The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need


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In this session led by the author of Grant Writing for Dummies, Dr. Bev (Browning) will share how the Statement of Need is viewed by grantmaking decision makers (and peer reviewers). Validating your Statement of Need can determine your grant application’s fate.

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The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need

  1. 1. Sponsored by: The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need Dr. Beverly A. Browning August 28, 2013 Twitter Hashtag - #npweb Part Of:
  2. 2. Sponsored by: Advising nonprofits in: • Strategy • Planning • Organizational Development (617) 969-1881 INTEGRATED PLANNING Part Of:
  3. 3. Sponsored by:Part Of: Coming Soon
  4. 4. Sponsored by: Today’s Speakers Dr. Beverly A. Browning Vice President eCivis, Inc. Assisting with chat questions: Jamie Maloney, 4Good Founding Director of Nonprofit Webinars and Host: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Part Of:
  5. 5. Facilitated by: Dr. Bev Browning Vice President Grants Professional Services eCivis, Inc. 480-768-7400 The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need
  6. 6. Statement of Need AGENDA • Vague descriptors • Outdated or non-supporting statistics • Missing support documentation • Why your grant application did not get funded
  7. 7. Vague Descriptors
  8. 8. Are You Guilty of Using These Descriptors in Place of Hard Numbers and Percentages? • A large percentage • A lot • A small percentage • All • All but • Any • Almost • About • Approaching • Around • Everyone • Going on for • In the region of • Just about • Many • More or less • Most • Nearly • Not far off from • On the order of • Roughly • Roughly speaking • Several • Sometimes • These 8
  9. 9. Can You Think of Any More Vague Descriptors in Place of Hard Numbers and Percentages? 9
  10. 10. How Many? 1. A large percentage of the population has been exposed to rotavirus. 2. A small percentage of U.S. families saved in 529 plans in 2010, and those who did tended to be wealthier than others. 10
  11. 11. How Many? 1. Due to past gang activity, the Village has ordered all residents to stay off of the streets after sundown. 2. All but one of the U.S. diplomatic posts closed this week in a sweeping response to fears of a possible al Qaeda attack will reopen on Sunday, the State Department said. 11
  12. 12. How Many? 1. Any child found to be unvaccinated will be reported to the Department of Education and Public Health. 2. Almost everyone is in need of temporary housing. 3. About 20% of the museum’s patrons are upper income. 12
  13. 13. How Many? 1. Many of the residents are approaching retirement. 2. Around half of the students have failed to meet competencies in mathematics, English language arts, and science. 3. These issues have been going on for some time. 13
  14. 14. How Many? 1. In the region of several hundred acres of wetlands needs to be preserved. 2. Just about most of the gallery was damaged by torrential rains. 3. The 2010 Census is more or less on target. Nearly everyone in the town agrees that it’s not far off from the actual count. 14
  15. 15. How Many? 1. We need on the order of several crates of pasta for the classroom art assignment. 2. Roughly everyone in the focus groups agrees on the issues. 3. Roughly speaking, we have a lot of homeless persons in our town. 15
  16. 16. Outdated or Non- Supporting Statistics
  17. 17. For 2013 Grant Requests… • According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2007), 25% of U.S. workers make $8 an hour or less; many families are living from week to week, just on the edge of emergency. 17
  18. 18. For 2013 Grant Requests… • According to educational statistics held by Hempstead Public Schools, a decade ago, more than 39 percent of high school students were absent or tardy, the dropout rate was 29 percent, and the graduation rate, 27 percent, the lowest on Long Island. 18
  19. 19. For 2013 Grant Requests… • The most recent Community Needs Assessment (2000) was conducted by the Cuyahoga Housing Authority. 19
  20. 20. For 2013 Grant Requests… • In 2008, reported that there were 173 Fortune 500 corporations located within a 100- mile radius of the Chicago MSA. 20
  21. 21. For 2013 Grant Requests… Indicators 2010 2011 2012 Juvenile crime rate 335 per 1,000 246 per 1,000 125 per 1,000 Dropout rate 47% 40% 22% Truancy rate 22 per 100 18 per 100 7 per 100 21 When will these rates work in your favor?
  22. 22. Missing Support Documentation
  23. 23. What Footnotes Are Needed? • Approximately 75% of all youth remanded to secure and non-secure detention attended and return to nine of the Island’s highest failure to perform school districts: Freeport, Hempstead, Roosevelt, Uniondale and Westbury in Nassau County and Amityville, Brentwood, Central Islip and Wyandanch in Suffolk County. 23
  24. 24. What Footnotes Are Needed? • Estimates from the City of Natchez, Community Development Office indicate that at least 1,500 evacuees are still here bringing the 2010 population to 19,840. 24
