Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Grant Seeking: Needs Statement

Grant Proposal Development for Libraries

The information in this tab is summarized with permission from a four week online course, Grant Proposal Development for Libraries, taught by Grace Agnew, Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives, Associate University Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries, June 4-29, 2018.

Create a needs statement.

Data in the form of raw numbers, percentages, and ratios give strength to a needs statement.

Specifically, data can be used to answer critical needs statement questions such as:

  • Who is in need?
  • Where are they?
  • When is the need evident?
  • What is the need?
  • Why does this need occur?
  • What are the consequences of meeting the need?
  • How is the need linked to your organization?

Advice from a grant reviewer

Dr. Grace Agnew has reviewed grants for the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. She has also served as a site visitor and consultant to the National Science Foundation since the late 1990s.

Dr. Agnew offers these specific suggestions for a needs statement. They are the omissions that raise big red flags for her in a proposal. 

  • Statistics should preferably be within the most recent two years, and never older than five, unless you are demonstrating a longitudinal need.
  • Always cite the sources of your statistics.
  • Do not make assertions unsupported by cited statistics.