Here are some tips on how to write a successful grant proposal:
- Begin the proposal with a story or a statistic. Briefly describe some the problem, who's affected by this problem, and how they'll be helped once you solve it using the grant funds you're applying for.
- Describe a specific set of features you plan to work on, in a sequential list.
- For each feature/goal, describe it in human terms: How does it help people? Who does it allow to use the software who couldn't use it before? What's the impact?
- Explain how your efforts help to make the development sustainable. How will the grant money help you to attract new developers? Will you be more active reviewing other people's patches? Will you blog about your contributions?
- If your grant is rejected, contact the granting organization and ask them why! 99 times out of 100, you'll get a personal response telling you what you would have needed to do differently. So make that change and re-submit your grant proposal again for the next one!