2Presenter:Judith Killen, PhD Proposal Development & Communication Services (m)
3Sponsored By The Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Towson University
4Topics Proposal Fundamentals Where’s the grant money: Funding snapshotCurrent grant environmentWhat is a grant proposal?Six characteristics of all winning proposalsWhy Proposals FailTen Steps to Developing & Writing “Winning” Proposals
5Workshop Goals“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing— that it was all started by a mouse.”Walt DisneyUnderstand key principles of competitive grant proposal writingKnow where & how to look for funding, & how to match projects to funding sourcesIdentify 3 potential fundersDevelop a draft proposal outline & initial proposal development planUnderstand how to access resources in proposal development & grants management available from the Towson OSP&R
610 Steps: Overview Step 1: Do your homework Step 2: Rigorously manage the proposal writing processStep 3: Write the proposal for reviewersStep 4: Structure (outline) your proposal as an “answer book.”Step 5: Clearly align your project goal & objectives with RFA/RFP purpose, goal, results, deliverablesStep 6: Articulate results-oriented, measurable objectivesStep 7: Use objectives to Develop Plan of WorkStep 8: Align budget with work planStep 9: Write, package, and submit on time an impeccable proposalStep 10: Implement an impeccable project & meet all obligations
7US Federal Grant Budget & Expenditures US Federal government funded 68% of all grants awarded inAgencyFY 2014 BudgetFY 2013FY 2012DHHS$80B$31B NIH$335.7B$20.5B NIH$344.4BEDU$71.2B$41.2B$44.0BEPA$4.6B$3.8BNSF$7.6B$6.2B$6.3BNEH$154.5M$113.7MDoD$67.5 [DRDTE]: $11.9B S&T$1.5B$4.4BUSAID$47.8B joint AID & STATE$7.8B$8.9BSTATE$1.6B$1.4BNASA$17.7B$762.2M$864.2M
8Fed Grant & Contract $$ in MD FY2013 $32.8 Billion$7.4B in grants$25.4B in contractsTop 10 Grantors:DHHS $4.8BEDU $629.8MUSDA $454.1MDoD $406.9MDoL $278MHUD $154.4NSF $140MNASA $102.2MDHS $94.5MEPA $83.2M
9MD Top Ten (2013) MD Health & Mental Hyg. (2) MD Edu IN GRANTSIN CONTRACTSMD Health & Mental Hyg. (2)MD EduMD Human ResourcesHenry Jackson Fdn. ($238M)MD Labor (2)University of Maryland ($102M)Housing Authority-Baltimore CityJohns Hopkins University ($87.9M)Lockheed MartinSAICJohns Hopkins ($838.8 M)Computer Sciences CorpNorthrup GrummanBAE SystemsGeneral DynamicsManTech InternationalIBM
10Private Philanthropy In the US In Maryland 81,777 registered grant- making foundations (2011)Total Giving was $49B in ($45.8B in 2010)$583.4B in total assets (2009)Top 50 Foundations gave 32% of total funding1479 registered foundations (2011)Total Assets: $13BTotal giving: in $735 millionMD organizations: $508M received in grants in 2011
11Top Ten Foundation Givers to MD 2011 StateNo. of GrantsDollar ValueBill & Melinda Gates FoundationWA56$144.7 millionHarry & Jeanette Weinberg FoundationMD204$28.6 millionBaltimore Community Fdn.224$15.3 millionAbell Foundation170$15.1 millionHoward G. Buffett Fdn.IL5$10.9 millionOpen Society InstituteNY55$10.6 millionWal-Mart FoundationAR15$10.1 millionBank of America Charitable FoundationNC103$9.9 millionCommunity Fdn. for the National Capital RegionDC219Skip Viragh Fdn.NV16$9.6 million
12Top 10 in Maryland – Giving Foundation~Giving Total (2010)Annie E Casey Foundation (Baltimore)$89.9MHarry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation (Owings Mill)$86MEllison Medical Foundation (Bethesda)$38.9MSherman Fairchild Foundation (Chevy Chase)$31.4MBaltimore Community Foundation$21.1J. Willard & Alice Marriot Foundation (Bethesda)$12.3Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment (Annapolis)$10MAbell Foundation(Baltimore)$9MLaszlo N. Tauber Foundation (N. Bethesda)$7.4MFrance-Merrick Foundation (Baltimore)$7M
