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CAP 103: CAP 103: Write a Winning Grant Proposal !

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Presentation on theme: "CAP 103: CAP 103: Write a Winning Grant Proposal !"— Presentation transcript:

1 CAP 103: CAP 103: Write a Winning Grant Proposal !

2 Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this program you will be able to: Distinguish between a project, operating or capital grant Use funders' guidelines as a map to a successful application Identify what funders are looking for and how they measure success Understand the politics of grantmaking, what the guidelines don't tell you List the factors to consider when working with a proposal writing consultant Determine who needs to provide input, feedback, and approval for your proposal Decide whether to “go it alone” or “plan in partnership” with other agencies Describe the importance of avoiding "mission drift" Create a proposal outline Create a proposal summary statement

3 Agenda 1.Welcome / Intro 2.Types of Funding 3.The Grant Proposal – Upfront Considerations & Sample Assessment Criteria  Exercise 1: Thinking Like a Funder – Proposal Evaluation  What the Guidelines Don’t Tell You  To partner or not to partner  Avoiding Mission Drift 4.Getting Started: Creating a Working Outline 5.Writing an Effective Proposal Summary  Exercise 2: Practicing & Enhancing your Own Proposal Summary 6.Additional Sources of Funding / Resource Information 7.Wrap Up / Close

4 Types of Grant Funding Project Grant  A one time initiative with a defined timeframe  May have several deliverables Operating Grant  Support of an ongoing program  Support for administrative costs Capital Grant  Renovation and construction  Equipment purchases

5 Thinking Like a Funder -- Evaluation Criteria Goals & Outcomes Community Base Involvement Collaboration / Partnering Value / Benefit / Impact to the Community Organizational Background Implementation Plan & Schedule Financial Considerations Reporting & Evaluation Risks Situations that May Require Additional Explanation

6 Goals & Outcomes Clear and specific ? Is the type of funding sought defined ? Is there alignment of Goals & Outcomes with:  Agency’s mission *  The funder’s granting objectives Are goals SMART? * Is there ‘mission drift’ associated with funding request?

7 Practice 1 -Thinking Like a Funder Turn to Page 10 in Participant Workbook 1. Working in groups complete Exercise 1 – Goal & Objective

8 Community Base Involvement Is the target population clearly defined? What is the scope of community involvement?  Design, planning, implementation, etc  Roles & responsibilities How is the project structured?  Top down / agency driven  Community / consumer led Is there outreach to isolated groups? What, if any, is the role of business, local gov’t, service providers?

9 Collaboration / Partnering Are partners needed? Who are the partners? Fit? Shared Vision? Equal Investment? How? History of collaboration? With whom? Outcome? Reputation? What do they bring to the project? What grants are they applying for? Are logical partnerships considered? Why? Why not?

10 Value / Benefit / Impact to the Community Is the proposed project:  ‘Needed’?  Proactive or reactive?  New or a continuation of another project?  Well researched?  A real benefit to the community?  A model for similar initiatives? Is the proposal written in a way to gain attention in a positive way?

11 Organizational Background (Structure, History, Reputation) 1.Does proposal demonstrate organizational alignment?  Board skills, leadership, policies and activities 2.How confident are we in the organization’s ability to implement the project if funded explained?  (skills, resources, time, experience) 3.Has we funded this agency in the past..  What were the outcomes, and achievements related to timely reporting, achieving deadlines and budget? 4.What is community perception of the agency? 5.Does agency support diversity through its programs?

12 Implementation Plan & Schedule 1. Does project plan include details related to:  Project scope  Key milestones  Activities & timelines for completion  Resources (appropriate #, roles defined, etc)  Reporting Plan 2. Is there clear alignment b/w goals, outcomes, activities, resources and budget?

13 Practice -Thinking Like a Funder Turn to Page 11 &12 in Participant Workbook 1. Working in groups complete Exercise 2 – Schedule and Exercise 3 – Resource Plan

14 Financial Considerations Agency’s financial viability & history Does the agency have financial capacity & accountability systems to make good use of funds? Are financial statements prepared regularly? Are financial statements regularly reviewed by the board or subcommittee?

15 Financial Considerations Cont’d Is budget realistic to cover activities / costs? Is the budget:  detailed, realistic, accurate, complete, thorough Are other funding sources confirmed? What line items is the funder being asked to fund? Are there other funders? Can the project succeed with this funding? Can any budget items be replaced by community contributions?

16 Reporting & Evaluation What criteria will be used to measure success? Quantitative & qualitative measurements? Is there an evaluation plan? Who is involved in the evaluation? When will evaluation occur? Is there a plan for sharing learning with others? Is it clear how the funder and agency will know if the project is successful?

