Grant proposal


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I created this grant proposal as the final project for my Proposal & Grant Writing class. It is written for a real RFP (request for proposal) but is written on behalf of a fictitious church seeking funding for installing an elevator to improve accessibility for its aging members. I designed the church logo and stationery, incorporating the stock dove image. The photographs I acquired from public domain sources. The extensive research for this project is documented in the annotated bibliography.

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Grant proposal

  1. 1. May 1, 2011Julie Kaufman, Senior Program OfficerThe Retirement Research FoundationATTN: Accessible Faith Grant Program8765 W. Higgins Rd.Suite 430Chicago, IL 60631Dear Ms. Kaufman,Thank you for this opportunity to submit a proposal for an Accessible Faith Grant. Our proposal outlinesa plan to install an elevator in our church building to allow our many senior members and guests toparticipate in the social, service, and worship activities that occur on the second floor of our facility.North Eastside Church has a long history of serving the under-privileged in our North Chicagocommunity. Our now-elderly members began this work shortly after they founded the church and mostof them have continued to participate until recently. The infirmities of age now prevent many of themfrom climbing the stairs to our second floor. We would like to restore to them this rewarding option toserve and socialize.We have managed to raise more than half the cost to install an elevator in our building. Now, wewelcome the opportunity to request a grant to cover the remaining cost.Thank you for taking the time to consider our proposal. We look forward to your response. Forquestions or additional information, I invite you to contact me at 800.888.1700 or by email,Fran McKainElder Care Ministry Leader P.O. BOX 11743 • NORTH CHICAGO, IL 55617 • 800.888.1700 WWW.NORTHEASTSIDECHURCH.ORG
  2. 2. An Elevator for Second-floor AccessAn Accessible Faith Grant Proposalto The Retirement Research Foundationfrom North Eastside Church in North Chicago, Lake CountyMay 1, 2011
  3. 3. ContentsExecutive Summary ...................................................................................................................................... 1An Elevator for North Eastside Church: A Grant Request to Retirement Research Foundation.................. 3 Accessibility Issues at North Eastside Church .......................................................................................... 5 Our Plan: An Elevator Between First and Second Floors ......................................................................... 6 Table 1. The Schedule ............................................................................................................................... 7 Stage One: Create Design, August 2011 ............................................................................................... 7 Stage Two: Plan Construction and Maintenance, October 2011 .......................................................... 8 Stage Three: Obtain bids/Negotiate and award construction contract, January 2012 ........................... 8 Stage Four: Construction/Install Equipment, March 2012 ................................................................... 9 Stage Five: Conclude Project, May 2012.............................................................................................. 9Qualifications at North Eastside Church..................................................................................................... 10 Biographies of Key Personnel............................................................................................................. 10 Background of North Eastside Church ............................................................................................... 11 Existing Senior Services ..................................................................................................................... 12 Past Grants at North Eastside Church ................................................................................................. 13Conclusion: Benefits and Project Costs ...................................................................................................... 13Appendix A: The Project Budget Rationale ............................................................................................... 14 Table A. The Budget ............................................................................................................................... 15Appendix B: Conceptual Drawings ............................................................................................................ 16
  4. 4. Executive Summary As the Baby Boomers move into their retirement years, they find it harder to participate in their churches. These older members often encounter barriers within their church facilities that their declining physical abilities cannot surmount. As a result, even long-time members may cease to participate in the activities of their faith communities and may have to accept the lower quality of life that this means for them. At North Eastside Church, we think this withdrawal can be corrected, and see a need to take action soon. Already, several of our seniors can no longer climb the stairs to the second floor of our building. They are now unable to participate in many of our church activities, including our upstairs community service center and food pantry. The declining physical abilities of a large percentage of our older members are the main reason why we must improve access to our church building. Our plan is to install an elevator between the two floors of our building so all members and guests can participate in the activities that occur on the second floor. The plan is to: “An elevator will 1. Create a design allow our senior 2. Plan construction and maintenancemembers and guests 3. Obtain bids and negotiate and award the construction contract to participate.” 