Developing Strong Need Statements

Developing Strong Need Statements

In every grant proposal, the writer must convey the importance and urgency of their target population’s needs, problems, and challenges with data and heart.

In this webinar, presenter Julie Assel, GPC starts at the surface and then takes a deep dive into effective strategies for conveying problems and needs in grant proposals. We talk about data sources; proposal-writing tones and formats for presenting data; appropriate uses of visuals to highlight data; the challenges of presenting data in online applications; and community needs assessments. Julie also talks about how to appeal to the heart of the grant review without providing a long, detailed, client story and the importance of the connection between the need section and the program and evaluation sections of your proposal.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why it is important to include data in your grant proposals
  • Specific places to go for data connected to topics, including poverty, hunger, homelessness, health, and more.
  • How to put convey your data into your online applications, considering unique challenges of online formats
  • The Dos and Don’ts of writing your needs statements


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This training aligns with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills and is approved for 1.5 Continuing Education Unit (CEU). Full participation in this training is also applicable for 1.5 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

GPC Competencies:

Competency 2: Knowledge of organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking

  • Skill 2.5. Identify methods of accessing and/or conducting mission-focused planning and needs assessments with applicant organizations

Competency 3: Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development

  • Skill 3.5. Identify appropriate definitions of and interrelationships among elements of project design
  • Skill 3.6. Identify design and development decisions used to create the program/project that are data-based

Competency 4: Knowledge of how to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application

  • Skill 4.4. Identify and cite accurate and appropriate data sources to support proposal narratives
  • Skill 4.5. Identify appropriate, sequential, consistent, and logical presentations of grant-narrative elements and ideas among or within proposal components
  • Skill 4.6. Identify proposal-writing approaches, styles, tones, and formats appropriate for proposing organizations and various audiences.
  • Skill 4.7. Identify appropriate and accurate uses of visuals to highlight information

Competency 9: Ability to write a convincing case for funding

  • Skill 9.1. Make a persuasive argument
  • Skill 9.2. Organize ideas appropriately
  • Skill 9.3. Convey ideas clearly

Target Audience:

Development Directors, Grant Writers, Program Managers, Executive Directors, Fundraising Coordinators, Grant Administrators, Grant Coordinators, Grant Proposal Managers, Program Coordinators, Program Directors, Program Managers, Project Managers

Level of Experience: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced

Length: 90 minutes

Presented By:  Julie Assel, GPC, President/CEO Assel Grant Services


Julie founded Assel Grant Services in 2007 and has over fifteen years of experience in grant writing, research, and management. She has written and reviewed numerous federal, foundation, corporation, and local grants focused on education, healthcare, STEM, mental health, substance abuse, homeless outreach, human services, and small business. She is a Grant Professional Association Approved Trainer, and currently serves as the President of the Grant Professionals Certification Institute’s board of directors. Julie has successfully secured over $144 million in grant funding over since 2003.