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I am happy to see you made it this far. Excellent. You are definitely making progress. You are more than half of the way through this course. Before long, you will have completed your first government grant proposal and will be ready to submit it to the funder (or funders) you have chosen.

In this lesson, I will speak about the project summary, which is sometimes called the executive summary or project abstract. They all mean the same thing. For the sake of this lesson, I will refer to it as the executive summary.

The first page of the proposal, after the cover letter and table of contents, is the executive summary. In essence, it should be an abstract or synopsis of the proposal and, therefore, should be written after you have completed the entire proposal. The executive summary contains the pertinent information about the organization, the proposal, and funds to be requested. The executive summary should be no more than two pages in length and should present the major facts of your proposal. Think of the executive summary as a snapshot of the entire proposal package. As stated above, it summarizes all key information and acts as a sales document. It should be written in a way that is compelling enough to convince the funder that the project should be taken into consideration and, therefore, to read the remainder of the proposal.

You must include the following in your executive summary:

  • The problem: Provide a brief statement of the problem or need the grant funds will be used to address. This should be done in no more than two paragraphs.
  • The solution: Provide a short description of the project, including the activities that will be conducted, who will benefit when the program is implemented and how they will benefit. (As you learned in Lesson 5, “How to Write the Project Description,” the benefits should be expressed in terms that are measurable.) Also include how and where the program will operate, for how long, and who will be responsible for managing the program. This content should also be expressed in no more than two paragraphs.
  • The funding requirements: Â State the amount of grant money you are requesting, along with a summary of how the money will be used. Additionally, state how you will fund your program in the future, once the grant money has been expended. This content should be stated in no more than one paragraph.
  • Experience of organization: Provide a brief history of your organization, including when it was established, its mission and objectives and how your organization is qualified to successfully conduct the proposed activities. This content should also be stated in no more than one paragraph.

Some grant-makers will establish a maximum length for the executive summary. If so, you might need to adjust the length of the above components accordingly. If such limits are imposed, they will be stated in the RFP.

Writing the executive summary is easy once you have completed the proposal in its entirety and, therefore, have all of the needed information in front of you. Be sure, however, to follow the guidelines presented above, which are designed to help you summarize the proposal’s key elements. If you need additional help, there is a sample executive summary in the appendix for you to evaluate and use as a guide.

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Assignment

For this assignment you will do the following exercise:

  1. Take everything you have learned so far and prepare an executive summary. For this first draft, don’t worry whether it is right or well-written – just do it; your main objective is to practice creating it. Once you have finished, go to the sample executive summary in the appendix, compare what you have written with the sample, and make any adjustments and edits necessary.

Test

Read over the following questions and provide the best answer possible.

  1. The executive summary is also called the project summary.
    1. True
    2. False
  2. The first page after the cover letter and table of contents is the executive summary.
    1. True
    2. False
  3. The executive summary contains the pertinent information about the organization, the proposal, and what else?
    1. The funds to be requested.
    2. The name and address of the organization requesting the funding
    3. Personal information about the leader of the organization
    4. None of the above
  4. The executive summary is only a few pages in length.
    1. True
    2. False
  5. The executive summary presents the major facts of your proposal.
    1. True
    2. False
  6. The executive summary can be referred to as a snapshot of the entire proposal package?
    1. True
    2. False
  7. The executive summary contains the problem, solution, funding requirements, and what else?
    1. The experience of the organization
    2. The experience of the funder
    3. Details about how the funder will transmit the money
    4. None of the above

 

Lesson 8 >

Want to Go to College?
$3 Billion in Pell Grants are Unclaimed Every Year by Eligible Students

Grant Funding and Assistance
Billions of dollars are now easily available to many Americans