4. Construct the elevator shaft and equipment room and install the elevator equipment 5. Conclude the project and perform an implementation evaluation Many people will benefit from this plan. First, our senior members will be able to participate in the programs and activities that occur in our church building. Secondly, members of our community, including those with disabilities, will be able to access the food pantry and community service center. And finally, our staff will more easily move the food and clothing we provide through this program into and out of the building. Caring for the needs of our seniors is part of a long track record at North Eastside Church of serving the elderly and underprivileged in our community. We are committed to valuing our seniors and to supporting the quality of their lives. As such, we are well-aligned with the objectives of The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF). 1|Page
  5. 5. This proposal was written in response to the request for proposal foraccessible faith grants posted on the RRF website: Thank you for theopportunity to apply for this grant. We look forward to partnering withRRF on this project. 2|Page
  6. 6. An Elevator for North Eastside Church: A Grant Request to Retirement Research Foundation Since its founding in 1972, North Eastside Church has passionately embraced a mission to serve the spiritual and physical needs of those living in its surrounding urban neighborhoods. The original members of the church began with a small food pantry. They later enlarged it and added a second floor to accommodate storage of used clothing and household items for those in need. Many of those original members are still with us forty years later and still desire to participate in this ministry. However, with the infirmities of age, many of them can no longer climb the stairs to our second floor to participate in this program and the other church activities that occur there. “North EastsideChurch has a mission to serve its community.” Figure 1 North Eastside Church (“Anglican Christ church,” 2010). To resolve this problem, this proposal recommends the installation of an elevator between the two floors. See Figure 2 for conceptual drawings which shows where the elevator could be positioned. See Appendix B for enlarged drawings. This solution will enable older members and guests who have disabilities to participate in all the activities the church offers. 3|Page
  7. 7. Figure 2 Conceptual drawings showing possible placement of elevator (“Salem,” 1773.). In this proposal, we will first explain the current situation with theolder members at North Eastside Church and the results of our interviewswith them about the accessibility of the facility. Second, we will presentour plan for installing an elevator to enable our mobility-challengedmembers and guests to access the programs and activities that occur on thesecond floor of our church building. Third, we will discuss thequalifications of the North Eastside Church to meet the RRF criteria for anAccessible Faith Grant. And finally, we will present some of the benefitsof implementing our plan and the costs it will incur. Our goal is to showthat North Eastside Church is an ideal candidate and is well-prepared tosatisfy RRF’s objectives in improving the quality of life for oldermembers of Chicago-area faith communities. 4|Page
  8. 8. Accessibility Issues at North Eastside Church Before describing our plan, we want to explain the changes that created the need for elevator access to the upper floor of the North Eastside Church. The need results from the increasing physical disabilities of our large population of elderly members. In 1972, when the North Eastside Church was built, the membership consisted entirely of young families. As the membership grew, they expanded the space of this inner-city church by adding a “More than 40% of second floor. They thus created two classrooms, a fellowship hall and our 180 members kitchen, and a community services center with storage space for used are over 65.” clothing, household goods, and a food pantry. In many ways, this second floor has become the heart of our faith community. This is where we study together, socialize together, and serve others together. Unfortunately, our “upper room” activities no longer include many of those who helped to create this space. Today, more than 40% of our 180 church members are over the age of 65. Nearly half of these members no longer attend church regularly. The church interviewed almost all of its elderly members, particularly those who no longer attend, to find out what barriers prevent them from coming to the church. They indicated that they are no longer able to climb the stairs to the second floor of the church. As a result, they cannot participate in Bible study classes before the church service or in many of the social and service activities of the congregation. This discourages them so that they feel it is not worth the effort to get to church. The findings of other research confirm what our seniors have expressed. Discouragement over accessibility barriers is a common reason for elderly people to stop attending church, according to a study by Douglas Fountain (Fountain, 1986). Our older members have many of the typical problems of the elderly, including several in wheelchairs or who use a walker, so their discouragement about our access issues is understandable. Our housebound seniors told us that listening to recordings of the weekly sermons and even receiving regular visits is not the same as actually being there. They miss the social connection and sense of purposeFigure 3 Member Ann Stephan is that they have lost by not being able to attend in person. Being part of the now confined to a wheelchair.. (“US Navy 090302,” 2009). group is important to them. Studies have shown that the quality of life and emotional health of the elderly are improved by active involvement within 5|Page
