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Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Successful PRIME Application! Presented by Stacie Pace, Director of ED, Little Dixie Community Action Agency.

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Presentation on theme: "Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Successful PRIME Application! Presented by Stacie Pace, Director of ED, Little Dixie Community Action Agency."— Presentation transcript:

1 Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Successful PRIME Application! Presented by Stacie Pace, Director of ED, Little Dixie Community Action Agency Inna Kinney, CEO, ECDI Jason Friedman, Principal, Friedman Associates AEO’s 2010 National Microenterprise Conference and Training Institute

2 Background Funding under the SBA PRIME Program has proven to be extremely competitive. What does it take to prepare a competitive application? How do you make a successful case for funding? What appears to be good uses of PRIME funding? Learn directly from three practitioners that have extensive (and successful) experience in receiving PRIME funding. We will provide practical counsel and tips on developing your application. The knowledge shared here will also be valuable for your overall fund development strategy. We cannot guarantee success, but we can guarantee you will be in a stronger position for funding!

3 Agenda The Purpose of the SBA PRIME Program Current Status of the SBA PRIME Program How to Make the Case for Your Organization Suggested Strategies for Developing Your Application How MDOs are Addressing Fund Development in Today’s Economic Climate Group Discussion

4 Purpose Premise of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999: Many low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs need training and technical assistance to start, operate, or expand their businesses. Track 1:provide microenterprise training and technical assistance program for disadvantaged microentrepreneurs. Track 2: to provide training and capacity building grant programs to microenterprise development organizations ("MDOs"). Track 3: the Act authorizes research and development of best practices for microenterprise development and technical assistance programs for disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

5 Current status SBA received over 400 submissions and 58 were selected. $5 million in funding. SBA will soon announce the PRIME 2010 NOFA. $8 million in funding is available 2010 for new and continued funding. Typical grants around $100,000.

6 Basic Elements of a Competitive Application Brand the program – the title is your first shot at generating enthusiasm. Applicant experience – start now to make your case! Why you? Differentiate yourself from the competition. Institutional Capacity: prove you have what it takes. Go deeper on the “why you?” Program Narrative: the keys to a make or break narrative and program design.

7 A. Technical Proposal Section #1: Eligibility Requirements First chance to clearly (and briefly) describe your mission target market and typical client (age, race, income, etc.) Do you have a lead quote from someone well known that gets the reader’s attention? Also, come up with program name that is catchy and compelling and helps focus the reader on what to expect in the program narrative section.

8 Section #2: Applicant Experience Start with a vivid description of the context in which you operate in. What are the current economic challenges in your community and within your target market? What data can you use to document these challenges? Where does entrepreneurship fit in? What are the barriers? Position your organization as a major response! Answer the “why you?” Briefly define your programs and services.

9 Section #2: Applicant Experience Commitment to Program Evaluation: describe your outcomes metrics and system for tracking clients. What are your key metrics for measuring impact? Are you a member of MicroTest? Accomplishments to date: both in terms of performance data and other qualitative indicators, e.g., awards, articles, major public speaking engagements, etc. Grants and/or contracts similar in scope to the grant for which you are applying: illustrate the diversity of your funding!

10 Section #3 Institutional Capacity Clearly demonstrate you have the capacity succeed! – Prove why your people are the experts! – Data collection and statistical information tracking: demonstrate your excellence in this area. What kind of system you use?; how you use reports as a management tool and for continuous improvement? Illustrate the kinds of program performance and client data reports you run. Describe your organization's internal systems of checks and balances in terms of financial, data collection, and reporting systems.

11 Section #4: Program Narrative The Program Summary is critical in making your case and getting the reader excited. – What’s the bottom line? – How does the PRIME funding support and expand current activities? How will it strengthen your mission and vision? – Be clear on outcomes. – The Program Summary can sometimes make the difference between being put at the bottom of the pile or making the “A” list!

12 Section #4: Program Narrative Program Design: – What’s your thesis? Theory of change? – Implementation Plan: how will you pull it off? Outreach and Marketing Staffing and Program Delivery – New partners? – Contractors and/or staff Leveraging Your Funding

13 Group Discussion

14 Roll Up Your Sleeves! How have you changed your fundraising efforts as a result of the recession? How do you talk to your community? What steps are you taking to protect your funding and position you to be seen by funders as part of the solution to the economic recovery? What are the simple steps you can take now to strengthen your D&C efforts. How can you tie the headlines to your case for support; position the organization to compete; strategically focus and maximize your fundraising efforts and resources, and get your message out and be heard?

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