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6 parts of a program description

by The NonProfit Times - April 16, 2013

One of the most important parts of any grant proposal is the program description. Without it, the funder will not know why they should agree to give you the money requested.

What goes in a program description? It’s a little more complicated than just what the project entails.

In his book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grant Writing,” Waddy Thompson explains that some funders specify the order in which they want you to present the information about your program. Whatever their specific instructions are, he stressed that you must include the following six items:

  • Purpose of the program. What will the project accomplish?
  • Why you are doing this project. Why is the program needed? Does any other organization have a similar program? How does your program fit with your charity’s mission?
  • How you will make it happen. Who will run the program? What staff will be involved, and how much time each person will devote to this project? Will you use consultants? Is it a combination of both? What will the roles of each be?
  • Who will benefit. How many people will the program serve, and who are they? Why is it important to serve these people?
  • How you will know that you have done well. What results do you expect from the program? What are its goals and objectives? How will you evaluate the program?
  • Summing it all up. Can you sum up the program into two or three sentences to leave the funder with a simple picture they can really remember?

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