Proposal Writing 101: We’re in the Money and There are Partners Knocking at the Door


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For beginner grant proposal writers, this session explores the basics of effective proposal writing, how to research and approach funders, as well as strategies for fundraising and resource development.
Presenter: Patricia Clark, College and Career Academy Support Network

Published in: Technology, Business
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Proposal Writing 101: We’re in the Money and There are Partners Knocking at the Door

  1. 1. #nafnext We’re in the Money: Proposal Writing & Resource Development Patricia Clark College and Career Academy Support Network (CCASN) University of California Berkeley
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  8. 8. #nafnext GOALS FOR THIS SESSION • To increase understanding of the basic elements of a Grant Proposal • To learn more about both Proposal Writing and Grantseeking • To acquire some powerful Proposal writing Tools • To realize that if we approach Proposal writing “bird by bird,” all things are possible.
  9. 9. #nafnext Exercise: You Gotta Have Cause (plus your Elevator Speech) • Complete the “You Gotta Have Cause” Exercise • Think about Your One Minute Elevator Speech • Pair and Share
  10. 10. #nafnext Keys to Success • Create a Proposal Writing & Resource Development/ Partnership Development Team • Engage your Advisory Board & Other Stakeholders in Developing a Strategic Plan AND a related Fund & Resource Development Plan • Build a Proposal writing & Resource Development Kit
  11. 11. #nafnext Keys to Success • Research Potential Funders Thoroughly • Target your Proposals Carefully • Write a clear, concise proposal which includes all forms/follows all instructions carefully
  12. 12. #nafnext Major Components of a Typical Grant Proposal • Cover Letter • Summary/Abstract • Introduction/Background • Need/problem/situation statement – (sometimes includes CASE statement) • Goals/Objectives
  13. 13. #nafnext Major Components • Methods/Activities/Strategies/Work Plan/ Management Plan (often includes Organizational Chart, Qualifications of Key Personnel; sometimes includes Theory of Action) • Timeline (if not already included in work plan) (NOTE: Sometimes funders require info on Qualifications of Key Personnel and/or an Impact Statement)
  14. 14. #nafnext Major Components • Dissemination (when applicable) • Evaluation/ Accountability Plan • Sustainability/Future funding/ Institutionalization • Budget & Budget Narrative/Justification • Support Letters/Appendices • Other requirements such as assurances, sign-off sheets, etc.
  15. 15. #nafnext Two Reminders • PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE FUNDERS’ PRIORITIES, REQUIREMENTS, & CRITERIA !!! • DATA, DATA, DATA … Use Research, Statistics, Evidence, etc. Throughout !!!
  16. 16. #nafnext Steps In the Grantwriting Process (one approach) • Developing Proposal Idea (and finding appropriate funding source/s) • Writing Compelling Need Statement (includes research/evidence) • Defining Clear Goals & Objectives • Developing Methods/Activities/Strategies (includes research base/theory of action) * Preparing Evaluation Component
  17. 17. #nafnext Steps in the Proposal Writing Process • Preparing Budget • Writing Introduction, Proposal Summary/Abstract (possibly Cover Letter) • Gathering/Developing Support Letters/ Appendices • Putting Package Together//Mailing proposal in timely fashion//Follow up
  18. 18. #nafnext Educational Planning -- Backwards • Step 1: What is Your Shopping List? (BUDGET) * Step 2: What is It You’ll be Able to Do That you Can’t Do Now? Describe it. Create a picture in the funder’s eyes. (ACTIVITIES)
  19. 19. #nafnext Educational Planning -- Backwards • Step 3: Why is it that you want students/ teachers/etc. to do these things? (OBJECTIVES) • Step 4: Why did you pick this particular area of learning for the students to work on? (NEEDS)
  20. 20. #nafnext Educational Planning - Backwards • Step 5: How was it that you said you would measure to be sure students have mastered the skills/successfully completed project, etc? (EVALUATION) • Step 6: TIDY UP: MAKE YOUR TIMELINE, BUDGET, STAFFING LIST,
  21. 21. #nafnext Educational Planning - Backwards • Lay out NEEDS – GOALS/OBJECTIVES – ACTIVITIES – EVALUATION sequence Step 7: Write a brief description of your proposed work (ABSTRACT)
  22. 22. #nafnext Common Types of Proposals • Letter of Intent/Inquiry • Letter Proposal • Long/Formal Proposal/Application • Common Grant Proposals • On-Line Proposal
  23. 23. #nafnext Proposals – The Close Relatives • Letter of Introduction (requests interview; does not include an actual request for funding) • Business Plan • Concept Paper
  24. 24. #nafnext Developing the Proposal Idea • What is the community need that the planned project/initiative is addressing? (Need/s Statement) • What would an improved community/ school situation look like? Objectives
  25. 25. #nafnext Developing…Proposal Idea • What can this organization/school/program do to improve the situation? (Methods/Activities) • How will it be determined that the project has succeeded? (Evaluation) • How much will project cost? (Budget)
  26. 26. #nafnext Developing….Idea • How will the project be funded in the future &/or institutionalized/incorporated into ongoing project operations? (Future funding/ institutionalization)
