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Proposal Writing

Proposal Writing
Effective Grantsmanship for Funding

Fifth Edition

September 2016 | 152 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The updated Fifth Edition of the best-selling Proposal Writing: Effective Grantsmanship for Funding offers a fresh, robust presentation of the basics of program design and proposal writing for community services funding. Authors Soraya M. Coley and Cynthia A. Scheinberg help readers develop the knowledge they need to understand community agencies, identify and describe community needs, identify funding sources, develop a viable program evaluation, prepare a simple line-item budget, and write a compelling need statement. The jargon-free, step-by-step presentation makes the book as useful to students in the university classroom as to first-time grant writers in the nonprofit setting. 
Chapter 1: An Orientation to Proposal Writing
A Book for the Beginning Grant Writer

A Brief History of Giving and Philanthropy

Differences Between Grants and Contracts

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Chapter 2: Understanding the Nonprofit Agency
About the Nonprofit

Mission-Driven Analysis of the Agency/Organization

Organizational Capacity

Chapter 3: Finding and Applying for Funding
Finding Funding

The Federal Government

The State and Local Government

The Foundations and Corporations

Crowdsourced Funding

Search and Review

Chapter 4: The Proposal Overview
The Components of a Proposal

Proposal Submission and Scoring Process

Chapter 5: Logistics and Basics of Writing the Proposal
The Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Proposal

Writing for an Established Versus New Organization

Writing a Proposal for a Collaborative

Writing Style and Format

Using Audio/Visual Media

Chapter 6: Design the Program
Understand the Community Through Data

Formulating Program Ideas

Chapter 7: Program Objectives and Evaluation

Four Steps to Preparing the Objectives and Evaluation Plan

A Logic Model

Writing the Evaluation Section

Ethical Considerations

Chapter 8: Writing the Need or Problem Statement
The Aim of the Need/Problem Statement

A Guide to Writing the Need Statement

Theory of Change

Chapter 9: Program Description
Implementation Plan

The Project Narrative

Project Timeline

Scope of Work Forms

Chapter 10: Creating the Budget and Budget Justification
The Budget Context

Preparation of a Line-Item Budget

Other Types of Budgets

Other Budgeting Issues

Chapter 11: Other Proposal Components and Finishing Touches
Project Abstract

Agency Capability Statement

Letters of Support

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Finishing Touches

Appendix A: Estimating Time
Appendix B: Funding Resource Information
Appendix C: Proposal Sections
Appendix D: Additional Information
References and Suggested Readings
About the Authors


Student Study Site

Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course!
Our Student Study Site at is completely open-access and offers a wide range of additional features!


The open-access Student Study Site includes the following helpful resources:

  • A Needs Assessment Narrative
  • Budget Justification
  • Budget Template
  • Contract Budget Revision Sample
  • Foundation Proposal Sample
  • Geta Grant Revision of Drug Contract Numbers
  • Job Description, Director of Clinical Services
  • Memorandum of Understanding Sample
  • One-time Funding Request to County
  • Organizational Chart Sample
  • Sample Job Description
  • Short Unsolicited Proposal to Local Bank

“Clear, concise, and carefully focused, Proposal Writing, Fifth Edition is an excellent choice for students and entry-level professionals who need to learn the elements of developing, writing, and budgeting for effective proposals.”

Brian Nerney
Metropolitan State University

“This new edition is an excellent value-added practical guide for novice as well as experienced grant writers and students who aspire to be program designers.” 

Richard J. Mushi
Mississippi Valley State University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 6

Soraya M. Coley

Soraya M. Coley is president of Cal Poly Pomona University. Prior to that, she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Bakersfield, and at Alliant International University, as well as dean of the College of Human Development and Community Service at California State University, Fullerton. She has nearly 30 years of higher education experience and has worked with nonprofits, community-based and civic organizations on program design, evaluation, and grant writing. More About Author

Cynthia A. Scheinberg

Cynthia A. Scheinberg is a psychologist (inactive) with 23 years of senior administrative leadership in the nonprofit sector. She has successfully designed, written, obtained, and implemented federal, state, foundation, and local government funding. In addition, she taught program design and proposal writing for 18 years at California State University, Fullerton in the Human Services Department. Now happily retired, she consults on program design, grant writing and compliance issues, and in her free time, enjoys grandchildren and playing clarinet in two community bands. More About Author

For instructors

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781483376431