How to Write Project Titles for Grants

The project title for a grant application is as important as the rest of the application. Not only does it determine the theme of the request, but most online applications use the title as the file name. This makes the title the first thing people read before opening the request.

However, it is not easy to write the perfect project title (for most of us, it’s not easy to write any title for any body of written work). To start, most online applications allow fewer than 50 characters for the project title (about 8 words or less).

To write a project title, the writer should focus on two things:

  • Alignment with the foundation’s priorities. If a foundation member sees the title as being something they might not fund, they may not read further.
  • Reflect what the grant request is about. A foundation member (like anyone) does not want to read a project title and see later that the request is about something different.

In addition, the title should not be a list of keywords. There should be an action verb uniting words explaining what the money will buy with the result of that action. Try to avoid generic words like “feeding the hungry” or “sheltering the homeless,” unless this is all the writer can come up with. Try to be more specific.

I’m not providing examples because all project titles are subjective. The best a writer can do is create one that is compelling and makes a statement that what follows is important.

The project title should be the best the writer can do. Afterall, there’s the rest of the application to be filled out.

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