  9. 9. a church community (Puffer & Miller, 2001). Solitary confinement is notgood for anyone. Of all the things they miss, our seniors most frequently mentionedthe community service center. Our elderly members are the most activeparticipants in this program which feeds and clothes many of the poor inour downtown area. But to participate, they must be able to get to ourupstairs community service center rooms. Those who are no longer able todo so have expressed the deep sense of loss they feel at being deprived ofthis opportunity for meaningful service. “Solitary confinement is not good for anyone.”Figure 4 Joe Denny can no longer join his friends to help in the food pantry (“US Navy 040120,” 2004).Our Plan: An Elevator Between First andSecond FloorsTo enable our older members to remain involved inthe church programs, they need a way to access ourupper floor. This need will be satisfied by a solutionthat meets the following objectives:1. Enable our older members and guests who cannot climb stairs to participate in the services, Figure 5 Volunteers Cal Lowe, Byron Stitzer, Clay Wenger and activities, and community service programs Larry Howell pack bags of food in the food pantry every that occur on the second floor. Tuesday morning (Augustino, 2004).2. Remain in our current facility.3. Not overextend ours budget. To meet these objectives, we propose to install an elevator betweenthe two floors. An elevator is better than a chair lift because it will provideaccess to people with all types of disabilities, not just those in wheelchairs. 6|Page
  10. 10. An elevator will ease access for the program’s limited-ability clients. Itwill also ease moving the goods offered through our community serviceprogram in and out of the upstairs workroom. We will implement our plan in five stages (see Table 1). First, wewill work with an architect to create a design. Second, we will plan theconstruction phase, select materials and equipment, and arrange themaintenance plan for the elevator equipment. Third, we will solicit bidsand negotiate and award the construction contract. Fourth, we will buildthe elevator shaft and install the elevator. And finally, we will perform thefinal inspections, project closure, a celebration, and an implementationevaluation.Table 1. The Schedule May ‘12 Aug ‘11 Mar ‘12 Feb ‘12 Nov’11 Oct ‘11 Jun ‘12 Dec’11 Jan ‘12 Apr’12 Sep’11StageCreate design 60 daysPlan construction & maintenance 90 daysObtain bids/Award contract 60 daysConstruction/Install equipment 60 daysConclude project/Conductevaluation 60 daysStage One: Create Design, August 2011We will begin by working with our architect to create the detailed designand determine the project schedule. Because our budget is limited, we willensure that the architect understands our financial guidelines prior todeveloping the design. Defining the design and the detailed project stepswill help to refine the project budget. We will also ask the architect toconsider that the design must integrate well with the existing facility. Wedo not want the current beautiful and functional design of the building tobe compromised. We estimate this stage to require sixty days. When complete, wewill present the schedule, detailed design, and revised project budget toyou, and to all our stakeholders, for review before we begin the next stage. 7|Page
  11. 11. Stage Two: Plan Construction and Maintenance, October 2011With an approved design in place, we will work with the architect to planthe actual construction and the installation and future maintenance of theelevator equipment. First, we will prepare a materials and equipment list and select thematerials, equipment, and finishes for the project. The most importantdecision in this step is choosing the elevator equipment. We will identifyseveral vendors to evaluate. We will seek references from previous RRFgrantees as well as from the Better Business Bureau on both the equipmentand the installer. We will obtain bids from each vendor. We will alsorequest each vendor to arrange opportunities to observe their equipment ata client facility where the equipment is currently in use. We will interviewthe facility owners to learn their opinions about the equipment and thevendor. Another factor we will consider in selecting the elevator equipmentis the maintenance contract. We will ask each vendor for the typicalmaintenance costs for their equipment. Based on these, we will prepare amaintenance plan for the selected equipment. Also, once the elevatorequipment has been identified, we will obtain the exact dimensions and “The most importantspecifications from the vendor. We will then work with the architect to consideration in thisprepare the construction drawings and specifications. step is choosing the A further consideration is how to avoid disrupting the church elevatorcommunity during the construction phase. Temporary changes to the equipment.”usage of the facility will minimize this issue. These changes will includeisolating the construction zone to ensure safety and to minimize dust anddebris from pervading the building. They will also include arrangementsfor activities that are displaced during construction. We estimate ninety days to complete this stage. At the conclusionof this stage, we will update the schedule, design, and budget as necessaryand present these, along with the equipment list, construction documents,equipment maintenance plan, and temporary usage plan to you and ourstakeholders for approval. Stage Three: Obtain bids/Negotiate and award construction contract,January 2012With the approval of the construction plan, we will work with ourarchitect to begin the search for a qualified contractor, consideringreferrals from previous RRF grantees and the Better Business Bureau.From this list of prequalified contractors, we will solicit bids and select acontractor. We will submit a report to you and our stakeholders that 8|Page
