How to Write an Organizational Background

by Chase Sackett

A well-written organizational background section can help propel your grant application to success. On the other hand, an ineffective organizational background section can deter funding groups from giving your application full consideration. An effective organizational background statement should be concise while painting a compelling picture of your organization, its history and its mission. It sets the stage for the rest of your grant application by drawing a clear connection between your organization's mission and experience to the funding your organization seeks.

Write in the beginning of the organizational background section a description of the mission of your organization in one or two sentences. Identify your organization's constituents and services. Include your organization's long-term goals, as well as what achieving these goals makes possible on a larger scale.

Explain the history of your organization and how it took to reach its current design. An exhaustive history is not necessary; a brief paragraph of five to seven sentences will suffice. Identify the major points of change or expansion, include key people and relationships, as well as specific metrics that can give the reader an idea of your organization's performance.

Detail the programs that your organization operates in a short, bullet point list. Show how your organization achieves its mission on a day-to-day basis. Provide your organization's specific benchmarks and accomplishments when possible.

Tie together your organization and the funding you're seeking in a final paragraph. Point to any programs that highlight experience related to the kind of project that the prospective funding would support. Show a funding organization how its financial support will promote your organization's mission and benefit the community.

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About the Author

Chase Sackett has been writing since 2003. With a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, his work has been published in the "Cincinnati Enquirer" and "Student Life," the Washington University student newspaper. Sackett has professional experience in nonprofit management and human resources.

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