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An Introduction provides a frame of reference and sets the context for a proposal. Its style should be engaging, clear, crisp, and concise. As a synopsis or summary it should:

  1. State the applicant’s size, composition, and location.
  2. Define characteristics of the applicant’s service population and its community context.
  3. Briefly outline the nature of the project or initiative.
  4. Explain the purpose of the project or initiative, what needs it targets, and whom it will benefit.
  5. State the expected benefits or outcomes.
  6. Discuss how the proposal fits with the grant maker’s funding interests.

In ordinary practice, a specific grant maker’s instructions may force the grant seeker’s Cover Letter or its Abstract to do the work of an Introduction.


Making Introductions:

In planning an Introduction for a proposal, several questions prove useful:

Organization: What is your organization’s full legal name? Where is it located? Who leads it? How is it managed? How many persons does it employ? How many persons does it serve? What is its annual operating budget?

Beneficiaries: Whom do you intend to serve? How do you intend to benefit them? What characteristics do your beneficiaries have? How do your beneficiaries compare to other populations?

Capability: What track record with similar grants does your organization have? What has it accomplished with past grants? What has it accomplished using its own funds? When was your organization started? What is its history (in brief)?

Results: What does the grant maker want to fund? How does your proposal fit those interests? Does your proposed solution fit the grant maker’s understanding of the problem? What results and impacts do you expect to deliver?


This post is one in a series about questions useful in planning competitive grant proposals.


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