Describing the Methodology in Your Grant Proposal
After reviewing the goals, objectives, and outcomes in a grant proposal last week, this week we take a more detailed look at the methods section. This is where you describe what you intend to do to realize your stated goals and reach anticipated outcomes.
The primary purpose of the methods section is to describe your “How.” How are you going to get your grant implemented and how are you using the funds? Carefully consider which method or combination of methods is most effective to reach your goals. In order to do this, you need to contemplate the following:
Find What Works
Which method works well? How does your methodology and approach match with your problem or need? This is a question you should consider right from the beginning when you are developing your needs statement, but it is a good idea to go back to the statement and make sure the method works effortlessly to solve the problem.
Is it also a good match for the target audience? Sometimes, you might come up with an approach that can solve your problem and has been applied successfully in other circumstances, is cost-effective, and easy to implement, but it does not respond to your target audience’s needs.
Is the method cost-effective? You want to show your funder that you are not simply using your grant money arbitrarily, but that you are trying to make the most out of the funds. Cost-effectiveness can be presented in your budget, but the methodology section enables you to describe it in detail.
Tried and Tested
Has this method been tested? This question is twofold because there are two options: if the method has already been applied successfully before, it is tried and tested and you know what you can expect. If your school or school district has already implemented the method to solve problems, you have proof that it works well. In contrast, if you know of methods that have not previously been successful, you might want to avoid those and devise a new approach.
Once you have contemplated these factors and decided on a method, it is time to elaborate and connect it to other parts of your proposal, such as linking the cost of your method into the budget.
Include research (if available) on the overall effectiveness of your approach. This includes mentioning whether your school or district has used this particular method before and whether it was successful. You can even include a brief description of the project the method was already used in and how it worked out. Remember that the foundation receiving your proposal does not know much (if anything) about your organization. The more your method has been successfully tested, the better.
Always tie your methods back into your goals and objectives and how it aids different aspects of each. This means describing any activities you are planning and how you are carrying them out.
Last but not least, find a way to best integrate your method into your proposal. It does not have to be a separate section; you might just include it in your objectives section as a bullet list.