  12. 12. presents the bids, recommends the selected contractor, and explains the reasons for the choice. After obtaining approval to award the contract , we will work with the architect and our legal counsel to prepare the construction contract and award it to the selected contractor. Of course, we will notify the other bidders of our decision. Finally, before beginning the construction stage of the project, we will obtain the necessary building permits, bonding, worker’s comp, liability, and builder’s risk insurance to protect our organization during the construction project. We estimate sixty days for this stage of the project. Stage Four: Construction/Install Equipment, March 2012 Once construction begins, we will work with the architect to review the project each week to ensure the quality and completeness of the work. We will also review the contractor’s payment requests each month. We will pay the contractor every month, according to the terms of the construction contract. We will work with the contractor and the architect to order “You will enjoy materials and equipment to ensure that these are available as needed and seeing some of our thus avoid project delay.older members smile We estimate sixty days for this stage of the project. During this as they roll their time, we will submit a report at the end of each month, to you and to our wheelchairs into stakeholders, detailing the status of the project. that elevator!” Stage Five: Conclude Project, May 2012 When construction is complete, we will work with our architect to inspect the construction and equipment installation for conformance to the construction contract. We will create a list of any items to be addressed and work with the contractor to ensure that these are completed. After our final inspection, we will arrange for official inspections to ensure the installation complies with building codes. We will receive and archive the “as built” drawings from the architect. At this point, we will submit a report to you and the stakeholders about the completed status of the installation. Upon approval, we will formally accept the completed work and make the final payment to the contractor and the architect. We will update our building insurance policies to include the new equipment. We will also receive and archive the operational and warranty information on the equipment. Completing this important project calls for a celebration! We will stage an open house to inaugurate the new elevator and celebrate the improved access for our older members and guests. We will definitely send pictures so that you can enjoy this success too. You will enjoy seeing 9|Page
  13. 13. some of our older members smile when they roll their wheelchairs intothat elevator! Finally, we wish to conduct an implementation evaluation of theproject following the RRF guidelines. This will help our organization tolearn from this experience and determine how well the project objectiveshave been met. We will submit a report of the results of this evaluation toour stakeholders and to you so that future grantees may also learn fromour experience. We estimate sixty days for this stage of the project.Qualifications at North Eastside ChurchNorth Eastside Church is exceptionally engaged in providing resources forseniors, their families, and caregivers. With more than 40% of ourmembers over the age of 65, we have recognized the reality of the agingbaby boomer population and the necessity of caring for their needs. Wewant to serve as an example to other faith-based organizations about whatcan and should be done for, and with, the elderly. “We haveBiographies of Key Personnel recognized theThe project leaders for the elevator project will be Fran McKain and Larry reality of the agingVan Hees. baby boomer • Fran McKain is the Elder Care Ministry Leader at North Eastside population and the Church. She chairs the Elder Care Ministry Committee. In this role necessity of caring she has the following responsibilities: 1) understanding the needs for their needs.” of the older members of the congregation, 2) maintaining programs to meet those needs, 3) assimilating elders into the active life of the church, 4) addressing physical access issues, 5) educating members and the local community about elder care, and 6) serving as a liaison to local organizations that provide services to seniors. She has a special regard for older people and a passion for this ministry. From her career as a business systems analyst, she brings strong analytical and organizational skills to this role. Fran is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA, 2011) • Larry Van Hees leads our Community Service Center which provides food, clothing, and household goods to those in need in our community. Larry is a Certified Senior Advisor. He also serves on our Elder Care Ministry Committee, lending his vibrant energy to the programs for our seniors. Larry is a retired building contractor and has extensive experience in construction for non- 10 | P a g e
