Statement of Problem


Before your proposal can be funded, you must first define clearly the problem that your proposal addresses. With your "Statement of Problem" you will describe "a critical condition, set of conditions, or a social need affecting certain people or things in a specific place at a specific time," to quote Writing Grants Step by Step (31).

It’s important to remember that you are not yet describing what you propose to do about the problem. Rather, you are setting out to accurately and persuasively describe the problem in a way that will make a funding organization believe that something needs to be done. Before funders will agree to accept your proposal, they must first accept as true your description of the problem. Furthermore, they must accept that this is an urgent problem, that it needs to be addressed now.


To document the existence and scope of the problem, find relevant supporting information from sources like the ones listed under "A few links for community / need / problem research" on the "Links" page of the course website: http://upstateenglish.org/371/371-links.html

Your research, as much as possible, should focus on the community your organization serves, not just on problems as they exist in the United States.

As Writing Grants Step by Step advises (33-34), you should

Samples of Problem Statements

Download and read these sample Problem Statements:

Evaluation criteria for Problem Statement

Adapted from chapter 3 of WGSBS