Current Programs and Activities – Writing Grant Proposals

Current Programs and Activities Section Components

When writing the current programs and activities section, grant writers should highlight organizational strengths while concentrating on information that is relevant to the proposal and corporate mission. This section should highlight any programs and activities that are currently funded by grants and indicate who is funding those projects and note the level of monetary support.

Funders are interested in learning if the applicant’s current programs and activities have shown growth since their inception and if the number of served constituents is clear. Application evaluators may view program stagnation and negative growth as potential problems.

 

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Grantors also want to know if the organization demonstrates a willingness to partner with local, regional or state agencies to provide coordinated programs and shared activities. Organizations can illustrate this by using programs designed after successful national models.

While it is important to list relevant activities, it is also crucial to avoid including irrelevant and unsuccessful programs. Inactive programs and those that have received negative news coverage should also be left out. Services that duplicate the activities of other organizations within the target communities can also have a negative effect on a proposal and should either be left out or discussed in a downplayed and concise manner.

How Funders Evaluate Current Programs and Activities

Funders are extremely interested in an applicant’s current programs and activities because they reveal target populations and indicate the organization’s ability to focus on projects that are relevant to the company’s mission. Evaluators are more likely to continue reading the proposal if the applicant actively pursues its stated interests and serves the same constituent group that is of particular interest to the funder.

Long-running programs signify stability, so grantors want to know how many activities have been in operation for more than one year. Funders are hesitant to grant money to organizations that start programs and suspend them when the original funding source stops or interest declines. Associated with stability is organizational capacity. Programs that are not running smoothly may raise questions about the organization’s ability to properly staff and manage projects.

Grantors are also looking for the applicant’s ability to maintain and improve existing programs. Specifically, funders are looking for the organization’s up-to-date documentation about creating, maintaining and improving its programs.

Funders do not want to see applicants starting new programs and suddenly stopping operations after a relatively short period of time. This indicates the organization is unable to sustain grant-funded programs.

Where to Find Information About Current Programs and Activities

Information about the applicant organization’s current programs and activities can be found through numerous sources, including:

  • Annual Reports
  • Most recent strategic plans
  • Most current organizational brochures
  • recently submitted grant proposals
  • Past year’s press releases
  • Fact sheets on programs
  • Talk to program managers
  • Evaluation reports for current programs

After reading the current programs and activities section, the grant proposal evaluator should possess thorough knowledge about the applicant organization’s ongoing pursuits and believe the company can implement the same processes to successfully execute the proposed project.