Fundamentals Start EARLY Do your homework Match your idea with a funding source Make contact with the funding source Read and re-read the guidelines Consider collaborators/partners Review a successful proposal
Key Components Title that fits the project Statement of need/significance of the problem Goal(s) and objectives Proposed approach/work plan/methods Evaluation/performance metrics/outcomes Model project/replication elsewhere Budget and budget justification
Resources Grants.gov Federal Register Individual Federal Agencies Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Foundation Center Chronicle of Philanthropy Local Colleges & Universities Montana Foundation Directory Montana Community Foundation
Important Tips Have a novel/creative/new idea Collect well-documented background info/stats Contact the funder Enlist key collaborators/partners Watch for pre-submission webinars Review a successful proposal Proofread! Have ZERO tolerance for mistakes Have others review your proposal Request reviewers comments if not funded
Performance Measures INPUTSOUTPUTSOUTCOMES Program investments ActivitiesParticipationShortMedium What we invest What we do Who we reach What results SO WHAT?? What is the VALUE? Long- term
Hallmarks of Successful Proposals Met all grant requirements Clear concise justification/need Clear goals and objectives Good methodology or design Qualified management/staffing Adequate time period and funding Good writing and editing
12 Reasons Proposals Fail* Bad ideas Good ideas poorly presented No documented need statement Lack of measureable objectives Target population not clearly identified Methods not well thought out * Miner, J. & L. Miner (2008) Proposal Planning & Writing. Greenwood Press.
12 Reasons Proposals Fail (con’t)* Weak evaluation approach Inadequate dissemination strategy Inexperienced project director Failure to follow application guidelines Insufficient pre-proposal contact Poor budget justification * Miner, J. & L. Miner (2008) Proposal Planning & Writing. Greenwood Press.
USDA FOA Focus Areas Healthy living behaviors, family interaction and environmental attributes in rural areas; Health literacy and its impact on health status in rural and farm families; and, or Related issues of health promotion and health care to rural individuals and families with information and training.
Health Enhancement for Rural Elderly (HERE) Goal – to enhance the health and well-being of rural elders to remain at home Objective 1 – to improve the level of health literacy and health-related decision-making; Objective 2 – to support and encourage improved self-care management; Objective 3 – to engage and empower family members, friends, relatives and community members for appropriate caregiving and support services.
Health Literacy & Elderly 68% have difficulty interpreting numbers and performing calculations 71% have difficulty using print materials 80% have difficulty using forms and charts Only 3% are rated proficient in health literacy compared to 8-16% in other age groups High incidence of chronic health conditions and frequent users of health services
Poor Health Literacy Leads to: Lower use of preventive care services Greater use of emergency care Frequent hospitalizations Poor self-care management Unhealthy behaviors Poor health outcomes & premature deaths Higher health care costs (loss of $238 billion/year)
Approach/Design/Methodology Selected 4 Montana communities with high percentage of rural elderly Recruited 4 key community partners: Extension Agent Senior Center Director Public Health Nurse Public Librarian
Key Findings Senior Centers are hubs of activity in rural communities Two subsets of seniors were found with respect to computer literacy and level of interest in participation in the program Rural research projects have limitations Powerful Tools for Caregivers was the most popular intervention
Lessons Learned Local committed stakeholders are critical to the success of a rural project Selecting the appropriate ‘hub’ in the community for activities is important Ample lead time is needed for a rural research project conducted at a remote location Local high school students could help seniors with computer skills and health information searches on the internet
HERE Project Publication Young, D.M, Weinert, C. & Spring, A. 2012. Home on the Range – Health Literacy, Rural Elderly, Well-Being. Journal of Extension Vol 50; No 3 (article Number 3FEA2). http://www.joe.org/joe/2012june/a2.php