How to prepare strong grant proposals to compete effectively.
Workshop Goals To provide general tips for preparing strong application packages. To provide an overview of general elements for successful proposals. To provide and discuss examples of strong and weak proposals.
Do You Need to Write a Grant Proposal? Do you have the talent and materials within your partnership to complete the project?Do you have the talent and materials within your partnership to complete the project? Could your problem be addressed by having local vendors provide materials or make other contributions?Could your problem be addressed by having local vendors provide materials or make other contributions? Could a community fundraiser fulfill your needs?Could a community fundraiser fulfill your needs? If you answered yes to any of these questions … then you may NOT need to write a proposal.
Yes, I do need to write a grant proposal! 1. Begin researching funding sources 2. Collect materials to write your proposal Your mission/purpose Letters of support Budget estimates Project support IRS documentation
SHOW ME THE MONEY SHOW ME THE MONEY How to work with funders References and resources to find external funding
External Funding Sources State/Territory fish and wildlife agencyState/Territory fish and wildlife agency Federal government grantsFederal government grants Friends associationsFriends associations Local businessesLocal businesses UniversitiesUniversities Local conservation organizationsLocal conservation organizations
Grant Funding Resource Information Catalog of Federal Domestic AssistanceCatalog of Federal Domestic Assistance www.cfda.gov Federal RegisterFederal Registerhttp://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ Grants.govGrants.govwww.grants.gov
What is Grants.gov? A one-stop online shopping source to find and apply for Federal government-wide competitive grant opportunitiesA one-stop online shopping source to find and apply for Federal government-wide competitive grant opportunities Houses 900+ grant programs from 26 grant- making agenciesHouses 900+ grant programs from 26 grant- making agencies Fund opportunities for more than 20 diverse grant categoriesFund opportunities for more than 20 diverse grant categories Over 1,100 active grant opportunities postedOver 1,100 active grant opportunities posted Nearly 9000 grant applications submitted through the electronic systemNearly 9000 grant applications submitted through the electronic system Dummy bullet for transition
Find and Apply “Find” feature allows users to:“Find” feature allows users to: –Search for available grant opportunities –Register to receive notification of grant opportunities “Apply” feature allows users to:“Apply” feature allows users to: –Search for and download application packages –Complete application packages offline –Submit completed application packages online –Track the status of submitted applications
Getting Started – Register with Grants.gov: A multi-step process with time required between steps for verification, authentication and confirmationA multi-step process with time required between steps for verification, authentication and confirmation –Register with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) - Organization –Register with the Credential Provider to receive username and password - Individuals –Register with Grants.gov to be designated as an Authorized Organization Representative - Individuals –Log in to Grants.gov to verify successful registration - Individuals –Download PureEdge viewer to be able to access and submit application materials - Individuals Grants.gov registration/authentication processes—allow 7-14 days!
Help is available… Grants.gov provides numerous sources of help to guide you through the processGrants.gov provides numerous sources of help to guide you through the process –Online tutorials and training demos –Checklists and worksheets –Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) –User Guide –Help line – telephone and e-mail support
Grant Funding Resources – Agency Information U.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceU.S. Fish & Wildlife Service www.fws.govwww.fws.gov (see “Grants at a Glance”) www.fws.gov National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration www.coralreef.noaa.govwww.coralreef.noaa.gov/grants.html www.coralreef.noaa.gov USDA Natural Resources Conservation ServiceUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Servicehttp://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation www.nfwf.orgwww.nfwf.orgwww.nfwf.org
Foundations and Corporations $213 Billion 76% Individuals 8% Bequests 12% Foundations 4% Corporations Where it goes: 7% environmental and animal 3% science and technology 25% education 65% other Where the money comes from:
Foundations and Corporations Give locallyGive locally Don’t normally have applicationsDon’t normally have applications Personal contact is requiredPersonal contact is required Fund very specific projectsFund very specific projects Give to non-profitsGive to non-profits
How Do we Find Foundations and Corporations? InternetInternet –Foundation Center Online –Conservation Grants –Environmental Grantmaking Foundations Directory LibrariesLibraries –Foundation Center Collections –Foundation searches, 990s –Chronicle of Philanthropy
Does the Grant Opportunity Work for Me? Does your project meet the funder’s interest?Does your project meet the funder’s interest? Are you an eligible applicant?Are you an eligible applicant? Does it support projects in your area?Does it support projects in your area? Does the funder support all project needs?Does the funder support all project needs? What size grants are given?What size grants are given? What is involved in the application process?What is involved in the application process? What are the grant criteria?What are the grant criteria? Does the timing of funding meet your needs?Does the timing of funding meet your needs?
Budget Your Time 80% planning the project 20% writing the proposal Solid partnerships Innovative project Communicate Define your budget
Get the award for a strong proposal Do your homeworkDo your homework Know the big pictureKnow the big picture Coordinate, establish partnershipsCoordinate, establish partnerships CommunicateCommunicate Know the funder’s budget cycleKnow the funder’s budget cycle Determine how you will meet match requirements.Determine how you will meet match requirements. Pre-writing Phase
Basic Grant Application Components For a more competitive application be sure to include: –Detailed methodology/description of activity –Detailed Budget include how match funds are will be used –Demonstrated partnerships with local communities and resource agencies –Relevant Principle investigator experience and expertise –Description of how information from project will be used to improve management. –Realistic description timeline with benchmarks for deliverables
Get the award for a strong proposal (cont) Follow grant application instructionsFollow grant application instructions Be succinct, well organized, on timeBe succinct, well organized, on time Specify your piece of the pieSpecify your piece of the pie Target funding agency’s prioritiesTarget funding agency’s priorities Set a realistic budgetSet a realistic budget Provide real, legitimate matchProvide real, legitimate match Be innovativeBe innovative Work with a proofreaderWork with a proofreader Writing Phase
Grant Writing Tools – Agency Information Updated Agency WebsitesUpdated Agency Websites FWS/NCTC Grant Writing for Conservation CourseFWS/NCTC Grant Writing for Conservation Course EPA Grant Writing TutorialEPA Grant Writing Tutorial NFWF Pre-proposal FormNFWF Pre-proposal Form NOAA Coastal Services CenterNOAA Coastal Services Center NOAA National Marine Fisheries ServiceNOAA National Marine Fisheries Service NOAA Grants Management DivisionNOAA Grants Management Division
Weak proposals Do not follow directions in the guidanceDo not follow directions in the guidance Are not proof read, have lots of errorsAre not proof read, have lots of errors Have incorrect or insufficient matchHave incorrect or insufficient match Lack coordination and had duplication of activities.Lack coordination and had duplication of activities. Are submitted after the deadline.Are submitted after the deadline.
Weak proposals (cont) Do not provide adequate description of PI’s relevant past experience or performanceDo not provide adequate description of PI’s relevant past experience or performance Demonstrate that work begins or is completed before the grant is to be awarded.Demonstrate that work begins or is completed before the grant is to be awarded.
Remember, Funders Are Partners! Build a relationshipBuild a relationship Be courteousBe courteous Respect their timeRespect their time Know their interestsKnow their interests Discuss opportunitiesDiscuss opportunities Follow upFollow up
What if You Don’t Get the Grant? Follow up – ask: –Any hints to increase success next time? –Any other funders recommended?