Getting Started

Checklist for Grant Development

1. Identify your project

  • Develop a list of goals, priorities, budget resources, etc.
  • Consider external collaborators-networking potential. 

2. Research

  • Use online databases such as the Grant Resource Center, Grant Station, Foundation Center.
  • Request e-mail updates of grant solicitations from grant makers and funding sites.
  • Meet with the college's Grant Office to discuss potential funding sources.

3. Contact the Grant Office

  • Inquire about prior funding for similar goals
  • Discuss project ideas, goals, potential funding, proposal guidelines, and other requirements

4. Draft and submit the grant application

  • Develop a time frame for submitting the proposal
  • Collaborate with the Grant Office on proposal development

Questions to consider: What are your project goals, the activities or strategies that will help you achieve them? What are the desired outcomes? How will you evaluate or measure project success?

Proposal Template

  • Table of Contents: Section titles that identify on what pages information for all sections or information required by the funder will be found.
  • Abstract: A one page summary of the project to inform a reader of the project's goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. It may include information about primary contacts for the project.
  • Introduction: Generally a description of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, including its designation as the Premier Liberal Arts College in the MA System of Higher Education, Berkshire County location, mission, student enrollment, program offerings, notable leadership designations, etc.
  • Need Statement: Description of the institutional, programmatic and/or student data (qualitative and quantitative) that reflect the priorities, interests, or goals of the grant initiative and provide justification for the proposed program of activities.
  • Project Objectives: Measurable objectives are typically preferred, identifying the intended outcomes for the project and the problems you plan to solve. Objectives may also be process oriented.
  • Project Activities: A clear and concise narrative of what you plan to implement, frequently identifying the locus of organizational responsibility for carrying out proposed activities and an indication of what objectives will be accomplished.
  • Project Schedule: A timeline that describes the project activities, when they will be completed, and who is responsible for each task.
  • Project Evaluation: A description of the schedule process by which an internal or external evaluator will assess whether the project is on track for carrying out its activities and achieving its intended process or measurable objectives. Assessments might include qualitative and/or quantitative data and observations.
  • Dissemination of Project Outcomes and Recommendations: Description of the plan to share project outcomes with the funder and other interested constituents.
  • Bibliography: Citations of the source of data and information presented to support your proposal.
  • Budget Justification and Narrative: Frequently a spreadsheet, by prescribed budget categories, as well as a narrative that explains all aspects of the budget and justifications for stated expenses. Match budgets, when required, might include cash or in-kind expenses provided by the College to support the project. 
  • Attachments: Resumes, Letters of Support, or Collaboration.