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    • Grant Writing for Technology Presented by: Michael Fatica Director ENTECH - Empowering Nonprofits in Technology www.entech.org [email_address]
    • About ENTECH
      • Began in 1999, started at the Nonprofit Management Fund
      • Created in response to patterns observed in technology grants
      • Provides independent technology consulting services to area nonprofits
      • Individual & sector-wide services
      • www.entech.org
    • My Grantwriting Experience
      • Worked at the Nonprofit Management Fund for three years evaluating scores of technology proposals
      • Have written a few dozen for ENTECH
      • Have consulted on hundreds of grant proposals & project plans from local nonprofit organizations
    • Technology Grant Proposals
      • Management Related
        • Hardware for servers, networks, phones, copiers and desktop computers
        • Software for management of events, fundraising campaigns, accounting systems, mailing lists etc.
        • Development of custom database
        • Consultation for technology planning
        • Web site development, graphic design
      • Program Related
        • Hardware for computer labs
        • Educational, teaching software
        • Web sites, Program material
      • Strong mission connection
        • There is no technology grant
      • Represents a high priority in the technology plan
        • Is this the right project for the organization to undertake now?
      • Is current, but not too current
        • The technology selected must be field tested. Avoid bleeding edge implementations. Must be “good technology”
      • Is the result of planning; not a funding opportunity
        • Is this decision being made in the context of an overall technology plan?
      • Has informed, independent advice
        • Who is providing the guidance? Do they have anything to gain from their recommendations? Are they qualified?
      A Winning Grant Proposal
      • Acknowledges both up-front and ongoing costs.
        • Support costs, Internet access and hardware replacement should be covered in the budget or long-term plan.
      • Provides for real technical support and training
        • Unsupported/undocumented/untrained-for IT projects fail.
      • Uses available discount opportunities
        • Nonprofits can get it cheaper, most of the time
      • Has been bid upon by multiple vendors
        • A formal RFP process results in increased innovation and decreased cost.
      • Has board, management and staff buy-in
        • The projects main proponent should be at the management level
      • Avoids duplication of efforts
        • By working with other NPO’s costs can be reduced. “Competing” proposals are often better off as collaborative proposals.
      A Winning Grant Proposal cont..
    • Technology Project Lifecycle
      • Technology Inventory
        • What technology do we have and how does each element help the organization succeed?
      • Needs Assessment
        • Where are the gaps and problems in our management and service delivery. Where can technology help?
      • Strategic Planning
        • Create a vision for how technology can address problems identified
      • Project Planning
        • Prioritize and select projects for implementation. How will you know when the project is a success?
      • RFP & Proposal Review
        • For each autonomous project, create a detailed RFP/RFQ and solicit bids.
      • Funding
        • Fundraising is a full time job, but this is where the actual dollar figures can be obtained.
      • Implementation
        • Implement the project.
      • Evaluation
        • Evaluate the project outcomes against measures decided upon in the planning phase.
    • Technology Assessment & Planning
      • Process & Product
      • Useful tools
        • Assessment Worksheet (1 page)
        • Assessment Instrument (15 pages)
        • Inventory software
        • www.techatlas.org
      • Technology plan development
      • Selecting a project or projects
    • Project Planning, RFP’s & Consultants
      • Example RFP Handout
      • You prepare:
        • Scope of Work
        • General project timeline
        • Clear deliverables and measurable outcomes
        • Definition of success
        • As much as you can
      • The Consultant Provides
        • Workplan
        • Contract
        • Hourly rates
        • What they are asked for
      • www.consultantdirectory.org
    • Reviewing Consultant Responses
      • Select The “Best of Breed”
      • Weed out those who don’t:
        • Meet basic qualifications
        • Present thoughtful, custom materials.
        • Have strong, detailed workplans
        • Avoid “buzzwords” and jargon in their documentation.
        • Call to ask more about it
    • Request Presentations
      • Meet with a staff group before the presentations to create basic questions.
        • Do they understand the problem?
        • Can the explain it in plain English?
        • How much will it cost?
        • Are you watching a sales pitch for a specific product?
        • Do they mention training?
        • What are ongoing and upfront costs?
        • Will you be bound to them by service contracts, support and upgrades?
    • Review & Selection
      • The Pros and Cons Matrix
        • (E.g. Who are the pros and who are the cons!)
        • Cost – Is the bottom line realistic?
        • Clarity – Can the consultant avoid geekspeak?
        • Comprehension – Do they understand your organization and what it is trying to accomplish?
      • Checklist for Selecting Consultants
        • Nonprofit experience
        • Relevant experience
        • Demonstrable experience
        • Minimum of 3 references
          • That you check!
    • Writing the Grant
      • Follow the instructions
      • Follow the instructions
      • Answer all of the questions
      • Answer all of the questions
      • Connect the project with the mission
      • Focus on how it will improve the organization’s service delivery and/or management effectiveness
      • Communicate awareness of sustainability factors
      • Be clear and concise. Use “55” instead of “many”
      • Longer is not better
      • Go through the materials checklist (again)
    • Reviewing Proposals
      • Its a lot of work
      • Checklists are minimally useful
      • Does the consultant’s description of the work match the organization’s?
      • Be prepared for a phone call to restate the project objectives & answer specific ?’s
      • Fund Advisors ask themselves “Is this a wise investment?”
      • Does the budget reflect the costs?
    • Common Mistakes
      • Didn’t respond to all questions on the application
      • Provided a response without answering the question
      • Management did not have a clear understanding of the project’s purpose
      • Not connected to the mission
      • Sustainability factors (ongoing costs & support)
      • Training wasn’t a component
    • Example Project 1 - www.jobsthatserve.org
      • An employment Web site for the nonprofit sector
      • Nonprofit Management Fund grant application
      • ENTECH prepared a work plan
      • Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee developed the proposal
      • Project was funded for $9800
      • Consulting dollars vs. organizational support
      • Be prepared to hear “no”
    • Example Project 2 – ENTECH CMS
      • A Web-based Web-site maker
      • Project was not funded
      • Very detailed proposal (Too long to Xerox, see Gant Chart )
      • $25,000 proposal
      • Focus on technology was the weak point
    • Technology Funding & Related Information
      • Nonprofit Management Fund
        • www.nonprofitmanagementfund.org
      • SBC/Ameritech
        • www.sbc.com
      • Technology Grant News
        • www.technologygrantnews.com
      • Marquette Funding Library
        • www.marquette.edu/library/fic/
      • The Nonprofit Portal
        • www.nonprofitmilwaukee.org
      • The Greater Milwaukee Foundation
        • www.greatermilwaukeefoundation.org
    • Thank you!