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Common Grant Proposal Questions

This session was held as part of our Symposium for Inclusive Philanthropy on July 28-29, 2021


A discussion amongst experts about the most common grant proposal questions. Unfunded List reviews proposals submitted anywhere. Since our founding we have reviewed submissions to most of the major open calls in philanthropy. A grantmaker might ask their own unique set of questions but we have identified the 5 trickiest ones applicants are most likely to confront. These questions can be traps that disqualify instantly or they can be opportunities to make a compelling case.


Moderator: Ted Trevens, MBA Dynamic Solution Associates


Marquetta D. Finley, Xtraordinary Business Consulting LLC

Keesha Gibson, Gibson Consulting & Solutions LLC


Common Grant Proposal Questions:

1. What is the problem you are trying to solve?

2. What is your impact on the target population and how do you track it with metrics?

3. How are you different from other organizations tackling the same problem?

(aka “How are you innovative?”)

4. If awarded, how will you spend the funds?

5. How does the organization sustain itself? 

(the dreaded sustainability question)