13Top Ten Grantees in MD – private philanthropy (2011) OrganizationDollar ValueNo. of GrantsJohns Hopkins University$71.4 million198Foundation for the NIH$42 million11University of MD-Baltimore$40.3 million21Catholic Relief Services$22 million35Enterprise Community Partners$13.4 million44University of MD- College Park$8.2 millionAchieving the Dream$7.6 million7SNV USA$7.5 million1Abt Associates$7.1 million2Naval Medical Research Center
14Grant Writing Environment-Key messages No lack funding, but extreme competition for all fundingTwo-Step CompetitionE-Commerce/Business: Good & BadShorter Proposals but No Less Info RequiredPartnerships Required:Multidisciplinary approaches to problem solvingMultidisciplinary teams; Stakeholder teamsPartnerships in funding: cost sharing/leveragingSTEM & Student Education/Involvement/Job TrainingPolitics: Internal & ExternalResults, Significance, Impact, Accountability & Ethics
15Key messages Grant writing-highly specialized & professional We can not be amateursTime consuming (2 years plus)Not all excellent proposals will win, but all proposals must be “winning”Method & Craft to grant writing: Not magic
16What is a grant proposal? Not academic, scientific or technical writingFirst & foremost - Marketing DocumentRequest for investmentProposals build your case
17What Proposals “Sell” Low Risk & High Probability of Success Your proposal’s key message: This is a “good investment” for the Funding Agency.
18What Proposals “Sell”: Understanding - of issue, problem, research important to potential sponsorInnovative Solution - to the problem or Intriguing research on issues critical to the sponsorSignificance & Impact – of the problem and your solutionExperts - right people for right jobExpertise - track recordInstitutional Capacity, Commitment & Integrity - We can, do, and have made good on our promises
19What is a Proposal? Operational Plan Should be an Answer Book to Application GuidelinesLegal & Binding Agreement1st Example of the Quality of your WorkYour Future
20A Winning Proposal Must be an Answer Book No such thing as a generic proposalCompliant, complete and fully responsive to each specific RFP, RFA or other application guidelinesEasy to read and evaluateSkimableNo one wants to read proposals – no one is obligated to fund your work.
21Proposal is also a Process Marketing ProcessProject Design ProcessPartnership & Team Building ProcessCan take up to 2 yearsAn excellent proposal document is NECESSARY but not always SUFFICIENT to win the award.The proposal document submitted to funding agency:Is only one point in the processShould not be the first point in that processIs not the last pointNot always the most important point of that process.
22Proposal Development Process Submit impeccable proposal on timeInitial ideaID funding source & conduct fact findingDevelop & implement marketing strategy for each sourceConduct pilot research/workMake bid/no bid decisionDesign project including ID partners & preliminary budgetCommunicate ideas with potential sponsorRefine ideasWrite an impeccable proposal
23Types of ProposalsSolicited Proposals (RFA, RFP, NOFA, PA, BAA, FOA, etc.)Unsolicited ProposalsLetter Proposals (can also be called LOIs, Concept Notes/Papers, Pre-Proposals
24Standard Proposal Parts Program/Project ProposalsNSF/ResearchAbstractSummary/Executive SummaryBackground/Needs AssessmentGoal & ObjectivesPlan of WorkStaffing Plan & Key PersonnelEvaluation & MonitoringBudgetSustainability PlanPartnersOrganizational Experience, Capability & ResourcesProject SummaryProject DescriptionReferences CitedBiographical SketchesBudgetCurrent & Pending SupportFacilities, Equipment & Other ResourcesSpecial Information & Supplementary DocumentationAppendices
25All Proposals Are Competitive ONLY 3 reasons to prepare and submit a proposal:To winTo place among the outstanding finalistsTo gain attention and respect as a serious new competitor within an area or research topic
26Six Characteristics of Winning Proposals ResponsiveFamiliarAccurateVerifiableBenefit-OrientedAnswer “Why Me?”
