Let's Write a Grant Proposal!
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize that volunteering requires freedom of choice.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
    3. Standard DP 05. Role of Foundations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name at least one grant-making foundation.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify why private resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe a project budget.
      3. Benchmark E.3 Describe a service plan.

Students write a grant proposal to the Youth Advisory Committee of a Community Foundation to support a local youth initiative.

PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods (Plus more time for writing grant proposal, presenting, and carrying out the plan)

The learner will:

  • locate a grantmaking foundation.
  • choose a youth-centered project to carry out.
  • carry out his or her responsibilities for planning and writing the proposal.
  • submit a grant proposal to fund the chosen project.
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Copies of Attachment One: Community Foundation Research
Home Connection: 

None for this lesson.

  1. Anticipatory Set: Write Y.A.C. on the chalkboard. Tell the students that this is not a large hairy ox that lives in Asia (yak). Y.A.C. is an acronym for Youth Advisory Committee, which is a group of students that are making decisions about money spent for youth in the community. Organizations or individuals may apply to this group for money for charitable projects. The Youth Advisory Committee is made up of young people who read all the grant proposals and decide which ones are best. Then, they make recommendations to the community foundation who grants the money. Someday your students may have the opportunity to serve on this committee in their community. Tell the students that they may ask this group for money for a project today. If they are interested in doing this, they will need to think of a project that helps youth in the community.

    Day One:

  2. Give students time to browse the Internet to read about Youth in Philanthropy. The following Website has a lot of information and several links that are very informative: https://www.michiganfoundations.org/youth/

  3. Show the students how to find the name of a locally based foundation. On the Internet, go to The Foundation Center Website at http://foundationcenter.org/. Click on the header “Community Foundations.” To find the name of a community foundation near you, find your state and check the list for your community or the name of a nearby community. Use this link to access the Website of the nearest community foundation. Alternatively, select “Search Zone” from the side bar. Uncheck all the boxes except “Community Foundations” and type in the name of your community foundation. There will be many links to specific references to the local community foundation.

  4. Distribute Attachment One: Foundation Research. Students complete the worksheet as they explore the Website of the local foundation. If there isn’t specific information about Y.A.C.s, contact the foundation to ask about it.

  5. Day Two:

  6. The goal today is to choose a youth-centered project for which the students will write a grant proposal and start planning the project.

  7. Brainstorm a list of project ideas. Encourage the students to think of areas where they are experts from previous units of study. Challenge them to think of needs of young people in their school or larger community. Are the students experts in bike safety, a sport, writing, art, music or problem solving? Could they set up a class, camp or club where they share knowledge? Could they work as a team with a specific focus? Does the project align with the information gathered about projects that are funded by the community foundation researched?

  8. When they have brainstormed a significant list, guide the students in selecting one project.

  9. Students can work in teams to plan and prepare for different aspects of the grant proposal. Divide the class into teams and assign the teams questions or jobs. The students should help develop the list of steps required, but some suggestions are listed below. The teacher should act as a facilitator in the process, keeping the students focused and providing resources.

  10. Assign some of the following questions to groups: What is the goal of the project? What supplies do you need money for? How much do they cost? What are the steps involved in the project? How many people can we serve?

  11. Assign the following jobs to groups: Contact the Y.A.C. to get requirements, suggestions and timelines. Create a budget with exact costs. Get an application for the grant. Write the grant proposal. Edit the final proposal. Take pictures.

  12. Follow the individual guidelines for the grant proposal the students submit and use the writing process and appropriate writing mechanics. Help the students look at their work objectively and analyze models of other grants so they can improve variables to influence their audience.

  13. Submit the finished proposal.


Monitor students’ Internet research and evaluate their notes (Lesson Three, Attachment One: Community Foundation Research). Assess students’ problem-solving, group-cooperation and writing skills, and adjust instruction accordingly.