Presentation on theme: "Grant Writing: Show Me the Money. Introductions Who’s here? and why? Grant Writers? Pros?"— Presentation transcript:
Grant Writing: Show Me the Money
Introductions Who’s here? and why? Grant Writers? Pros?
Let’s Get Started.... A discussion…… Today’s educational arena and the landscape in which be find ourselves Your challenge…. A Warning (This is A LOT of work!)
Today’s Goals Help participants to – Navigate the basics Locate a few applicable grants Understand the basics of grant applications Successfully write a grant application Manage grant proposals Develop evaluation and sustainability components of a RFA (RFP)
Basic Terminology R.F.A. = Request for Application R.F.C. = Request for Contract R.F.P. = Request for Proposal Grantor = Approves an application Applicant – then – Grantee or Sub- grantee
Basic Terminology (Continued) Glossaries – o Grants.gov Grants.gov o University of Minnesota University of Minnesota o University of Southern Mississippi University of Southern Mississippi o Alabama Afterschool Community Network Alabama Afterschool Community Network
Locating the funder Internet Publications Professional affiliations Associates Collaborations and cooperation Friends Networking!!!
Categories of funders Government (Federal, State and Local) Foundations (National and Local) Corporations
Foundations vs. State and Federal funding Foundations – Usually provide less money But usually fund more quickly and flexibly Sometimes allow for a wider range of purposes or projects State and Federal funding – Competitive Specific timelines Usually fund a very targeted project or population
Before applying for Federal Grants Applicants must apply for a DUNS Number (Dun & Bradstreet) – an eligibility requirement for federal grants. The federal government will use these numbers to track grant funds. Call, toll-free, or go to There is no charge.
Websites for finding Government Grants - Federal - All levels of government - Great informational site for federal grants - The Federal Register
Foundations and Corporate Funding Sites Grant Station – The Foundation Center –
Helpful Websites for Grant Seekers – Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Opportunities of Interest (General) USDOE Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) – Progressive Yearly Deadlines (First 2 Stages for this year have passed unfortunately) Ranges – ―Scale-up grants: Up to $20,000,000 ―Validation grants: Up to $12,000,000 ―Development grants: Up to $3,000,000 tml
Opportunities of Interest (General) USDOE o Forecasting of funding opportunities Forecasted Funding Federal Registry o Registry Registry
Opportunities of Interest (STEM) National Science Foundation National Science Foundation STEM Grants STEM Grants STEMfinity STEMfinity USDOE - STEM – Overview USDOE - STEM – Overview The Trust Challenge - Digital Media and Learning Competition The Trust Challenge - Digital Media and Learning Competition
Opportunities of Interest (Foundations) PhilanthropyNewsDigest (Publication of The Foundation Center) PhilanthropyNewsDigest The Foundation Center The Walmart Foundation – Focus is now directed toward hunger relief and healthy eating habits. The Walmart Foundation Lowe's Toolbox for Education Lowe's Toolbox for Education o Award Amount - $5000 o Fall Cycle – Opens August 1, 2014
Opportunities of Interest (Foundations) Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama o Ongoing – Revolving Deadlines o $100 - $100,000+ American Honda Foundation American Honda Foundation o February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1, 2013 o $20,000 - $75,000
Opportunities of Interest (Foundations) Dollar General Dollar General o Childhood, Adult, and Family Literacy o Application opens in January each year (missed the deadline for this year, unfortunately) o Typical range is within $5,000 Home Depot Foundation Home Depot Foundation o Available from February 1 – August 15, 2014 o Widely divergent ranges
Sites to assist with Grant Writing These sites provide guidance to effective grant writing:
Grant writing is like a craft – not an art A craft can be learned This is a craft which requires a great deal of effort and time Grant writing doesn’t require a creative writer, but a technical writer Nor does it require a creative project planner – however, the writer must be knowledgeable in the subject area It is like following a recipe!
