How to Write a Strong Program Narrative?


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Bria Bailey with the Minority Business Development Agency discusses how to write a strong program narrative to include in your grant applications. A successful grant proposal is one that is well prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged.

  • First, it’s important to get to know MBDA and understand our values and mission. We want our partners to be as committed to the program as we are. You can access supplemental information on both the program and MBDA by visiting our website at

  • Second, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the application requirements.  Make sure you thoroughly read the Federal Funding Opportunity, or FFO, so you have a good idea what information you need to include in the narrative. The information you provide in the narrative section, along with the separate budget narrative, is the meat of the application and will play a big role in how your application is scored by the review team.

  • Third, make sure you have all of the information you will need to complete the sections handy so that you can easily plug and play to answer the questions in the narrative. The length of the narrative is not as important as succinctly answering the questions and providing examples pertaining to each question. Including the right information that demonstrates a full understanding of the program, and the value your organization would bring to the program, is the smart way to go. For example, if you are asked how long your organization has been in business, don’t simply state the year. Take the next step and include the date the organization was formed, background on the business – why it was established – and describe your business objectives and how they align with the values and mission of MBDA. Provide as much detail as possible when answering specific questions.

  • Finally, review your narratives before submitting the application.  Make sure you haven’t left anything out and that you have demonstrated your ability to meet the work requirements, performance goals and objectives stated in the FFO.

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Last updated: 04/19/2017 - 4:11pm