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Planning and Writing Successful Proposals in K-12 Education Elizabeth Allen, MSLS.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning and Writing Successful Proposals in K-12 Education Elizabeth Allen, MSLS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning and Writing Successful Proposals in K-12 Education Elizabeth Allen, MSLS

2 Source: Dr. Glenn H. Crumb “Grants: Puzzled About Finding Them?” Western Kentucky University

3 Topics for today  Identifying funding sources  Researching potential funders  Planning your proposal  Proposal elements  Budgeting  Review process  Preparing for the next time

4 Funding Information Portal  Funding opportunity databases and funding alerts (some are free and others are subscription-only)  Guides and tutorials for proposal writing  Grants awarded databases (free)

5 Free Funding Information Sources  North Carolina Resources NC OpenBook  Foundation-Specific Resources Foundation Center Foundation Finder Education Funding Watch

6  Subject-Specific Resources Tech Soup > Learning Center > Funding Funding for Nonprofits (created by Michigan State U)  Education:  Tech: Asia Society: Partnership for Global Learning  Monthly newsletter:  Twitter feed: World View’s Global Updates Free Funding Information Sources

7 Subscription Funding Information Sources  COS Funding Opportunities and InfoEd SPIN funding databases Multi-disciplinary and multi-source – funding for programs, equipment, research, training Available on-campus at many universities  Foundation Directory Covers all disciplines, but only foundation sources Web and CD-ROM versions Available at many large/medium public libraries libraries

8 Research Potential Funders  Look for potential funders with a good fit  Check for local and regional funders  Contact agency program staff to assess fit with their priorities or any new initiatives  Find out their review criteria and process  Read previous successful proposals Sample Grant Proposals

9 Know Your Competition  Who and what has the sponsor funded in the past?  Check sponsor websites or annual reports  Check awards made databases Private Sponsor Information can be found on their sites or in the Foundation Ctr 990 Finder Most federal agencies have their own online databases of awards made

10 Fundamentals of Proposal Preparation  Talk with the program officer  Become familiar with the grantsmanship process  Read the guidelines  Write, revise, revise, revise  Get feedback from others

11 Plan Before You Write  Identify the need or problem  Define your project  Think the plan through to the end  Assess project fit with personal and organizational goals and purpose  Assess your expertise, resources and strengths to approach the project  Outside resources/collaborators?  Involve collaborators in planning

12 Typical Proposal Elements  Summary or abstract  Problem statement/needs assessment  Proposed solution/goals and objectives  Project description/methodology  Organization description/qualifications/ resources Including those of partners or collaborators  Timeline  Evaluation  Budget and budget justification

13 Summary or Abstract  Summarize all important information from proposal  Crucial first impression  Write it last  Write in layman’s terms  Anticipate concerns and address briefly  Convey enthusiasm

14 Problem Statement or Needs Assessment  Identify problem or need  Indicate importance or significance  Cite examples and statistics  Relate to sponsor’s mission or goal  Don’t take for granted that the reader will know what’s on your mind

15 Solution/Goals & Objectives  Proposed solution to problem or need or desired overall goal  Address need or problem statement  Brief, focused, to-the-point  Objectives are specific, measurable steps to reach overall goal  No more than three to five objectives  Each should flow logically to the next Example:

16 Project Description/ Methodology  Describe activities to be undertaken and why  Flows naturally from problem and proposed solution  Describe activities, staff needed, and other resources  Provide evidence of planning (see time & task chart examples)  Reasonable scope

17 Qualifications and Organization Description  Demonstrate to the reviewer that you are capable of doing what you propose  Describe your qualifications & expertise  Describe organization, its purpose, goals & programs, & project administration  Other available resources, including collaborators or other key personnel, & technical resources  Offer supporting evidence or endorsements

18 Collaboration/Cooperation  Collaboration is often either required or viewed as a strengthening element  Broadens available expertise  Allows projects to address larger problems  Can result in more efficient use of resources  Must have clear understanding of roles

19 A Good Collaboration  Contains all necessary expertise for every component of the project  Must actually BE a team, not a group that met in the hall one day  Has a clear understanding of roles  Works together constructively

20 Timeline  Describe sequence of activities or major steps of your project  Lets reviewers know you have done significant planning  Some sponsors require written statement  Others may expect it in methodology  Or, use time and task chart (visual)

