grant writing program evidence

Back up your program’s approach with strong evidence

We’ve talked a lot about using evidence to establish the need or the problem your nonprofit is working to solve. It’s tantamount to set up a strong argument for why your nonprofit deserves a grant based on an extensive unmet need.


But most grants leave out the reasoning behind the chosen intervention, the expert evidence that backs up the program design based on that need. Without this crucial piece, the funder has no understanding of why your program is the best route. They can’t with confidence say that you’ll solve the problem, because you haven’t told them why your program will work.


You should use evidence like studies, statistics, and quotes from experts to explain why your chosen intervention  the program you’re advocating for  is an effective way to solve the problem. For example, if the problem is rampant childhood obesity, and your nonprofit offers after school exercise and nutrition classes, you absolutely must cite evidence as to why nutrition education and exercise instruction are effective in mitigating childhood obesity.


The more specific you can get, the better. If you can say that your entire program every aspect, from start to finish, down to the smallest detail is based on evidence that proves your approach works, you’ll be head and shoulders above your competition when it comes to grant funding.


If your program isn’t based on evidence or established best practices, consider measuring its effectiveness on your own. It’s always great to have a third party backing your chosen intervention, but in a pinch, your nonprofit’s own studies proving the program’s effectiveness will do.


Absent this, maybe it’s time you took a good look at your program, did some research, and changed a few things to fit the expert wisdom out there.


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