  14. 14. profit organizations including churches, private schools, and assisted living facilities. • Irwin Rogers is a member of our Elder Care Ministry Committee and is a great example of the value seniors can bring to the life of the church. He is over 80 years old, but is still actively involved in ministry. He regularly communicates with our older members— especially those who are home-bound. Irwin has a deep understanding of gerontology from his many years of providing insurance to retirement homes and assisted living facilities in the U.S. Irwin is also a Certified Senior Advisor. • Milford Terrell is chair of our Executive Committee which oversees the Elder Care Ministry Committee. Another very active senior, Milford still owns and operates a plumbing contracting company and serves on the state Board of Education. Milford has led several successful fundraising efforts. • Nick Voth is a building contractor and a member of both the “Many of our Elder Executive Committee and the Elder Care Ministry Committee. Care Ministry Nick is also a Certified Senior Advisor. He has a personal interestCommittee members in elder care because he and his wife share their home with his are Certified Senior mother-in-law. Advisors.” • Gary Crawford chairs the North Eastside Finance Committee. He has extensive experience in church governance at both the local and regional level and has overseen several church building projects. He owns and operates Crawford Network Consulting. Other members of our Church Board and Elder Care Ministry Committee will participate in the project. Many of these members are long-time residents and are well-acquainted with the needs of our local community and our church members. They will review and consult on each stage of the project. Background of North Eastside Church North Chicago is a struggling town. Since 1972, when North Eastside Church was founded, the population of North Chicago has declined from its peak of more than 47,000 to fewer than 36,000 today (“North Chicago,” 2009). This exodus was due in part to the closing of the city’s largest employers and to reduced activity at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station after the Vietnam War (“North Chicago,” n.d.). The population and the income level of our city have both plummeted until we are now one of the poorest municipalities in the state with an average income of approximately $35,000 (Record Information Services, 2011). 11 | P a g e
  15. 15. Our community has a great need for social assistance and our church ishelping to fill that need. The members of North Eastside Church started our CommunityService Center and food pantry in 1976 as a means to help our strugglingcommunity. We receive donations of food and used clothing andhousehold items from various neighboring areas and offer them, free ofcharge, to local residents. Most of the volunteer staff for this effort are ourseniors who spend two or three days each week working at the center. They find the work rewarding because itprovides socialization and a gives them aworthwhile purpose. They especially enjoy thequilting bees. Staff members share a meal and thenthe women work together on quilts or afghanswhile the men repair various items or just visit.Several seniors from the community participate inthese social events, also. The staff give the quiltsand blankets to clients of the Community ServiceCenter, and donate baby-size quilts to the NeonatalIntensive Care Unit at our local hospital. Figure 6 Volunteer, Ardith Tait, packs used clothing (Booher, 2004)Existing Senior ServicesIn 1999, North Eastside Church recognized that it is no longer just ourcommunity that needs our support. We realized that our senior membersalso needed a little assistance in order to continue enjoying our activities.We had several with hearing loss, so we installed assisted listeningdevices. We installed a ramp at the front entrance to ensure wheelchairaccess. We also formed our Elder Care Ministry Committee and began toinvestigate the needs of our seniors. To learn how to help our seniors,several of our members attended training to receive the Certified SeniorAdvisor credential. Today we have ten members on our elder careministry team who provide training and hands-on assistance to seniors andtheir families and caregivers both within our membership and for seniorsin our community. For those who are house-bound, we provide a live webbroadcast of our church service. One of our Bible study classes meets atthe local assisted living center, rather than at the church, so that ourmembers (and others) who are residents there can participate. 12 | P a g e
  16. 16. Past Grants at North Eastside Church To help with our community service activities, our church has received two previous grants. In 1992 we received a grant of $8,000 received through the Jewel-Osco Hunger Relief Grant Program which we used for a panel truck to pick up donations. In 2008 we received a grant of $1,000 from the Congressional Hunger Center which we used for refrigerators for the food pantry. Based on these descriptions, it is evident that North Eastside Church has a strong track record of supporting older adults so they may enjoy a good quality of living. Installing an elevator to improve access is the logical next step for us. We invite you to visit to learn moreFigure 7 Picking up donations for the food pantry from a local grocer (Wheeler, 2003). about our senior ministry. Conclusion: Benefits and Project Costs To conclude, let us summarize the benefits and costs of our proposal. The total cost of the elevator project is $61,800, of which our church community has raised just over half ($34,000). The remaining cost is $27,800, and we request a grant for this amount from RRF. With this elevator in place, all our older members and community guests will have to access our second floor. As a result, seniors and those with disabilities will be able to come out of solitary confinement and re-engage in our programs and activities. All will be able to participate in our Community Service Center and food pantry. These elderly members can then remain involved both socially and in various service roles, thus increasing their quality of life. We look forward to watching 76- year-old Ann Stephan roll her wheel chair out of theFigure 8 Elderly members busy making a quilt (“Gee’s elevator and down the hall to re-join her friends at the Bend,” 2005). quilting bee. Thank you for considering our request. We look forward to hearing your response. We invite you to ask questions or make suggestions about our proposal to Fran McKain, our Elder Care Ministry Leader. Her phone number is 800.888.1700. You can also reach her by email at 13 | P a g e
