

Describe roadway system including Freeways, Highways, and major traffic arteries:

  • Quantify the number of vehicles
  • What type of vehicles drive through your community
  • Are your roadways used for drug or human trafficking
  • Are your roadways used for the transport of dangerous chemicals

Explain specific targets in your city or county:

  • School Districts
  • Airports
  • Seaports
  • Bus Stations
  • Subway Stations
  • Railway Stations
  • Rail Yards
  • Water Treatment Plants
  • Food Supplies
  • Chemical & Pharmaceutical Facilities
  • Energy & Natural Resources Facilities
  • Industrial & Automotive Sector

The Project or Solution

Time to present your solution. What is your strategy? How do you plan on solving the problems your community is currently experiencing? Your project must be clear, concise, and compelling to the Grantor. The Grantor must be sold, understand your problem, and have absolute certainty you can solve the problem with your project. The best way to do this is to speak the language of Grantors. Explain to the Grantor how your project does one or more of the following:

  • Reduces Liability
  • Saves Lives
  • Saves Money
  • Saves Time

The best way to do this is to sit down and write out all of the benefits your project will bring to your public safety agency and community. Realize you are in this alone. You also need to leverage the business that provides you with the equipment, software, and training. They have a vested interest in your success in getting this project funded. They will give you all of the features, advantages, and benefits their solutions provide. Remember: Never use a specific manufacturer’s make and models! Only the product category. May it be SCBAs, Turnout Gear, Body Armor, Night Vision, etc.

Project Implementation Plan

How do you plan on getting this project up and running after receiving the funding? Now is the time to lay out, over 12 months, your strategy implementing your project. Express to the Grantor all of the following:

  • When you plan on purchasing the solution after receiving the funding
  • The expected delivery of the solution or service training
  • Your strategy on letting your community know about this project through digital, print, television, or radio media

Cost of the Project

The project’s cost must be realistic and to the penny—no ballpark or rounding up numbers.

There are many books and sources that dig deeper into this subject. However, I recommend if you are looking for a more detailed explanation, please feel free to contact me or come to one of my FREE Grant Funding Assistance Strategy Classes to learn more. 

My goal is simple: To solve the public safety funding problem!

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