Grant Writing Essentials

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This a workshop I gave this year to EFL teachers in Tajikistan.

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Grant Writing Essentials

  1. 1. ERCILIA DELANCER ETM CONFERENCE DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN JANUARY 4, 2012quisqueyana54@gmail.com
  2. 2. • Types of grants available• Choosing a grant•Research needed to obtain a grant•Understanding what is being asked• Writing the grant itself•Submitting the grant•SUCCESS!
  3. 3. ―A grant is a monetary award of financial assistance given to a recipient to carry out some work for a charitable publicpurpose or for the public good‖
  4. 4. Grantsmanship is both a science and an art. It is hard work, but gets easier with practice, good planning and organization.
  5. 5. 10 billion given •Helps improveannually corporation’s imageDetailed out of what •Based on corporation’s interests the company interestsOften given out •Smaller pool to choosedepending on fromgeographical location
  6. 6.  The first step in going for a grant is to determine who has funds available. The second step is to make sure that your grant proposal matches the needs of your organization to the requirements of the funding source.
  7. 7.  Government Organizations Education Organizations Nonprofit Organizations For-profit organizations (other than small business) Small Businesses Individuals
  8. 8.  Yourproposal must be a solution, not a plea.Consider your proposal to be lemonade.  You idea is the powder  The foundations’ support is the water
  9. 9. Believe in what you are proposing!!
  10. 10.  What kind of organization are you submitting to? What are their funding interests? What have they funded in the past? Who will be reading your proposal? Who will be making the funding decision?
  11. 11.  Do you have an idea, vision, or dream of something you would like to accomplish? Need funding? Try Writing a Grant Proposal Many granting agencies do not receive many quality proposals
  12. 12. Identify a problem that is manageable and solvable.Don’t try to eliminate illiteracy in the Tajikistan.Pilot test a project in your district.
  13. 13.  Find funders who share your ideas. They have already funded similar projects. They have already funded your type of organization. They share your vision.
  14. 14. Be methodicalAddress the needs and provide solutionsWrite wellAddress your audiencePlan your time
  15. 15.  To persuade effectively, your argument must appeal to your audience’s beliefs and interests. The proposal is not the means to change their beliefs. You will not be successful unless you match your project to their interests.
  16. 16.  Jargon –  usually bad, but sometimes necessary. Complaints Dull prose Who will benefit from this project?
  17. 17.  An abstract or executive summary The statement of need or problem The project description An evaluation plan A budgetSmith, Nancy B., and E G. Works. The Complete Book of Grant Writing. Naperville: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2006. N. pag. Print.
  18. 18.  To demonstrate effective strategies of turning your project ideas into potential grant proposals To gain a general understanding of the basics of grant writing To become familiar of each component of the grant writing application and process
  19. 19. You should… You should not… Follow directions  Make assumptions Know your  Exceed the audience maximum number Be concise of Be optimistic pages, graphs, cha rts, or budget. Have passion  Be late Know what you are seeking and purpose
  20. 20.  Think of your ideal, completed project Who will it impact? How will you ensure potential funding agencies that you will complete the project by the grant deadline? If your project is funded, will you have the resources to execute the project in a timely fashion? Why should your project receive funding over other applicants?
  21. 21.  Cover Letter Proposal Summary Introduction Problem Statement or Needs Assessment Program Objectives Methodology Evaluation Proposal Budget
  22. 22.  Avoid mission mismatch Discover the style of writing and the formality of the language used in the instructions for applying - mirror this style in your proposal. Always follow the exact specifications in the grant applications, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and guidelines
  23. 23.  Get to know the funding agency  Who have they funded in the past?  What areas/regions do they support?  What is the typical grant size? Look at past winners  Type of project funded  Proposal/writing style
  24. 24. • Outputs and Outcomes• SMART Objectives  Specific—don’t be vague  Measurable—able to be tracked  Attainable—are your sights too high?  Realistic—are you really affecting the outcome?  Timely—defined by a period of time
  25. 25.  Usually a maximum of one page A concise snapshot or summary of the entire grant proposal Establishes the foundation for the application Should peak readers’ interest to want to know more about your project idea Some readers may not read the entire proposal if the summary is poorly written.
  26. 26.  Establish credibility with your readers Who are you? Why should we fund your project? Describe any prior experiences and qualifications working with grants. Describe your school in terms of size, student demographics, special needs, goals, mission, philosophy, etc.
  27. 27.  Be realistic – you are not trying to save the world! Conduct research, collect statistical data, and be able to articulate the real issues What are some best practices? Who is your target population? What is your anticipated change to your target population? What is so unique about your approach to making the proposed change?
