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Who Wants a Grant? Getting Started Dr. Cynthia Irvin

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1 Who Wants a Grant? Getting Started Dr. Cynthia Irvin

2 Who Wants a Grant? Getting Started Begin with a great idea for a project…but check to see how many others, if any, have had a similar idea Refine your idea/project based on your research on similar topics Compile a list of funders of related projects Research, research, research possible funders Check to see if funder issues RFP’s…even past ones will give you detailed information on the types of projects the funder prefers

3 Types of Funding Grants - Foundations - Corporate - Government Contracts - Sponsorships - Corporate - Individual

4 Funders have needs too! Express your knowledge of a funder’s interests and tie it in to your proposal Your Guiding Star can be… 990 forms can be your best friend…so what’s a 990? The IRS…at your service? Before you start to prepare a grant proposal, carefully read the funder’s mission statement, guidelines, lists of recent grants and the program descriptions. Review annual reports for inside tips!

5 Corporate Sponsorship Proposals: Key Components 1 page cover letter which summarizes first the benefits to the corporation, secondly your project, and a price range for sponsorship…never an exact price 1 page summary of benefits to the corporation and audience/constituent demographics 1 page summary of the sponsorship opportunity such as dates, location, attendance….everything you would include on an invitation and a press fact sheet When possible, samples of press and reports about past events, especially those showing sponsor credits

6 Key Items in any Grant Proposal Purpose of the program..what will it accomplish Why are you doing this project…why is the program needed? How will you make it happen…what resources are needed to carry out the project and what steps will be taken to successfully execute the project? A clear, well presented strategy is Essential! Who will do what? Who will direct the project? What staff will be involved? How much time will each person devote to the project? Who will benefit? Why is it important to serve this “population?’ How will you know you have been successful? Summary /Executive Summary

7 Know Thy Goals from Objectives Goals The desired outcome It’s about the Final product Objectives Measureable steps to reach our goals It’s about the Process to reach our goal

8 Nitty, Gritty Details: Know Thy RFP or Your Project May RIP Without Funding Review each RFP thoroughly Note the “points” awarded to each section RFP’s often include checklists for applicants, if so, make sure you use it! o%20Write%20A%20Winning%20Proposal-- Knowing%20what%20funders%20want%20and%20ho w%20to%20deliver%20it.pdf o%20Write%20A%20Winning%20Proposal-- Knowing%20what%20funders%20want%20and%20ho w%20to%20deliver%20it.pdf Make sure your proposal explicitly addresses each RFP – if it doesn’t …look for another funding opportunity Don’t squander potential future good will by sending in a “tangentially” related proposal

9 Some Finer Points of “Grant Speak Customize every proposal for every funder Organize proposals using the outcomes method whenever possible to stress the effects the project will have Avoid “buzz words” unless you clearly address them Never quote verbatim from a funder’s mission statement or program guide. You won’t be taken seriously unless you can express in your own words what your project will do and how it directly relates to their interests Organize proposals using the process methods when the outcomes might be small in comparison with the process needed to achieve them Proposals for operating support should use a list of recent accomplishments as a starting point for present and future project descriptions Use acronyms wisely…while they may give those in the know a feeling of inclusion, they also give those not (yet) in the know a feeling of exclusion

10 Work Plans: Proposal and Project Proposal Work Plan - Weeks 1-3: Conduct research to find the best funder matches for the project and obtain guidelines for the application - Weeks 4-8 (as needed) to write proposal and share with internal reviewers, colleagues, etc - Week 9: Make final revisions and submit whenever possible in advance of the funder’s deadline. Project Work Plan Clearly identity project timeline highlighting accomplishment of key tasks Clearly identify project staff with key responsibility for specific tasks Keep in touch with project officer

11 Identifying Donors Beyond the

12 Evaluation Criteria: A Funder’s Insurance Policy Use concrete methods of evaluating a project you know you will be able to include in your report to the funder Your proposal should make it clear to the funder that you will be able to analyze if you have done your job well and demonstrate that the benefits of the program have justified the expense and (hopefully) demonstrate need for future funding. Some typical evaluation instruments include surveys completed by participants, reports on key results provided to donors, (milestone’s achieved)and reviews by an external evaluator(s)

13 Budgeting for Success: Key Items Personnel - Project director (25%)18,000 - Project Manager (15%)10,000 - Program assistants - Subtotal68,000 - Fringe Total personnel81,600

14 Budgeting for Success: Key Items Other Direct Costs - Telephone - Advertising - Photocopying - Postage & Mail preparation - Website development - Travel (confirm if federal per diem rates apply- they usually do) Some grants allow for indirect costs (rent, utilities, insurance, etc) formula is total indirect expenses/base expenses = Indirect rate

15 Budgeting for Success: Putting it All Together: Labor (personnel costs, including fringe) Other Direct Costs Indirect Costs/Fee In Kind Contributions Some funders request budget narratives which entails a brief discussion of how each expenses relates to the project, especially of the major budget expenses

16 Let’s Go Get That Grant! Follow each funder’s instructions to the letter. Research each funder’s interest very thoroughly and confirm interest with the funder (when possible). Tie your proposal to the funder’s interests using your own words. Always be positive, for example, use “will” rather than “would” to describe what your project “will” accomplish! Submit proposals prior to actual deadline. Keep the funder informed of the progress of your project …they will be glad to review your next request for funding

17 Questions? Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions! Dr. Cynthia Irvin or


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