2810 Steps: Overview Step One: Do your homework Step Two: Rigorously manage the proposal writing processStep Three: Write the proposal for reviewersStep Four: Structure (outline) your proposal as an “answer book.”Step Five Clearly align your project goal & objectives with RFA/RFP purpose, goal, results, deliverablesStep Six: Articulate results-oriented, measurable objectivesStep Seven: Use objectives to Develop Plan of WorkStep Eight: Align budget with work planStep Nine: Write, package, and submit on time an impeccable proposalStep Ten: Implement an impeccable project & meet all obligations
29Step 1: Do your Homework Identify Potential Funding Sources Three Types of HomeworkSimultaneousIterativeInterrelatedIdentify Potential Funding SourcesDesign Your ProjectDevelop/Implement a Marketing Plan
30Identify Federal Funding: Key Resources Grants.govCatalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance https://www.cfda.gov/Federal Agency HomepagesNSFEducationNEHHRSAFee-Based, Searchable DatabasesTowson Office of Sponsored Programs & Research
31Key Resources: Association of American Universities (AAU) https://www.aau.edu/budget/article.aspx?id=14318USAspending.govOMB – Office of Management & Budget
32Identify Private Funding: Key Resources The Foundation Centerdo.htmlFoundation SearchFederal Tax Form 990MD fundersD=1
33Design Your Project First step in Writing “winning” proposal “Chance ONLY favors the prepared mind.”Louis PasteurFirst step inWriting “winning” proposalPreparing a realistic budgetIdentifying the right funding match
34Develop/Implement a “Marketing Plan” Overall strategy of needs to be done to “Win” the award— to write a compelling proposal. This includes:Identify current strengths & weaknessesOutline a set of activities to build on strengths & overcome weaknessesProcure proposal budget and human resources to implement strategy
35Step 2: Rigorously Manage the Proposal Writing Process Internal Resources & Support?Team ApproachSelect Proposal Manager/Lead EditorLead Technical Expert/Project Director, SMEs to provide technical input, Costing & Operations Specialists, Clerical assistance importantKick Off Meeting – Whole Team Attends. Weekly Status MeetingsRead/Review Application Guidelines togetherProposal Manager prepares Bid Package - team contractTurn around 3 Review Drafts within time limits. Submit early.Schedule for Peer or Red Team ReviewInvolve Costing /Operations Personnel in Development of Work plan from beginning
36Step 3: Write for Reviewers “If you can not, in the long run, tell everyone what you have been doing, your doing has been worthless.”Erwin SchrödingerYour Proposal:Easy to read and skim by intelligent non-expertsEasy to evaluate – An Answer Book to the Application GuidelinesComplete and CompliantAvoids Jargon and highly technical languageCreates a compelling and positivePrimary Purpose - MARKETINGPlace project in contextDescribe significance, impact, and value –from funder’s and beneficiary point of viewNo one wants to read your proposal. No one is obligated to fund your project.
