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Grant Writing 101 Carla Littlefield August 20, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Grant Writing 101 Carla Littlefield August 20, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grant Writing 101 Carla Littlefield August 20, 2013

2 Grant Writing Commandments Target your proposal to the funder Make personal contact when possible Involve the key people on your team Be concise, clear, positive, and readable Don’t assume anything; leave nothing out Document your sources Manage your deadlines Make sure the application is complete

3 Common Reasons Why Proposals are Rejected Proposal is poorly written, hard to understand Proposal doesn’t follow the guidelines Objectives don’t match the funder’s priorities Objectives are too ambitious in scope Methods are unclear or untested Evaluation procedure is inadequate, doesn’t correspond to the objectives Budget is not within the funder’s stated range Attachments are missing

4 Be Prepared: Information to Have on Hand Updated Organizational Chart Updated resumes of key individuals Updated job descriptions for key positions Demographics for the target population Data and statistics to document needs Recent financial statements Current organization budget

5 Effective Grant Writing Process for Winning Proposals Be alert to the release of RFPs (RFAs) Make go; no go decision; don’t sit on an RFP. Pull together team to agree on response Assign responsibilities, including a coordinator and a writer who will submit drafts for review Communicate regularly with the team Identify and resolve confusions when occur Set deadlines; it all takes longer than expected Leave time for required signatures

6 Tips for the grant writer to assist the reviewer (derived from Strunk & White) Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence. Example: Several changes occurred in Keep paragraphs short Use headings to delineate sections in narrative Use the active voice, not passive. Example: The groups are led by Ms. Garcia (passive). Ms. Garcia leads the groups (active) Be definite (not vague), specific (not general), and concrete Omit needless words (remember G.B. Shaw and others) “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Revise and rewrite

7 Who are the Funders Public Sector: county, state, and federal govt. Private Sector 1. Foundations: – National (Ford, Rockefeller, Mellon, etc.) – General (the largest number) – Community (umbrella org. that manages individual donations and trusts, e.g., Denver Foundation) 2. Corporations: – Give in areas where they have a presence, e.g., Target, Wells Fargo, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Denver Post, U.S. Bank, Kaiser Permanente

8 Funder Deadline Information calendar Identifies deadlines by month for most Colorado foundations calendar Foundation websites have detail, including application requirements. Online applications are becoming more common. Library: see foundation directories for local and national funders Online: Colorado Grants Guide ($895)

9 Common Grant Application Is accepted by many foundations General operating requests have 4 page limit Program or capital requests have 5 page limit Address 10 Questions (org. background; goals; current programs; summary of the plan for program request: needs statement, goals & objectives, activities, timeline; evaluation; collaboration; inclusiveness; board; volunteers; planning

10 Foundation Strategies Find out if your board members have contacts on any foundations. Use these contacts. Note foundations’ priority areas; don’t do a shotgun approach; target your requests to the funders who are interested in your project area Note their range of average grants, e.g., $3-5,000 Note whether they welcome inquiries. If so, call them! Note whether they require a preliminary letter Develop a one-year grant calendar with at least 10 grant opportunities

11 Grant Writing Training Grantsmanship Center $450-$850 intensive 2 day, 3 day and 5 day sessions at locations throughout the country. Work with a team to write a proposal and submit for critique. Locally: Surf the web. Just a few examples (not endorsements): – Coloradogrants.org – Grantwritingusa.com – Many more! Just do it!! Ask a consultant for feedback.


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