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KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL GRANT WRITING February 2015. SOURCES – STATE AGENCIES Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Utah STEM Action Center USOE Non-traditional.

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Presentation on theme: "KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL GRANT WRITING February 2015. SOURCES – STATE AGENCIES Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Utah STEM Action Center USOE Non-traditional."— Presentation transcript:


2 SOURCES – STATE AGENCIES Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Utah STEM Action Center USOE Non-traditional Perkins grants Relinquished Perkins Formula grants 21 st Century Community Learning Centers

3 SOURCES – OTHER FUNDING SOURCES Federal Department of Education Federal Department of Labor – Youth Career Connect, Youth Build Federal Department of Energy – Office of Science National Science Foundation Carnegie Foundation – Pathways to Education Opportunities Gates Foundation – Next Generation Learning Challenges United Way District Foundations School Community Councils Comcast Other Ideas????

4 1. BEFORE YOU WRITE ANYTHING.... Every award begins with a good idea! Know your audience - - the grantor/funder. Read the grant - - IN DETAIL, before you develop a plan. How does your plan align? If the grant doesn’t apply to you or to your project, DON’T write it! Get others on board – for real! Don’t assume that others will support your plan just because you want them to. Remember: More money means more work. If all parties are not willing to do the work, DON’T write it!

5 A WORD ABOUT PROJECT GOALS Project goals are general statements of purpose for what you are attempting to accomplish. They are specific and measureable – allow you to quantify the results of your project. You should be able to clearly articulate these concepts! If you cannot, you are unlikely to be funded! Does your project truly address the issue targeted by the funder? If not you are unlikely to be funded! Don’t waste the funder’s time by “fishing” for money if you don’t meet their intent!

6 2. THINGS TO CONSIDER AS YOU BEGIN DEVELOPING YOUR PLAN.... How does your program align with the funder’s objectives – what is your angle? Consider how your plan accomplishes EXACTLY the purpose of the grant. Ethnicity, gender, ages, area of focus, etc. What makes your program different from others who will apply? Seriously consider your ROI (Return on Investment) and impact. This is HUGE!!! What are your measures of success – evaluation? Is your program/plan sustainable and replicable? This is also HUGE!!! Consider how grants are reviewed - - what will the reviewers think of your proposal?

7 2. THINGS TO CONSIDER AS YOU BEGIN DEVELOPING YOUR PLAN.... Know your target beneficiaries. Is there already internal capacity to meet the need? If someone else is writing the grant – do they truly have the same vision, purpose, and ROI? Don’t wait until the last minute to write the proposal – spend the time to get it right. Do not apply for a grant to cover projects already funded through another grant.

8 3. NOW YOU’RE WRITING.... Proposal narratives should be enjoyable and easy to read. Narratives should generate excitement. Narratives should leave a reviewer with few questions. Make it easy for them to complete the scoring rubric!!! Think about language and sequencing. FOLLOW THE RUBRIC!RUBRIC Outcomes should reflect objectives and vice versa. Partnerships should optimize resource leveraging. Utilize existing resources first. Partners should actually know they are partners in the grant.

9 3. NOW YOU’RE WRITING.... Answer the questions clearly and concisely. “Here’s what I bring to the table”. Your data should be REAL – not inflated or fictitious. Emphasize your performance measures. Specifically address how program success is defined and evaluated. Answer ALL of the questions. Understand what the funder is looking for and then, if applicable, give them what they want. Assume the people reading the proposal know nothing about your project.

10 4. WHAT ABOUT THE BUDGET.... Honestly, this is the MOST IMPORTANT section! Funders need to see that you have a specific plan for: The ENTIRE amount of money requested. That the entire sum is necessary for meeting your objectives. That you will be a responsible steward of their investment. Your project budget should focus on ONLY the project you are requesting funding for, not the organization as a whole. Example – marketing. Generally, the amount you are requesting should not be more than 50% of your total project costs. The funder doesn’t want to bear the entire/majority of the project’s financial burden. This make sustainability and replicability much less likely!

11 4. WHAT ABOUT THE BUDGET.... In the narrative, clearly identify each line item in your budget. Be specific – what equipment and supplies are you purchasing? Who is being paid with grant funds and why? If the reviewers are questioning “hidden” budget items, you are less likely to get funded. Be clear about who “owns” the resources developed with the grant funds. Does the budget make sense? Have realistic “in-kind” contributions.

12 5. THE FOCUS ON CTE.... What is important today about CTE? What makes CTE unique and critical? Industry and post-secondary collaboration and engagement. Increasing student rigor. Career exploration and selection. College and Career Readiness. Work-based learning experiences. Economic development and support. Developing the talent pipeline. Non-traditional occupations. Perkins performance indicators.

13 6. THE FINAL REVIEW.... Read the guidelines - - again. Follow the directions. Proofread – every word! Have someone else read it. Spelling, grammar, names, etc. Be clear in your project proposal. Be EXTRA clear in your budget. Explain how you will show your success. Feel comfortable being in a dialogue with the funding organization throughout the process. Verify support from everyone.

14 TIPS AND TRICKS TO AVOID You’re not exactly sure what you’re trying to accomplish. You aren’t really sure how to evaluate your success. You have no plan for sustainability after the grant ends. You worry that the grant reviewers might not be convinced that your project is important. You have a new idea but you’re not sure it’ll work, and even less sure it’ll fly with the reviewers or your own team. Your budget doesn’t add up. You feel like your plan is a bit boring. You’ve almost run out of time to submit the proposal.

15 GET IT RIGHT Budget Return on Investment Sustainability Impact Measurability of outcomes Does what you’re proposing really matter – and does it actually accomplish something? Do you have the time to do the work?

16 ONE LAST THOUGHT Honesty is always the best policy! Don’t try to spin parts of your application, proposal, or budget. The reviewers will likely see it and it decreases your odds for funding.

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