Overview of helpful hints and tips – Some of these will be addressed in greater detail as we progress Allow adequate time Consult with all involved stakeholders and conduct the necessary research Understand the purpose of the grant and its requirements Establish only one writer with numerous assistants as needed Explicitly follow the instructions
Overview of helpful hints and tips – (Continued) Be brief, concise, and consistent Ensure the proposal answers each question in the RFP (RFA) Establish the goals and activities very clearly in the proposal Ensure costs are reasonable as related to the activities, design, and number to be served Make the final deadline earlier than required For experience and insight, volunteer to be a grant reader Remember…the appearance of a proposal matters
Keys to successfully obtaining a grant Thoroughly research current approaches Find an interested grantor Create an innovative project Reduce or prevent a significant problem Submit a responsive proposal that meets the specific application deadline
Ten Reasons Grant Proposals are Turned Down: 1.Too many errors in the proposal (This organization doesn’t pay attention to details.) 2.Request arrived late, or did not include all the required information 3.The need was not made apparent 4.Proposal establishes no clear link between the ideas, the stated needs, and the organizational goals: Why are you doing this? 5.The ideas expressed and the needs are great, but the project goals are undefined (no focus)
Ten Reasons Grant Proposals are Turned Down: 6.The goals are defined, but they are so broad it cannot be done 7.Who will support the project when the grant is finished? (We don’t want to adopt you.) 8.Too much money requested (We cannot afford to adopt you.) 9.Grantor doesn’t understand the budget rationale (Budget does not support the purpose of the request.) 10.Funder does not support or extend itself in the direction of the proposal
Important Suggestion: Because applicants frequently have little (if even enough time) to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP, RFA) – Applicants should have a year-round system for collecting materials: – Best Practices, Interested Funders, etc. This system – or Collective Bag – should include some of the following: The law Data related Needs Assessment Reports and studies Agreements and approvals Organizational charts Resumes, Salaries and Benefits schedule Description or depiction of service area
How to get the Reader (Reviewer) to love the proposed project Follow the Request For Proposal (RFP) format exactly Write simply and directly No long sentences, big words, insider jargon, acronyms, abbreviations, etc. Design the proposal for neatness, ease on the eye and readability Be brief
The Proposal by Component
Most Grant Applications will have multiple Components Narrative Overview Need (Needs Assessment) Objective (s) Description and Methods Organizational Capacity Sustainability Evaluation Budget (There will be variations on a theme!)
Narrative A Narrative (Overview) o May contain numerous parts, but usually it is some type of overview An Introduction or a letter of introduction Keep these in mind……
Questions most funders want answered What problem is the applicant alleviating and why should the funder care? (Problem statement/Need) What is the applicant selling? (Measurable Objectives) Why did the applicant choose this approach? (Design/Methodology) Who will operate the project and how?
Questions most funders want answered (Continued) When can the funder expect delivery? (Time Line) What is the cost of the applicant’s product or service? (Budget) How will the applicant maintain quality control? (Evaluation) How will the applicant keep the project going when the funding is over? (Sustainability)
The need, challenge or problem must drive the proposal The applicant must use only the data that either is relevant to the need or sub-need(s) – or establish a relevant context for the problem Hint: Do not mention a universal problem – only local or specific to the geographic area
Needs Assessment Conduct all necessary research What is currently occurring in the community to meet the need? How will the proposed project fit in? Who is the target population? Assemble a focus group Involve all pertinent stakeholders Gather statistical data Administer surveys Review the information Demonstrate knowledge of the issue and establish a connection between the need and the proposed project’s objectives
The Needs Assessment Serves As the Foundation for the Entire Proposal State your need Our students need computers. Ask Why? Our students need Restate the Need…computers because they need to learn _______________. Ask Why? Our students need to Restate the Need…be able to ________. Ask Why? Our students need to be Restate the Need…_________________. Continue this process until the fundamental need is reached (Keep delving to get to the heart of the matter)
Goals State the Overall And Long Range Purpose Establish the ultimate desired results of the project Ensure the proposal is necessary, relevant, and compelling Use broad-based statements Make sure the goal is not hard or impossible to measure
Objectives Must be measurable Tell who will do what and when Time-specific results are expected Should be based on realistic expectations Generally more narrowly defined than goals Usually begin with “to” and followed by a verb Involve specific activities or steps used to achieve goals Do not tell how and why
Objectives (continued) A measurable objective can be formulated by answering the following questions: Who? Will do What? To or for how many? Of whom?/Of what? By when? To what extent?/To what purpose?
