by Lisa Cirincione, JVA Consulting

To fund community and social change, many of us write grant proposals for our organizations. I personally have written hundreds of grant proposals for JVA Consulting’s nonprofit, government and foundation clients. Over the years, I’ve learned that there are three critical questions that need to be asked and answered for each and every proposal. 

  • The first question I ask is “Why should anyone care about the project you are proposing?” The answer will shed some light on the need for the project and the depth of passion and commitment that we’ll be able to demonstrate in the proposal.
  • The next question I ask is “Why is your organization the right one to take on this project?” The answer provides critical insight into the organization’s capacity to implement the proposed project, as well as how to differentiate my client from other organizations that may be applying.
  • The last question I ask is “Why do you think your approach will be effective?” The answer will clarify how well aligned your project is with best practices.

Together, the answers to these questions will help you differentiate your proposal from your competition and will answer the funder’s ultimate question: Why should we fund this proposal?


Join senior grantwriter Lisa at JVA on Thursday October 16 to learn How to Write an Amazing Needs Statement. How good is Lisa at needs statements? Well, one of her clients was just awarded a $ 3 million grant.