  17. 17. We appreciate your time and interest in ourproject.Appendix A: The Project Budget RationaleWe have received excellent advice on researching the budget for this project and on ways to keepthe cost low from the two experienced building contractors among our church membership. Wehave determined that the biggest expense for the project will be the elevator equipment andinstallation, followed by the fees for the architect and contractors. To fully cover the costs ofoperating the new equipment, we have included maintenance for the first year as well as theincreased insurance premium we will incur once the elevator is installed. To reduce costs, our members with construction experience will guide volunteers in ourcongregation to perform several of the building tasks. These volunteers will perform demolition,construction site cleanup, and texture and painting. Also, our members plan to donate the costs ofany travel and communication, other than a small amount for postage and documents. These costsavings, combined with the $36,000 that our congregation has raised by diligent fundraisingefforts over the last five years, will enable us to complete the project without exceeding RRF’s$30,000 grant limit. 14 | P a g e
  18. 18. Table A. The Budget Item Cost Totals1. Direct Labor $10,000Architect (50 hours @ $200/h) $10,0002. Facilities and Equipment $47,400Contractor fees Framing and sheetrock installation $8,000 Electrical $1,000 Phone $200 Plumbing (elevator mechanical room) $1,000 Finish carpentry $2,000Building permits $200Elevator Equipment and installation $35,000 First year maintenance $1,500Insurance $5003. Materials $4,100 Blueprints (4 sets @ $50/set) $200 Lumber & sheetrock $1,500 Electrical $1000 Plumbing $500 Texture and paint $400 Finishes $5004. Communication $300Postage $50Documentation $250TOTAL COSTS $61,800 15 | P a g e
  19. 19. Appendix B: Conceptual DrawingsThe drawings below are enlarged to show the possible placement of the elevator within ourchurch building. Figure 9 Conceptual drawings showing possible placement of elevator (“Salem,” 1773). 16 | P a g e
  20. 20. ReferencesAnglican Christ Church [digital image]. (2010). Retrieved June 22, 2011 from I am using this photograph of the Anglican Christ Church in western Australia as a stand-in for the fictional North Eastside Church which is the subject of this proposal. The photographhelps to illustrate that the church does, in fact, have a second floor and is in good enoughcondition to be worth the investment of installing an elevator.Augustino, J. (2004). FEMA - 10575 [digital image]. Retrieved June 22, 2011 from I am using this photograph as a stand-in for the semi-fictitious volunteers who aremembers of the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. This photograph demonstratesthat the elderly men also find fulfillment in the camaraderie of working together at theCommunity Service center.Booher, A. (2004). FEMA – 10046 [digital image]. Retrieved June 22, 2011 from 17 | P a g e
  21. 21. I am using this photograph as a stand-in for the semi-fictitious Ardith Tait who is amember of the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. The photograph demonstratesthe fulfillment older members find in participating in the Community Service center.CSA, (2011). Society of certified senior advisors. Retrieved April 17, 2011 from This is the official website of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (CSA). The siteexplains the growing need for services for seniors, especially as the Baby Boomers rapidlydominate the ranks of the retired. CSA provides training and certification to prepare people toprovide these services. This information clarifies the significance of the fact that North EastsideChurch has several CSA certified Senior Advisors. This underscores our commitment tosupporting our seniors and demonstrates that we are a good match for RRFs grant criteria.Fountain, D. E. (1986). Assimilation of the elderly into the parish [Electronic version]. Concordia Theological Quarterly, 50(1), 19-24. Retrieved March 18, 2011 from The research discussed in this article about the church attendance of the elderly wasconducted in 1986 and may be outdated in some ways. However, the point that I draw from thisarticle—that physical access issues discourage the elderly with disabilities from attendingchurch—seems unlikely to change with time. This point helps to explain why North EastsideChurch must resolve its access issues. 18 | P a g e