  27. 27. #nafnext Problem Statement/ Needs Assessment • Describes target population to be served • Defines community problem to be addressed AND need in geographical area where organization operates • Is related to purposes & goals of applicant agency/organization/school • Is of reasonable dimensions – not trying to solve all the problems of the world
  28. 28. #nafnext Problem/Needs Statement (continued) • Is supported by relevant statistical evidence • Is supported by statements from authorities/experts • Is stated in terms of constituency/client (student) needs and problems – not the applicant’s • Is developed with input from constituency/ client & beneficiaries
  29. 29. #nafnext Problem/Needs Statement (continued) • Is not the “lack of a program,” unless program always works • Makes no unsupported assumptions • Is brief; interesting; free of jargon; makes a compelling case
  30. 30. #nafnext MAKING THE CASE: Building on the need statement In some proposals, you: • Present your compelling need • Describe how your organization is UNIQUELY qualified to address this need/ successfully implement this project • Include a CASE STATEMENT – document how mission/purpose of your organization is a perfect match with funder’s priorities and this particular project
  31. 31. #nafnext The CASE STATEMENT: • How/why your organization/Academy was started (what problems existed/what reasons for starting) • What is your organization/Academy doing now? Why? With what impact? • Where are you going? (Future)
  32. 32. #nafnext Goals and Objectives
  33. 33. #nafnext Defining Clear Goals & Objectives A GOAL is: • a broad-based statement of the ultimate result of the change being undertaken (a result that is sometimes unreachable in the short term.) • a global, visionary statement (that often create a sense of awe.) • not measurable. • “the end toward which effort is directed.”
  34. 34. #nafnext Defining Clear Goals & Objectives An OBJECTIVE is: • a measurable, time-specific result that the organization/ school/ district expects to accomplish as part of the grant. • “observable & verifiable.” • stated in quantifiable terms. • realistic, capable of being accomplished within time frame.
  35. 35. #nafnext Objectives: Keep them S-I-M- P-L-E • Specific – indicate precisely what you intend to change through project • Immediate – indicate time frame during which problem will be addressed • Measurable – indicate what you would accept as proof of project success • Practical – indicate how each objective is real solution to real problem
  36. 36. #nafnext Objectives: Keep them S-I-M- P-L-E • Logical – Indicate how each objective systematically contributes to achieving your overall goal(s) • Evaluable – indicate how much change has to occur for project to be effective
  37. 37. #nafnext Writing Objectives STANDARD OBJECTIVE FORMAT: To increase the math scores of sophomores at Winston High School by 20% on the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Assessment by June 2012 at a cost of $20,000, as measured by ____________. NOW, TRY WRITING AN OBJECTIVE OF YOUR OWN
  38. 38. #nafnext Methods/Activities • Flows naturally from problems & objectives • Clearly describes program activities • States reasons for selection of activities • Describes sequence of activities • Describes staffing of program • Describes constituency/clients and their selection (if applicable)
  39. 39. #nafnext Methods/Activities • Presents reasonable scope of activities that can be accomplished within time and resources of program • Provides timeline of activities
  40. 40. #nafnext Evaluation Component • Quantitative Methods • Qualitative Methods • Formative or Process Evaluation • Summative or Outcome Evaluation • Other terms: Baseline; Comparison Group; Success Criteria; Assessments; Instruments; Internal Evaluator; External Evaluator
  41. 41. #nafnext Other Aspects… • Future Funding, Institutionalization, Sustainabil ity • Dissemination • Budget • Cover Letter • Summary/Abstract • Other Sections
  42. 42. #nafnext Sources of Funding • Private Foundations & Philanthropic Trusts • Corporations • Government Agencies • Local Businesses • Service Clubs • Community-Based Organizations, Religious Organizations, Individuals
  43. 43. #nafnext A Bit on Grantseeking Grantseeking is About Building Relationships, preferably long term…. (Scenes from a Marriage) Grantseeking is also about Doing Your Homework, Persisting with Passion, and Following Through.
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  47. 47. #nafnext Grantseeking on the Web • • • Federal/State Department of ED sites – list serves ( • CASN_News- (Academy/high school newswire, includes funding opportunities)
  48. 48. #nafnext Setting Yourself Up for Success • Toward a Grantwriting/Resource Development Kit (see packet) • The Devil is in the Details – some tips & some signs of a great grant (see packet) PLUS Ways to Involve Your Community • Remember: You Don’t Always Need a Grant • Some Super Checklists (packet)
  49. 49. #nafnext We dwell in possibilities
  50. 50. #nafnext Next steps • Whatever we can dream, we can do. • Make a plan. Commit yourself. What is your personal next step? • Remember to approach proposal writing “bird by bird” • Let’s Get it Started (a la Black Eyed Peas)
  51. 51. #nafnext Staying in Touch Patricia Clark Career Academy Support Network (CASN) 510.524.0734; 510.504.3826 (cell)