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This post is one of a series about what goes into proposals that win grants. Its topic is tables of contents. Its context is the United States of America.

 

Grant makers often require a table of contents for longer proposals. Its visual appeal, structure, and coverage – as well as its completeness and its compliance with instructions – can suggest a great deal about an organization as a potential grant recipient.

 

Tips

 

Look at the proposal’s headlines, headers, and sub-headers as a possible starting point for the table of contents. Use the table of contents to make a strong and positive early impression on the proposal reviewers.

 

In preparing a table of contents when one is required:

  1. Use the request for proposals (RFP) as an outline and guide
  2. Use the grant maker’s specific order of parts and sections
  3. Use the grant maker’s specific names for parts and sections
  4. Present a separate line entry for each part and section
  5. Break up the proposal narrative into multiple indented subheadings
  6. Present a separate line entry for each budget year’s form and narrative
  7. Present a separate line entry for each item attached in an appendix
  8. List all forms included in the proposal

 

The proposal’s table of contents is an early opportunity to convince a grant maker of an organization’s worthiness for funding. Reviewers may refer to it often. Applicants need to be sure that it is clear, accurate, and easy to use.

 

 

 

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