Developing the Project Design Programming will be the most visible piece of the project Describe in detail the activities that will take place in order to achieve desired results Activities should reflect the goal(s) of your program Those making programming decisions should carefully examine the needs of the participants to be served Describe WHY the activities have been chosen and ensure the methods are realistic Remember, activities can/should change as needs change
Methods and Activities Design This component is the Plan of Action, and should include activities, staff responsibilities, and timelines. It may also include a calendar, a flowchart, organizational chart and curriculum vitae. Applicant must demonstrate here that the project has been planned to complete detail
Program Activities/Methods/Plan Of Operation Describes how objectives will be accomplished Describes program activities Describes sequence and flow Tells when each activity will begin and end Describes staffing and responsibilities Describes facilities and equipment Indicates participating agencies and their role Describes advisory committees Tells how participants will be selected
Highly Recommended Table (Example) Goals Objectives ActivitiesMeasures Florence County adults will enroll in an Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program. After 100 hours of instruction or less: 1a) 50% of learners starting in Beginning ABE will move on to Beginning Basic; 1b) 60% of learners starting Beginning Basic will move on to Low Intermediate Basic; and, 1c) 47% of learners starting Low Intermediate Basic will move on to High Intermediate Basic. Teachers will use individualized and differentiated instruction (one-on-one, small group, large group, computer assisted, peer tutoring) to help learners: build phonemic awareness, develop decoding skills, improve reading comprehension; and, improve math and writing skills. Teachers will use supplemental activities (e.g., books on tape, periodicals) to provide variety and alternatives for motivating students to remain engaged in learning. Guest speakers from the community. 1. Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Math, Reading, and Language Arts. 2. Teacher records of student achievement. 3. Computer checklists.
Organizational Capacity (Capacity to Implement) History and Governing Structure Primary Activities and Services Major Accomplishments, Awards, and Recognitions Key Personnel and Partners How key stakeholders will play a role in program success
Sustainability Prospects for continuing services after sunset of original grant Council of key partners and stakeholders Develop community partners and multi-faceted support Using in-kind resources
Partnerships Assess organizational resources Estimate what is your organizations capacity for space, staff, equipment, materials, transportation, and funds Evaluate your organization to know your strengths and weaknesses Generate a core base of partners Share accomplishments of success Possible Partner Organizations Senior Citizen CentersLocal Businesses Museums, zoos, parksRecreation Centers Youth OrganizationsLaw Enforcement Agencies Civic, professional, volunteer groupsColleges/Universities
Principles for Successful Partnerships Select indicators and performance measures to monitor efforts productivity Involve students and families in the development of program and activities Include key stakeholders from the beginning Define partners’ roles and responsibilities Communicate with partners Be flexible Draw on the strengths of partners Make the project visible to the public Maintain momentum and strive for sustainability
Assessment and Evaluation When writing the evaluation section, think about answering the following questions: How will you know if the program accomplishes what was expected? What information indicates whether the methods you used had an effect on the problem? Is an impact made on the identified need? How will you obtain feedback from the target group and others? What methods will you use for data collection? What instruments will you use for data collection?
Assessment and Evaluation Formative – review of progress at regular intervals (often quarterly) for the purpose for making mid-project corrections and achieving continuous improvement. Summative – review at the end of the project to determine whether each objective has been met The Evaluation Plan should explain how progress and outcomes will be measured ALWAYS commit to a continuous improvement plan
Budget Budgets are cost projections, a window into how projects will be implemented and managed. These factors help assess budgets: Can the job be accomplished with this budget? Are costs reasonable for the market – or too high or low? Is the budget consistent with proposed activities? Is there sufficient budget detail and explanation? Sometimes mandatory budget forms are provided that must be submitted with the proposal.
Budget Categories Budgets typically include some of the following allocations: Personnel Benefits Travel Equipment Supplies Indirect cost (Administrative/overhead/mortgage/rent/utilities ) Contractual (Services, Consulting, etc.)
A good budget will…. Stand alone during the review process Support the program Present a credible picture Include a detailed narrative describing each expenditure Will be formatted attractively and accurately
Budgetary Thoughts Well-planned budgets reflect carefully thought out projects. Typically has three parts: Personnel (salaries, fringe benefits, contracts) Non-personnel (space, rent of equipment, supplies) Indirect cost (overhead) Should be directly correlated to stated goals, objectives and methods. Timeline connections are often found here, as well. If salaries or compensation is to be allocated to the funding – Salary justifications should be included Job Descriptions and expectations are a good idea A match shows commitment on your part.
Final Reminders….. Research before beginning! Read the grant guidelines! Construct a well- documented and concise needs statement! Clarity is important! Proofreading is imperative!
Final Reminders….. Collaboration is vital! Realistic budgets are a must! Don't forget the evaluation component! Address project sustainability! Appearance of the proposal matters!
You can do this!!!
Paul A. Morin Auburn University Truman Pierce Institute College of Education