17 Practice -Thinking Like a Funder Turn to Page 13 in Participant Workbook 1. Working in groups complete Exercise 4 - Evaluation

18 Risks 1.What are the risks of funding this proposal? Risks to:  Organization /agency  Community  Funder 2.Who will be happy / unhappy if this proposal IS funded by this funder? 3.What headlines will be generated? 4.What are the risks of not funding this proposal? 5.Who will be happy / unhappy if this proposal is not funded by this funder? 6.What headlines will be generated?

19 Red Flags Significant budget surplus or deficit in a given year Significant accumulated surplus or deficit Financial statements with unusual circumstances Loans, unpaid salaries, large amounts of short term debit, overdue invoices, etc. Large variations in revenues/ expenses Narrow funding base for the organization Size of grant request compared to agency’s annual budget

20 Tips & Best Practices Respond to questions in a clear, concise and comprehensive manner Be specific Use statistics effectively Present information in an easy to read format (table, matrix, chart, graph) Show commitment Write in an active vs passive voice Check spelling & grammar Define acronyms and terms Ensure statements can be substantiated Provide evidence Avoid words like, “could or should” Showing support and matching funds from the community makes a stronger case Follow guidelines with respect to font size, # of pages, type style Organize the proposal in the same sequence requested/outlined by the funder Use the same language and terms as the funder Read criteria carefully … ensure answers address the questions that are asked Ensure the final proposal reads as if it were written by one person

21 Practice Working in your groups respond to the criteria outlined below for the same proposal we have been working on throughout the class. Criteria: Describe the materials that will be produced during the development phase of the project (worth 15 points). Time: 20 minutes

22 Getting Started: Creating a Working Outline Key Concepts to Remember: 1.The key to a great proposal is the effort that goes into the thinking and planning stages. 2.A “thoroughly planned project” has a higher success rate than one poorly conceived. 3.Grant reviewers read many proposals and develop the ability to easily see through a well-written but poorly planned proposal.

23 Getting Started: Creating a Working Outline Purpose  Helps with planning & organizing information  Forms the foundation to engage consultants, approach potential partners or pose questions to funders Value of a Working Outline  Delegate sections to others to research and draft content * * Note: The final proposal should appear to be written by a single author

24 Working Outline – Best Practice The person with overall responsibility for the proposal must:  have a thorough understanding of the entire proposal  be able to speak knowledgeably about every aspect and item in the document If you engage a consultant to write the proposal they will require the information that follows to prepare the proposal in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner.

25 The Working Outline The ‘outline’ should include the following items: 1.Organizational background / Overview 2.Proposal / Executive Summary 3.Project Description  How the project will be implemented (activities / tasks / timelines)  Reporting (qualitative and quantitative measures) 4.Other Sources of Funding (if applicable) 5.Budget – Major line items and costs 6.Current Financial Situation 7.Concluding summary Note: Each funder may have slightly different requirements. Check before you start.

26 Creating the “Proposal / Executive Summary” If available, use the format defined by the funder Include all essential information identified by the funder Make it clear, concise, comprehensive and easy to understand

27 Creating the “Proposal / Executive Summary” Answer the questions:  How much, by when, what, how, for whom and results to be achieved ? + timeframe + action verb + activities + for whom + results / outcomes

28 Elements of the Proposal Summary ElementDefinitionExamples $Total dollar value of the grant request $35,000 TimelineNumber of months or years of the grant request Over 10 months Over 3 years Action VerbUse an active voice. Avoid using a passive voice “ toward the creation of ”, or “ for the support of ”. “ To help support the creation of ” “ Toward creating ”

29 Elements of the Proposal Summary ElementDefinitionExamples ActivitiesDescribes proposed activities in a clear and simple manner do not list all activites avoid jargon and abbreviation to improve accessibility to repair to establish a volunteer shuttle WhomThe recipients or people who will benefit from the proposed activities for seniors requiring medical treatment OutcomesMeasures of success: how you will know your project has met its objectives improved fitness levels of preschool age children in Ajax

30 Examples of Summary Statements $43,000 over 2 years toward creating new playgrounds to improve fitness levels of preschool aged children in Ajax $78,000 over 8 months to repair and renovate the Markham Community Centre to improve accessibility and safety of this highly used neighbourhood facility

31 Exercise 5: Creating / Enhancing your Own Proposal Summary Using the materials in your workbook as a guide, create / enhance your own proposal summary.

32 EXERCISE – Create your own Summary Statements Using the elements of a proposal summary, create a summary statement for a grant you are applying for Be prepared to share with the group

33 Learning Outcomes Having completed this program you should now be able to: Distinguish between a project, operating or capital grant Use funders' guidelines as a map to a successful application Identify what funders are looking for and how they measure success Understand the politics of grantmaking, what the guidelines don't tell you List the factors to consider when working with a proposal writing consultant Determine who needs to provide input, feedback, and approval for your proposal Decide whether to “go it alone” or “plan in partnership” with other agencies Describe the importance of avoiding "mission drift" Create a proposal outline Create a proposal summary statement

34 CAP 103: Write a Winning Grant Proposal !


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