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Looking for Examples of Award-Winning Grant Proposals? We Can Help!

Looking at examples of well-written, award-winning grant proposals, letters of inquiry, budgets, evaluation plans, and other related documents can be extremely helpful – and even inspirational – for beginners and pros alike. But, where do you find those examples without having to invest money in books or other resources? We are highlighting seven free resources you can go to right now to get you started.If you’ve ever heard me speak about grant writing, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard me say – more than once – to get your hands on, and read, as many award-winning grant proposals as you can. You gain an incredible amount of information reading other writers’ proposals! You see, firsthand, what really works on paper. And the best part is that you can take some of the ideas you like the best and incorporate them into your own proposals!

Several of our readers and recent webinar attendees have asked for sample sections of grant proposals—or even full proposals—to review. So in today’s blog, we’re providing information about where you can go to read examples of award-winning grant proposals, letters of inquiry, project budgets, evaluation plans, and other grant related documents.

We know that, for those of you who have never written a grant proposal before, it can be more than a little intimidating. Reading our blogs, sitting in on grant writing webinars, attending live grant writing events, and completing our School Grants Made Easy course (available this Fall!) can definitely put you on the path to funding success!

But even with technical knowledge on how to write a grant, and even if you’ve written grant proposals before, you may still find yourself sitting at your desk, staring at a blank computer screen with nothing on it but a blinking cursor.

That infamous writer’s block!

What do you do? Where do you start?

Looking at examples of well-written, award-winning grant proposals, letters of inquiry, budgets, evaluation plans, and other related documents can be extremely helpful – and even inspirational – for beginners and pros alike. But, where do you find those examples without having to invest money in books or other resources? We are highlighting seven free resources you can go to right now to get you started.

  1. Your school

We sometimes forget to look right under our noses! You can always ask the staff at your school if you’re a teacher—or at your child’s school if you’re a Grantmama—if they could share any winning proposals with you. Existing grants already written for your school can be extremely helpful, especially for gaining organizational and historical information about the school.

  1. Professor Google

As we’re all aware, the Internet is a gold mine of information—in fact it sometimes puts us on “information overload!” But it’s a wonderful place to find examples. Just begin searching using keywords and key phrases like:

  • Grant proposals
  • Grant funding for schools
  • Corporate foundation funding for schools
  • Foundation funding for schools

Just be prepared. You can seriously spend hours and hours looking at all the grant funding opportunities available for your classroom or school!

  1. Grantspace

One really outstanding source for proposal examples is Grantspace, a service of the Foundation Center. Grantspace’s Sample Documents section is a searchable collection of funded proposals, cover letters, letters of inquiry, and proposal budgets. You’ll find links to the top 15 documents on this Sample Documents page. You may also narrow your search for education-related documents. Just type “education” into the box under “Find Sample Documents.” Then click on “Go” and wait for the results!

When the next page opens, on the left-hand side you can narrow your search by types of education grants. It not only gives you samples you can download, but it also features comments from foundation officers that point to specific strengths in the proposals.

Grantspace is an excellent source of of information, and you can dig as deep as you wish. There’s even a comprehensive Proposal Writing page with great information under the Skills tab on the homepage. The more time you spend on this website, the more you’ll learn!

  1. The Anchorage School District (ASD) Grants Office

The Anchorage School District has several examples of award-winning education proposals that have been written by the district’s teachers and staff. They list the proposal samples by the “Newest Grant Proposal Samples” and “Older Grant Proposal Samples.” This district is highly active in submitting grant proposals. Since 1989, the ASD has won more than $128M in competitive grants! It’s worth your time to bounce around their site. You’ll find information about finding funders, a tutorial titled “Grants 101 for Teachers,” a grants flowchart that explains their steps involved in submitting and administering a grant, and much more.

  1. Non-profit guides

Another source of proposal, cover letter, and budget examples is Non-profit guides. This source is not as extensive as, but it does provide examples of a private Request for Proposals (RFP) and proposal, as well as a public (i.e., government) RFP and proposal. It also offers links to other grant writing resources, including potential foundations.

  1. Scholastic

If you’re looking for a full sample grant proposal whose purpose was to fund schools to implement technology programs to benefit English Language Learners and their parents, you’ll be interested in Scholastic. The full proposal is provided, as well as an explanation of the approach the writer took in developing the proposal.

  1. Kurzweil Educational Systems

Provided on the website of Kurzweil Educational Systems is a sample grant proposal pertaining to a program to improve reading performance for at-risk students. Included in their sample are a sample cover letter, sample cover page, sample grant proposal, and sample letter format grant proposal for foundations.

These sources and examples of award-winning proposals and other related documents provide a starting point for you to begin reviewing what other grant writers have written. Learn from them. Take ideas from them. But be sure not to plagiarize. Using your own words and phrasing to express the needs of your school and explain your proposed project will be far more compelling and convincing to proposal readers!

Have you found other resources that have grant proposals and related information that your friends and grant writing colleagues would find helpful? Please share them below.

  1. Dear Toni,
    I just retired as head of school and started as the part-time (ha!) Director of Development. Never done this before but my school really needs it. I have really benefitted from your webinars as I embark on this new journey.
    Thanks very much for your expertise, professionalism and generosity!


    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Pat. I’m so pleased you’ve benefitted from the information presented during the webinars! Thanks for letting me know. Knowing we’re providing information that truly “moves the needle” for our audience is why we do what we do! I wish you the very best as you begin your journey in your new position. If we can assist you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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