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How to Write the Methods Section of Your Grant Proposal


Woman in office, Breda, Brabant, Netherlands
Mark de Leeuw/Getty Images

Once the goals and objectives of your grant proposal are in place, you need to walk the grantor through the methods you will use to achieve those goals and objectives.

Carlson and O'Neal-McElrath, authors of Winning Grants: Step by Step suggest following these guidelines for describing your project's methods.

  • Closely tie your methods to the proposed program's objectives and need statement.
  • Link them to the resources you are requesting in the proposal budget.
  • Explain the rationale for choosing these methods by including research, expert opinion, and your own past experience.
  • Delineate the facilities and capital equipment that will be used in the project.
  • Layer activity phases so that the program is moved toward the desired results. Include a timeline.
  • Include a discussion about who will be served and how they will be chosen
  • Write this section as though the reader knows nothing about your nonprofit or the program you're proposing. This is not "dumbing" it down, but making it crystal clear.

Once the methods section has been written, look at it again and ask these questions:

  • Do the methods derive logically from the need statement and your goals and objectives?
  • Have you accurately presented the program activities you will be undertaking?
  • Did you explain why you chose these particular methods or activities?
  • Is there a timeline that makes sense?
  • Have you made it clear who will perform specific activities?
  • Given the resources you expect to have, are these activities feasible?

Once you have provided a comprehensive, clear, and effective methods component for your grant proposal, you should move on to the evaluation component.

Page 2 - Sample of Methods Component

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