21 Evaluation  How will you know if the project is successful?  Define evaluation criteria  Identify a plan  Types of evaluation - Process - Product  Show how evaluation will be used

22 Outreach/Dissemination Plan  What are you doing to share the results with others?  Increasingly required by sponsors  Sponsors looking for contribution to knowledge in the field, broader impact, community inclusion especially under- represented groups

23 Writing Style  Be clear, concise and direct  Write in a positive manner  Use the active voice, rather than passive  Avoid jargon – someone outside your field should be able to understand  Use headings, bullets, formatting and white space to increase readability  Proofread for grammar, spelling and typographical errors

24 Budgeting  Itemize and account for costs  Budget should flow from your project plan  Justify budget items  Don’t overestimate resource needs  Don’t underestimate resource needs either  Know what sponsor will/won’t pay for

25 Sample Line Item Project Budget PERSONNEL Senior Personnel $5,000 Graduate Students $10,000 Undergraduate Students $900 Fringe Benefits $1,199 Subtotal Personnel $17,099 PARTICIPANT COSTS 40 Participants $8,000 EQUIPMENT (Exceeding $5,000) Flat Panel Display $30,000 OTHER DIRECT COSTS Supplies $750 Publication Costs $500 Course Development Stipends $10,000 TOTAL DIRECT COSTS $66,349 INDIRECT 45.5% MTDC $19,629 AMOUNT OF THIS REQUEST $85,978

26 PHASE ONE: COURSE DEVELOPMENT Personnel plus fringes $11,130 Course Development Stipends $10,000 Interactive Classroom $30,000 Total Direct Costs $51,130 Indirect Costs $11,410 Total Costs of Phase One $62,540 PHASE TWO: CONFERENCE Personnel plus fringes $5,969 Conference Materials $1,250 Participant Stipends $8,000 Total Direct Costs $15,219 Indirect Costs $8,219 Total Costs of Phase Two $23,438 AMOUNT OF THIS REQUEST $85,978 Sample Project Phase Budget

27 Budget Justification 1.The PI will devote one month of effort to the coordination of the course development module. She will be assisted by one graduate student who will oversee day to day administration and who will coordinate the training workshop. Three undergraduate students will prepare the conference materials, and receive $7.50 an hour for a total of 120 hours of work. The University's negotiated fringe benefit rates for non-federal agencies is 19% for faculty and 7.7% for undergraduate students during the summer. There are no fringe benefits for the graduate students. 2.We anticipate inviting 40 teachers to attend the conference. Using federal per diem rates, their travel, room and board for three days will be $ each. 3.The flat panel wall display will be the key feature of the new interactive classroom. This cost includes all the software and installation fees. 4.The conference materials will include notebooks and handouts on the courses that were developed in the first module, as well the publication costs of course syllabi. The project will hold a campus-wide competition for approximately five $2,000 course development grants. 5.The University's negotiated indirect cost rate for on campus projects is 45.5%.

28 This means you:  Read carefully and follow scrupulously the guidelines provided by the sponsor  This includes points to be addressed  Also includes: spacing, margins, font size, number of copies, page limitations  If no guidelines, double-space, use generous margins and 12-point type

29 The Review Process  Process varies by sponsor  Remember - reviewers may not have expertise in your field, may not share your interest and enthusiasm for the project, may be overworked and underpaid  Key point: Make your proposal easy for the reviewer to read

30 Reviewers look for:  A “do-able” project (resources, approach)  A project worth doing  Systematic, logical development of ideas  An easily-read, accessible proposal

31 Common Reasons for Rejection  Mechanical guidelines not followed exactly  Methodological unsuitable methodology  Personnel unqualified to do work  Cost-Benefit not agency priority for this year unrealistic budget costs out of proportion to potential benefits

32 Preparing for the next time  If not funded, don’t give up!  Ask sponsor for reviewer’s written comments, if available  Ask if it would be worth submitting another proposal in the future  When revising, be responsive to reviewer comments

33 Summary  Project planning is key  Project should fit overall goals or plan  Choose potential funders with a good fit  Write with reviewers in mind  Budget should fit your project plan  Don’t despair if your proposal is unfunded


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