Resource Guide: Proposal Writing – The Foundation Center

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Geever, Jane C. The Foundation Center’s Guide to Proposal Writing (5th ed.). New York, NY: Foundation Center, 2007.
Guides the grant writer from pre-proposal planning to post-grant follow-up, using excerpts from actual grant proposals and insight from foundation and corporate grantmakers to illustrate key points. Also includes guidance on research, contacting and cultivating potential funders, as well as a complete sample proposal. Call Number: 770 GEE PRO

Margolin, Judith B. and Elan K. DiMalo (eds.). The Grantseeker’s Guide to Winning Proposals. New York, NY: Foundation Center, 2008.
Includes 35 proposals for various types of support and program areas to different types of funders, including community foundations, corporate givers, independent foundations, and grantmaking public charities. Each proposal, reprinted in its entirety, includes an analysis by the decision-maker who approved the grant.  Call Number: 780 FC WIN 2008

Clarke, Cheryl A., and Susan P. Fox. Grant Proposal Makeover: Transform Your Request from No to Yes. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2007.
The authors provide advice on the finer points of proposal writing, using negative examples to showcase common mistakes and corrected samples to demonstrate proper techniques. Includes a complete sample proposal and guidance on drafting memoranda of understanding for collaborative projects.  Call Number: 770 CLA FOX

Karsh, Ellen, and Arlen Sue Fox. The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need: Top Grant Writers and Grant Givers Share Their Secrets (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books. 2009.
Based on the authors’ first-hand experience and a series of in-depth interviews conducted with foundation staff, this book covers each step of the proposal writing process from preliminary information gathering to follow-up after submission. Call Number: 770 KAR 2009

Carlson, IVIim, and Tori O’Neal-McEirath. Winning Grants Step by Step (3rd ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2008.
This guidebook provides a step by step overview of the process of developing proposals for foundation or corporate funding. Each chapter covers a specific component of a standard proposal and includes worksheets for help in drafting each section of the proposal package.  Call Number: 770 CAR

Sample Proposals

Sample Documents I
A searchable collection of proposals, cover letters, letters of inquiry and proposal budgets from the Foundation Center’s Grantseeker’s Guide to Winning Proposals.

Grant Writing Tools for Non-Profit Organizations I Non-Profit Guides
This site provides a detailed outline of a grant proposal and examples of private and public (government) funding proposals, a letter of inquiry, cover letter and budget.

Foundation Center Training

See a full listing of our free and fee-based training programs at:

Proposal Writing Basics
Learn the key components of a proposal seeking funding from a foundation. Also available in Spanish. Classroom / Webinar / Self-Paced eLearning  | 1 1/2 hours | Free

Proposal Budgeting Basics
Learn to prepare and present a budget in a grant proposal. Also available in Spanish. Classroom / Webinar / Self-Paced eLearning | 1 hour | Free

Proposal Writing Seminar
Learn to craft a comprehensive, compelling proposal package step-by-step. You’ll hear what grantmakers have to say about proposals and gain valuable insight into the review process.
Classroom  | 1 day  | $195

Proposal Budgeting Workshop
Using real-world case studies, this course teaches you to build a budget, step-by-step, and present a complete picture of your financial needs.
Classroom | 1 day  | $195

Proposal Writing: The Comprehensive Course
This self-paced, online course provides a step-by-step guide to preparing an effective proposal for foundation support. Includes ten detailed sections, case studies, interactive exercises and four exams.
Self-Paced elearning  | 1-year access  | $189.95