A grant is a sum of money given to an individual or an agency by another agency or individual, to deal with a problem or need in the community. Grant proposals are used by individuals or community organization (not-for-profit) willing to implement community programs, to seek funds from various organizations. One of the attributes of grant proposal is that it acts as the facilitating document between the fund source and the implementing agency. The implementing agency indicates all the goals, objectives, activities, and resources required for implementation of a community program. It then sends the proposal to the funding agency, and seeks financial aid to support implementation of the proposed program. Based on either luck or connection, the implementing agency is then provided with the financial aid.
The main function of a grant proposal is to seek financial aid from a fund source. Whenever a community-based agency identifies a problem/need in the society, it seeks financial aid to help deal with the problem or satisfy the identified need. Grants are only given to new programs. This implies that old/existing programs are never given financial aid through grants. The purpose of a grant proposal is to describe clearly, the rationale of the proposed program. That is; the need gap (difference between the current situation and the desired/ideal situation), its aims/goals/objectives, targeted population, and economic/social implications of the program to the targeted population. This helps the funding source to evaluate if the proposed program is of any economic/social significance to the targeted population and the society.
Development of a grant proposal relies heavily on program planning. A grant proposal starts as a program plan, where the agency in need of financial aid develops a plan of activities, resources, and time line of the proposed program. The plan helps to present the proposed program in a logical and argumentative manner. Besides, a grant proposal is a product of program planning, thus making program planning an important input for development of a grant proposal.