Waddy Thompson, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grant Writing,” wrote that whereas the goal of a cover letter was to connect with the reader on a personal level, executive summaries present your proposal in a more formal manner. It also should highlight all of the reasons your organization deserves funding, rather than just the key reasons.
Thompson stressed that your executive summary should summarize your entire proposal. He wrote that you must include the following six items if your summary is to be successful:
- A one-sentence statement about the program for which you are applying and the grant amount you seek.
- Mention of any grant history with the funder.
- A highly condensed context paragraph pointing out your charity’s qualifications for carrying out this program.
- A one-paragraph description of the program, including its main activities, goals, who will run it, and anticipated beginning and end dates.
- A reference to the budget, noting areas of greatest expense to be covered by the grant and if any other funder has already committed to the program.
- A moving closing paragraph stating the difference the grant will make to your constituents and to the community.