  22. 22. Gee’s Bend quilting bee [digital image]. (2005). Retrieved June 22, 2011 from I am using this photograph as a stand-in for the semi-fictitious quilters who are membersof the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. This photograph demonstrates thesocializing which adds to the quality of life of the seniors at this church.North Chicago, IL. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2011 from This article is presented by the Chicago Historical Society and is posted in their onlineThe Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. It provides a history of the city of North Chicago,Illinois from the late 1800s through the present time. This history explains the factors that causedthe decline of the population and average income level in this depressed community. These factsare an important part of explaining why the North Eastside Church needs assistance to install anelevator.North Chicago, IL. (2009). Retrieved April 17, 2011 from Based upon statistics from the Illinois Department of Commerce and EconomicOpportunity, this website presents population demographics for the city of North Chicago, 19 | P a g e
  23. 23. Illinois from 1980 to the present. This helps to substantiate my argument that the city has been ina population decline since the 1970s.Puffer, K. A., Miller, K. J. (2001). The Church as an Agent of Help in the Battle Against Late Life Depression. Pastoral Psychology, 50(2), 125-136. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. This article is from the journal, Pastoral Psychology, and is co-authored by Keith A.Puffer, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC, who is an ordained minister, counselor, and an Associate Professorof Psychology. The authors present well-cited evidence to explain the phenomena of late lifedepression. They show that the church is in a good position to help older adults avoid orovercome this problem by providing both socialization and a sense of purpose and well-beingthrough being involved. This helps to support my argument that restoring access to the secondfloor activities at North Eastside Church is vital to the well-being of our currently house-boundelderly members.Record Information Services, Inc. (2011). Lake County municipalities and demographics. Retrieved April 17, 2011 from http://www.public- Based upon statistics from the current U.S. Census Bureau, this website presentspopulation and median household income demographics for the municipalities in Lake County,Illinois. This substantiates my point that North Chicago is one of the poorest cities in the county. 20 | P a g e
  24. 24. Salem Munster Grundriss [digital image]. (1773). Retrieved June 22, 2011 from I am using this set of drawings from the Salem Munster Grundriss Church as a stand-infor the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. The drawings demonstrate thefeasibility of placing an elevator in this church building and also show the facilities available onthe second floor which illustrates the importance of providing access to them for all members.US Navy 040120-N-0879R-009 Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Johnson stares at the list of names inscribed in the USS Arizona Memorial [digital image]. (2004). Retrieved June 22, 2011 from I am using this photograph as a stand-in for the semi-fictitious Joe Denny who is amember of the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. This photograph is important toshow the emotional impact of the impossible barrier a flight of stairs presents to a personconfined to a wheelchair. It also demonstrates the loss such a person feels when not able toparticipate in the activities of those who can climb the stairs.US Navy 090302-N-3241S-011 Electricians Mate 1st Class Kellie Matzen cleans a residents wheelchair [digital image]. (2009). Retrieved June 22, 2011 from 21 | P a g e
  25. 25. I am using this photograph as a stand-in for the semi-fictitious Ann Stephan who is amember of the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. This photograph demonstratesthe loneliness an older person can feel when confined to a wheelchair.Wheeler, D. (2003). FEMA - 8577 [digital image]. Retrieved June 22, 2011 from I am using this photograph as a stand-in for the semi-fictitious volunteers who aremembers of the fictitious North Eastside Church in this proposal. The photograph helps todemonstrate the value that the Community Service center provides to the community. This factoris a value held by the grant making organization, so demonstrating it shows the this churchmatches their values. 22 | P a g e
  26. 26. Reflection This class has provided excellent guidance through the process of writing a grantproposal and has helped with the challenges and supported effective learning.The Process The hands-on, step-by-step approach of this class kept me focused on developing eachcomponent, and on the overall design and editing process. Tackling that all at once would havebeen confusing and overwhelming. One example was the guidance in the first two units tochoose a problem and an RFP. Doing this early in the class was especially important in my case. I had to invent the case for the grant because the grant-making organization I selected(the Retirement Research Foundation, or RRF) only provides grants to Chicago-area churches. Idefined the characteristics of this fictional church to make them a good match for RRF’s values.Doing so was insightful because it required me to think about the organization’s values anddetermine what they would want to see. Of course, writing fiction is not a skill that writers ofgrant proposals should cultivate, but in this case it was a good learning aid. Because my church is fictional, I had to do research about the Chicago area to identify alow-income community (one of the values of my grant maker). Then I had to learn about thehistory of the community in order to build a story that made sense about the history of mychurch. I also wanted it to be a compelling story that would demonstrate that this church hasvalues similar to those of RRF. A church with a long history of caring about the needs of theunderprivileged in a community that has suffered a economic decline served that purpose.