37Who are the Reviewers?The IdealTHE REALShare our interest & enthusiasm about our projectsAre experts in subject area of our projectHave time to read our proposals in detailWill be fair & impartial in judging our proposalOverworked, overly committed, tired & underpaidSkeptical & highly criticalRisk adverseLook for easy ways to review proposals as quickly & as best they canDo not want to read proposals—and have many proposals to read
38Three Levels of Review: In FY 2011, the NIH received 49,592 RPG applications.It funded 18% of applications reviewed.15%: For new investigators or new applicationsLevel 1: Gateway and/or Clerical ReviewLevel 2: Program/TechnicalLevel 3: Decision/Budget
39Step 4: Structure (Outline) the Proposal as an “Answer Book” In FY 2011, the NSF received 51,522 applications and made 11,186 awards for a funding rate of 22%.Ensures your proposal is complete, compliant and fully responsive to every requirement in the RFP or RFARecognizes that there is no such thing as a generic proposal outlineEnsures your proposal is quick and easy to review and evaluateEnsures there is a heading or sub-heading for every requirement/evaluation criterionUses evaluation points to determine section lengths
40Outlining Technique – Answer Book Follow required format-headings & numbering system EXACTLYCheck evaluation criteria for additional headings & subheadings. Place in main outline where you determine logicalOther requirements? Create heading/subheadingsUse point weight of evaluation criteria to determine page limits of each sectionIf no required format: Use Evaluation Criteria to structure proposal
41Step 5: Clearly Align Project Goal & Objectives with RFA/RFP Purpose, Goal, Results, & Deliverables From HRSA GuidanceMEDMATCH Project“The purpose of the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant (Rural Quality) Program is to provide support to rural primary care providers for implementation of quality improvement activities. Quality health care is the provision of appropriate services to individuals and populations that are consistent with current professional knowledge, in a technically competent manner, with good communication, shared decision-making and cultural sensitivity. The ultimate goal of the program is to promote the development of an evidence-based culture and delivery of coordinated care in the primary care setting. Additional objectives of the program include: improved health outcomes for patients; enhanced chronic disease management; and better engagement of patients and their caregivers.Our Medication Match Program (MedMatch) enables two critical access hospitals in rural, medically underserved areas in eastern North Carolina…to implement an evidence- based medication reconciliation model in their hospitals, and to partner with primary care physician practices and other health providers to ensure its success. The proposed model has been demonstrated to improve care quality and outcomes and to reduce unnecessary care costs. MedMatch’s goal is to improve medication management and prevent readmissions and adverse medication events.
42Step 6: Articulate Results-Oriented, Measurable Objectives Most common mistakes in Project DesignGoal is confused with objectives or methodsObjectives are confused with activitiesFocus only on methodsFailure to provide theoretical framework for hypothesisFailure to define & justify technical approachGoal – Project’s ultimate AIMConceptualBroad-basedNot subject to measurement
43Objectives:The steps that MUST occur to reach the goalSpecify a result (a change) NOT an activityEach objective describes only 1 result per objectiveAre operational, measurable, verifiableState what will result, when— but not how or whySMARRRT: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, Relevant, Realistic, Time-boundMost common mistakes in Objective development:Focus on activities or methods instead of resultsUnclear how results will be measuredResults seem unachievable in time allottedRationale is missing or unclear
44These are not Objectives DANIDA GOAL: Promote High-Value, Environmentally Sustainable Livelihood Options for Small Farmers in Western UgandaTo train farmers, school children and change agents on agroforestry emphasizing on soil fertility improvementTo form farmers’ groups and networking as method of enhancing technology transfer in the communityTo facilitate exchanges with government agents to support ongoing development
46Goal & Objectives: Examples The goal of the proposed program is to provide high-quality and comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care and mitigation in rural Zimbabwe.The objectives are:Objective 1: Full-Service, fully operational VCT Centre (the “Reveneko”) is established within each target area within six months of identification of the target areaObjective 2: High-quality, full-service system of home-based care is established within and operated by the church/community surrounding each VCT Centre within six months of the start date of each CentreObjective 3: High-quality, full-service system of care and support for orphans and vulnerable children is established and operating within each community surrounding the VCT Centre within six months of start date of the centre
47Goal & Objectives: Examples MedMatch’s goal is to improve medication management and prevent readmissions and adverse medication events. Specific project objectives are: 1. Hospital performance on HCAHPS medication communication dimension reaches the 85% top-box by end of year 2 2. Adverse drug events related to medication reconciliation are reduced by 50% each year 3. Medication reconciliation related event reports are reduced by 50% each year 4, Readmissions due to adverse drug events are reduced by 25% in each year
48CMS HCIA ProjectGoals and Aims: Our project will improve the healthcare and health of patients diagnosed with one or more of three chronic neurological diseases: AD, MS, and PD while reducing total care costs.Its aims are:(1) 3,900 AD/MS/PD patients have improved health within six months of cooperative agreement award as measured by PROMIS score +90%(2) 3,900 AD/MS/PD patients experience improved care delivery within six months of cooperative agreement award as measured by CG-CAHPS and CAHPS-PCMH scores +90(3) 10% savings on total cost of care is achieved by month six as measured by 25% reduction in admission rate and 24% reduction in ED visits.By the end of Year One, our project will provide services to an estimated patients, and over three years, targets a patient population of 11,400 (Table 1). By the end of Year Three, we will deliver a fully developed payment model that significantly reduces total costs of care for Medicare, Medicaid, and other payers.
