If you are new to the grant writing game, terms can mean a whole lot of nothing in the beginning. Let us break down the common words used when writing a grant and what they mean:
"Budget": The total estimated cost of a program broken down by line item.
"Cost Sharing" or "Matching": Your skin in the game. $$$
"Impact": Fundamental changes in your target audience as a result of your project.
"Logic Model": I have A. If I add B + C, I will get D.
"LOI" or "Letter of Intent" or "Letter of Inquiry": Hi, Funder! I have a great idea for a program. Here is a high-level overview to see if you are interested in funding and/or if I should submit a full proposal and/or get feedback. (not to be confused with a proposal)
"Needs-Based Statement": What problem are you solving (backed by research in some cases)?
"Outcomes": short, medium and long term benchmarks achieved by target audience post-program
"Proposal": Your full soup to nuts presentation of your entire program written within the funder's requirements (font, size, page limits, sections....).
"R01": Research one government grants, mostly National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.
"Unsolicited Proposals": Don't call us, we'll call you...unless you can get to know us through one of our Board Members, then maybe.
These are some of the most common terms you will encounter as a new grant writer although there are others.
What other terms need decoding?
Shavonn Richardson is Founder of Think and Ink Grant Consulting™ www.thinkandinkgrants.com. She is a grant writer, nonprofit consultant, speaker and a member of the Grant Professionals Association.