  27. 27. Challenges The class materials not only helped with the process of writing my proposal. They alsohelped with some of the challenges. One of those challenges was figuring out the schedule andthe budget. I have never hired a construction crew and I knew nothing about elevators. I had todo quite a bit of research to learn how a construction project is planned. I was pleased to locate awebsite published by the First Baptist Church, Tallasee, which provides a number of articles andguides about planning and executing church building projects (“Church Building ProgramResources,” n.d.). This advice was indispensible as I created my plan and schedule. Creating the budget was also a challenge. I had to find out how much an elevator costs,and I had to figure out how the budget for a construction project is determined. Determining thecost of an elevator is difficult because there are many different types and many options and thespecific prices are not published. My most important reference was an article with informationfrom The Means Report which provides standard construction costs for various projects invarious locations throughout the country (Dalvitt, 2010). To learn how the budget is handled forconstruction projects, I contacted a friend who is a building contractor. He explained that thecontractor and his crew are a line item on most construction budgets and are not considered staff.This helped me to understand how to place the construction cost on the budget.Learning The most significant of the lessons I have learned are the grant making process, how toresearch the proposal, and how to design and write the document to make it most persuasive.
  28. 28. Regarding the grant making process, the first discovery was the existence of RFPs(requests for proposal). I had previously assumed that grants were all unsolicited, but from thisstudy I now understand that there are many grant-making organizations who post RFPs forcauses that they value (Johnson-Sheehan, 2008). Such organizations must have a process todecide whether the proposal matches their values. Knowing this clarifies what to include in thegrant proposal. Creating a proposal that aligns to the values of the grant making organizationrequires thorough research. I discovered that the official website of the grant makingorganization is a good source and so are places like LinkedIn, Facebook, other organizations theofficers are involved with, and media publications in which they have appeared. From these, Icould piece together a profile of experience, expertise, and values of the potential reviewers. Even with a proposal that is a perfect match to the values and objectives of the grantmaking organization, the presentation of the material in the proposal could affect whether it isapproved or not. Of course, this begins with including all the necessary content: executivesummary, introduction, current situation, project plan, qualifications, budget, costs and benefits,and conclusion (Johnson-Sheehan, 2008). But having the right content is not enough. Writingclearly and persuasively matter. The guidance about writing plain sentences and paragraphs helped. I learned that thereare sometimes tradeoffs to make between these guidelines. For example, aligning the subjects ina sentence sometimes makes it necessary to introduce a nominalization even though the goal is tominimize nominalizations. Faced with this, I had to decide whether to have a few sentenceswhere the subjects do not align, or to keep the nominalization.
  29. 29. I especially valued the guidelines on persuasive writing. One of the skills I particularlycame to appreciate is the word mapping exercise. Producing a repertoire of words to create theemotion I want the reader to feel makes it easy to edit them into the text. I also learned thatwords, alone, are not enough to maximize persuasion. Graphics and design matter also. The design principle that balance creates a sense of stability was particularly useful.Unless the goal is to create a sense of dissonance as part of persuasion, it is best to strive for thatstable, balanced feeling to minimize distractions. Thus, the reader can focus on the message.Using virtual grids to control the placement of text, colored or monochrome graphics, pullouts,and other devices all help to create balance. Applying these principles when designing myproposal was challenging. I had to learn a few new things about Microsoft Word in order tosuccessfully control the placement of the various elements. In a few places, the graphics that fitthe message of a particular section were not easy to place with balance. Pages 5 and 6 of myproposal were particularly challenging. This section needed to convey the emotion of loss thatthe elderly members feel in being isolated or unable to participate with their friends. I wanted touse the specific graphics and pullouts I had chosen to enhance this emotion. But I found itdifficult to arrange them so that they aligned with the text and still looked balanced. I finallyfound an arrangement that seems to work. As a result of the skills I have learned in this class, I feel capable of writing a strongproposals, including grant proposals.
  30. 30. ReferencesChurch building program resources. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2011 from This website is published by the First Baptist Church of Tallassee. It contains numerousarticles about how to plan and manage church building projects. I did not directly reference thismaterial in my proposal. However, I did follow much of the advice I found here in planning theconstruction project outlined in my proposal.Dalvitt, D. (2010). How much does a hydraulic 2-stop elevator cost? Retrieved April 29, 2011 from This article includes a chart of elevator installation costs from The Means Report,published by RSMeans which is considered a leader at estimating construction costs. It showsthe total installed cost of the type of elevator my project proposes and shows the trend for severalyears in three areas of the country, including Chicago. This helped me to bracket my totalinstallation cost. From that, I could guess at how much the elevator equipment itself would cost.Johnson-Sheehan, R. (2008). Writing proposals. New York: Pearson Education, Inc. The textbook for this class has provided excellent guidance on all the content of aproposal and on the process for writing it.