49Objectives Plan of Work Management & Staffing (personnel) Plans Operationalize Objectives withMeasure ObjectivesPlan of WorkManagement & Staffing (personnel) PlansPartnership PlanSustainability PlanBudgetMonitoring & Evaluation Plan
50Step 7: Use Measurable Objectives to Develop Plan of Work For each SMARRRT Objective answer [in some logical order] the following (also see Project Design Template):What actions will you take to achieve the objective? (Tasks & Sub tasks)How you will do each task and sub task? (methods)What resources will be needed for each task & sub task? (Personnel, Materials)Who will do each task & sub task? PersonnelHow long will it take? (Timeline)When will it be done, and how often? (Timeline)Where will each task be done?What are milestones along the way, checkpoints and decision points? (M&E)What products will be developed per task, if any? When will these be developed?How will you judge process, progress, and products? (M&E)WHY? WHY? WHY? (Rationale & Justification)
51Step 8: Develop a Complete, Compliant, Responsive, and Credible Budget The budget is a proposal tooMust respond to & comply with funder requirementsMust be easy to read & understandMust be correct—numbers must add upMust be reasonable—within funder’s range for the projectMust be credible—proposed costs must align with proposed activities, outputs, and benefitsMust align with Work PlanROI?
52Tips for preparing your budget proposal Involve budget/costing specialists early in the project design phaseCrucial to identify project costs & develop project budget as you develop project technical approach and statement of workIdentify project’s full & real costsEACH ACTIVITY—EACH ACTION—IS A COSTIdentify possible internal resources for your project— cost sharing if requiredIdentify cost leveraging
53Major Cost Categories of Costs & Line Items Personnel (salaries & fringe Benefits)ConsultantsServicesEquipmentSuppliesTravelPatient careOtherConsortium costsSubcontract costsTrainee costsIndirect cost
54Budget Failures Too high Too low Not compliant to Agency regulations or program requirementsMisaligned with statement of workIncomplete, illogical, and badly written/presented Budget Narrative
55Why Budgets MatterCOMPETENCE ”If we cant do the budget, can we do anything else?”ASSURANCE “We will effectively use grant funds.” “The level of funding is reasonable, and we have sufficient resources to carry out the project and achieve objectives.”VALIDATION Amount and rate of expenditure = scope and timing of activitiesPROTECTION Calculating full cost protects your organization’s fiscal health and prevents painful surprisesRATINGS Proposal budget can be worth 10-20% or more of evaluation points
56ROIA significant opportunity exists to turn this trash into treasure at a minimal cost to initial investors. The process of converting waste into a marketable compost has been demonstrated worldwide. The current annual market for fertilizer in Afghanistan is $500 million US (500,000 Metric Tons x $50 per 50 KG) as estimated by the CNFA. After the initial start-up year, AWCE anticipates that it will generate 3600 tons of compost annually at an operating cost of $ per ton. Compost will be sold for $ per ton, producing a return of $ per ton.XXX estimates that each day of operation will produce 10 tons of organic compost—resulting in 200 bags of 50 KG compost per day (each ton is estimated to produce 20 bags of 50KG organic fertilizer). XXX will sell each 50KG bag of compost for $ Conservative estimates of output indicate revenues of $3,000 per day; $90,000 per month, or $1 million annually.USAID’s initial investment of XXXXX in equipment and training will garner a return on investment of nearly $3.00 per $1 invested over a one-year horizon.
57Step 9: Write & Submit an Impeccable Proposal: Some Writing Tips Project titles matterTransmittal Letter/Cover LetterUse front matter as reviewer’s guidesProject SummaryExecutive Summary – Benefit OrientedMust-have GraphicsMarketing ThemesThematic Graphs
58Step 10: Implement an Impeccable Project “It matters if you just don't give up.”Stephen HawkingWhat to do after you submit your proposal: Win, Lose or DrawReportingPartnership BuildingKeeping the funder involvedResources available from Towson University
59Your Next Steps “Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.” C. D. Jackson