  25. 25. What Footnotes Are Needed? • The percentage of children under 18 who lack full-time parental supervision increased from 37% to 57%. Children who spend 10 hours or more per week unsupervised are twice as likely to become involved in substance abuse and other negative behaviors. 25
  26. 26. What Footnotes Are Needed? • Asia is where the problem is the worst—on the verge of becoming a childhood “epidemic.” Already, 44% of the world’s road deaths occur in Asia. 26
  27. 27. What Footnotes Are Needed? • While Cass County’s number of children ages 0–17 decreased by over 5% between 2000 and 2010, the number of minorities within this age range increased by 30.6% compared to the state increase of 23.9%. Cass County is home to 33% more American Indian/Alaskan Native children than the state average. 27
  28. 28. What Additional Support Document Is Needed? • The About Face! Program serves nearly 350 middle school students annually in a five-county area. 28
  29. 29. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • Traffic accidents are one of the fastest growing causes of sudden death and disability in developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that road accidents will be the world’s third leading cause of premature death for all ages. 29
  30. 30. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • No babies are born within the county because there is no major medical facility with full-service labor and delivery services. In fact, a high percentage of pregnant women, including at-risk teens, travel to Indiana to give birth. 30
  31. 31. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • The average percentage of elementary children qualifying for free or reduced price lunches is above 48%. When the secondary and elementary schools rates are combined and averaged, it is slightly above 42%. Data indicates that in the past year, the free and reduced lunch rate increased by 9.3%. 31
  32. 32. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • North Carolina children face a palpable risk for injury and death from residential fires. More than 12,000 residential fires occur annually in North Carolina with the most common causes of residential fires attributed to electrical and cooking equipment. 32
  33. 33. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • Children under age 14, the group most vulnerable to residential fire injuries, experience a fire death risk nearly six times greater than adults. These injuries are tragedies that affect not just the child and family, but the community as a whole. 33
  34. 34. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • However, our greatest risk/problem is an unreliable pumper truck—our one and only. We never know if the truck’s brakes will fail, the pump will malfunction, the emergency lights or siren will quit, or the engine will not start. 34
  35. 35. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • There is a widening gap between the Arizona MBEs that have managed to find the Council and become better businesses due to their MBE Certification and the MBEs that the Council has not had sufficient funding to identify, recruit as members, and train. 35
  36. 36. What Additional Support Documentation Is Needed? • More perplexing is the low number of graduates from Katy HS and Mayde Creek HS who find employment by the end of the first quarter after they graduate. In 2011-2012, graduates from Katy HS not attending college had not found employment by September 30, 2012. 36
  37. 37. Why Your Grant Application Was Not Funded
  38. 38. • Partial • Unjustified • Unreasonable • Undocumented • Inappropriate • Broad • Limited • Inadequate • Careless • Unfocused • Incomplete • Common • Narrow • Evidence-lacking • Unsound • Unqualified • Weak • Experience- deficient • Concealing • Vague • Impossible • Undemonstrated • Unspecific Peer Reviewers Look for These Weaknesses in Your Proposal – Traps to Avoid!
  39. 39. Failing to… • Delineate the problem or issue within the community to be addressed. • Provide data to substantiate the need. • Include a human interest story or example to make it personal. 39
  40. 40. Failing to… • Focus on a specific issue that relates clearly to the purposes and goals of your organization. • Present a problem that can be reasonably addressed in a given period of time. • Analyze the problem and present statistical comparisons. 40
  41. 41. Failing to… • Fully address the review criteria for rating the Statement of Need. • Failing to use the full page limit allocation for the Statement of Need. • Failing to incorporate graphics into the Statement of Need. 41
  42. 42. Failing to… 42 • Know the peer review points or percentage assigned to the Statement of Need. • Eliminate emotional need language.
  43. 43. Failing to… • Understand how to write to the point value. 1. Total points for application: 100 2. Points assigned to Statement Need: 20 3. Total pages allowed for narrative: 30 4. Suggested pages to write the Statement of Need: 6 43
  44. 44. Failing to… • Ask more content- and formatting-specific questions to private sector funders (foundations and corporations) • Ask how the application will be scored and what percent of applications are not funded because of a weak Statement of Need. 44
  45. 45. The Statement of Need: Missing the Boat Is Not an Option! 45
  46. 46. Dr. Bev Browning’s Books