Project, Person, and Place:

The Three P’s of a Competitive Grant Proposal

Jesse DeSimone | September 21, 2022

Funding agencies and foundations may receive hundreds, or even thousands, of proposals for a single grant opportunity. When crafting your proposal, it is important to consider the strategic objectives that are essential to the fulfillment of the funder’s overarching missions and priorities. 


While innovation and advancement in health, infrastructure, energy, and prosperity lie at the core of many grant proposals, other criteria critical to advancing the funder’s missions are often overlooked. Agencies and foundations are looking to fund the top projects that best represent their long-term missions, performed by the most qualified teams, in the most appropriate physical setting. Those who best convey all three of these critical attributes will be most competitive for funding success.



  • Demonstrate that your proposed project is innovative, feasible, and will contribute to the advancement of the funder’s missions and priorities.
  • Ensure that your proposal is responsive to all grant objectives and review criteria.
  • Effectively justify the proposed financial investment.



  • Convince the reviewers that you, your immediate team, and collaborators are the most qualified for this work.
  • Make a strong case that your level of expertise will better ensure the overall success of the project and the advancement of the funder’s missions.



  • Make a strong argument that your company or institution is the ideal site to carry out the proposed work.
  • Effectively describe the resources available to your site and the advantages of your community setting.
  • Convince the reviewers that the project has the highest probability of success at your site versus others.