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Proposal Writing

Proposal Writing
Effective Grantsmanship for Funding

Fifth Edition

September 2016 | 152 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The updated Fifth Edition of the best-selling Proposal Writing: Effective Grantsmanship for Funding offers a fresh, robust presentation of the basics of program design and proposal writing for community services funding. Authors Soraya M. Coley and Cynthia A. Scheinberg help readers develop the knowledge they need to understand community agencies, identify and describe community needs, identify funding sources, develop a viable program evaluation, prepare a simple line-item budget, and write a compelling need statement. The jargon-free, step-by-step presentation makes the book as useful to students in the university classroom as to first-time grant writers in the nonprofit setting. 

Chapter 1: An Orientation to Proposal Writing
A Book for the Beginning Grant Writer

A Brief History of Giving and Philanthropy

Differences Between Grants and Contracts

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Chapter 2: Understanding the Nonprofit Agency
About the Nonprofit

Mission-Driven Analysis of the Agency/Organization

Organizational Capacity

Chapter 3: Finding and Applying for Funding
Finding Funding

The Federal Government

The State and Local Government

The Foundations and Corporations

Crowdsourced Funding

Search and Review

Chapter 4: The Proposal Overview
The Components of a Proposal

Proposal Submission and Scoring Process

Chapter 5: Logistics and Basics of Writing the Proposal
The Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Proposal

Writing for an Established Versus New Organization

Writing a Proposal for a Collaborative

Writing Style and Format

Using Audio/Visual Media

Chapter 6: Design the Program
Understand the Community Through Data

Formulating Program Ideas

Chapter 7: Program Objectives and Evaluation

Four Steps to Preparing the Objectives and Evaluation Plan

A Logic Model

Writing the Evaluation Section

Ethical Considerations

Chapter 8: Writing the Need or Problem Statement
The Aim of the Need/Problem Statement

A Guide to Writing the Need Statement

Theory of Change

Chapter 9: Program Description
Implementation Plan

The Project Narrative

Project Timeline

Scope of Work Forms

Chapter 10: Creating the Budget and Budget Justification
The Budget Context

Preparation of a Line-Item Budget

Other Types of Budgets

Other Budgeting Issues

Chapter 11: Other Proposal Components and Finishing Touches
Project Abstract

Agency Capability Statement

Letters of Support

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Finishing Touches

Appendix A: Estimating Time
Appendix B: Funding Resource Information
Appendix C: Proposal Sections
Appendix D: Additional Information
References and Suggested Readings
About the Authors


Student Study Site

Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course!
Our Student Study Site at is completely open-access and offers a wide range of additional features!


The open-access Student Study Site includes the following helpful resources:

  • A Needs Assessment Narrative
  • Budget Justification
  • Budget Template
  • Contract Budget Revision Sample
  • Foundation Proposal Sample
  • Geta Grant Revision of Drug Contract Numbers
  • Job Description, Director of Clinical Services
  • Memorandum of Understanding Sample
  • One-time Funding Request to County
  • Organizational Chart Sample
  • Sample Job Description
  • Short Unsolicited Proposal to Local Bank

“Clear, concise, and carefully focused, Proposal Writing, Fifth Edition is an excellent choice for students and entry-level professionals who need to learn the elements of developing, writing, and budgeting for effective proposals.”

Brian Nerney
Metropolitan State University

“This new edition is an excellent value-added practical guide for novice as well as experienced grant writers and students who aspire to be program designers.” 

Richard J. Mushi
Mississippi Valley State University
Key features

  • Updated and reorganized content better aligns with the learning sequence of grant writing.
  • An improved presentation on the nonprofit agency shows readers how they are established, funded, and managed.
  • New and expanded information covers the how-to of locating and applying for funding in corporate, local government, state government, and federal government arenas.
  • A new chapter, “The Proposal Overview,” makes it easier to see the big picture of an application packet, complete with descriptions of each section.
  • A new mini crash course in program evaluation helps readers understand the impact an evaluation has on program design, as well as the benefits of measuring outcomes.
  • Expanded coverage of using technology in proposal writing includes new information on audio/visual components in proposals.
  • Additional examples have been added to help readers understand some of the more difficult concepts.
  • New appendices cover proposal sections and additional information such as determining percentage change in evaluation.

  • A jargon-free, step-by-step format makes the book highly accessible to readers new to the proposal-writing process.
  • Coverage of the field of grant writing includes the history of philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, funding sources and application processes, and the contents of a proposal, allowing users to view these foundational materials in separate chapters and as needed.
  • Numerous in-text examples and tables provide readers with more tangible samples of proposal language and style.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 6

For instructors

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