  28. 28.  Directlyrelated to the problem statement or needs assessments Increase, decrease, reduce, improve… Measurable (numbers) criteria that will guide you through each step of the implementation Who will be doing what? When will it happen?
  29. 29.  Directly related to the program objectives What steps will be taken in order to accomplish the program objectives? Justify to readers your capabilities of implementing the proposed project Include best practices and current research How will participants be selected? How will staff be recruited and trained? Time charts
  30. 30.  Collect data throughout the life of the grant Results Evaluation  Were you able to effectively implement your program and accomplish each objective? Process Evaluation  Were you able to execute the program as outlined in your proposal?  Did you have to implement other measures and objectives during the life of the grant in order to meet the objectives?
  31. 31.  Be sure to set aside enough time to submit your grant proposal Arrange time in advance for signatures Do you have to submit several photocopies along with the original grant proposal?
  32. 32.  Wait patiently and be optimistic Continue to search for other potential funding agencies Recycle your proposed idea It is not the end of the world nor is it the game of baseball! Learn from prior pitfalls and mistakes Continue to hone your grant writing skills
  33. 33. 10 MINUTE BREAK!
  34. 34. • Find your voice  Be clear, brief, supply the information requested  Extraneous information uses space that you need  Watch for emotional language, marketing messages, sound bites  Use expository writing  Appropriate use of client stories• Make your words work  Chose powerful, active words  Use active voice• Write for your reader  Recognize and avoid jargon  Look for assumptions
  35. 35.  Grant writing is similar to writing a lesson plan Don’t get overwhelmed by the process Take it one step at a time Have someone assist you with writing Give yourself plenty of time
  36. 36.  What is the problem that exists in the community? How will your proposal address this need? How will your students benefit if your proposal is funded? Describe the target population: age, number of students, socio-economic background, etc.
  37. 37.  What methods will you use to meet your objectives? Include activities students will conduct Make sure that methods are realistic, age appropriate, measurable, and directly related to the grant proposal Some foundations may request a sample lesson plan to be included in this section Keep your writing positive, remember to allow your passion to come through…you are selling your idea to the reader
  38. 38.  Break down major events including trainings, purchases, pre/post tests, activities that includes the amount of time each event will take. Demonstrate that you have carefully thought out all aspects of your proposal
  39. 39.  Record items and their estimated cost obtained from vendors Group items into major categories Write a justification for all large ticket items Review the grant foundations restrictions on expenses to ensure that you are within their budget Make sure all purchases in your budget can be funded according to the grant (i.e. are there restrictions on the type of materials they will fund?)
  40. 40.  Accuracy is the key – double check Do not exceed the maximum grant amount Research each item included in the budget Follow the application format
  41. 41. When creating a budget, DO YOUR RESEARCHEvery penny must be accounted forList all items you wish to use with the grant. Be sureto include descriptions, amount of each item, priceand final costsInclude ALL expenses that will be used
  42. 42.  What qualitative and quantitative data will you submit to demonstrate that your proposal’s objectives have been met? Consider items such as pre and post tests, journals, portfolios, and attitude surveys
  43. 43.  Did you clearly articulate the need and target population? Are your goals realistic? Is your objective measurable? Is all of your requested equipment integral to the proposal? Did you double check the grant directions and include all required components? Were you concise and to the point? Did you write in third person narrative? Did you spell out acronyms? Did you check for spelling/grammatical errors? Did someone proofread your grant? Does your vision come clearly across to someone outside of the science classroom? Did you submit your idea to more than one funding organization?
  44. 44.  Start with a good idea Locate a source funding similar ideas Design, craft and develop your idea into a well-written statement.
  45. 45.  Include  sources of additional funding, in-kind contributions as well as list a detailed breakdown of personnel and administrative expenses.  all supplementary materials, the exact number of copies the organization requests, and follow the requested format. Manygrant foundations request an explanation of how the project will be funding in the future.
  46. 46.  Benefits of collaboration  Other organizations lend their credibility, resources, experience, and expertise to the project.  Collaborations can also make matching fund requirements easier to attain. (Remember ―in kind‖ contributions)  More "bang for the buck" - expands the numbers being served, project scope  Increases the funding opportunities available. Potential partners: other schools/school districts, institutes of higher learning, public libraries/museums, local fund source (Money gets money!)
  47. 47. This is the first thing the grant people willread!It should:•Grab their attention•Talk about what the grant is about
  48. 48. There are many different parts towriting the grant, but you always want to keep your grant reader’s attention
  49. 49.  Tie your grant to student outcomes and your technology plan. Convey your passion and enthusiasm. Avoid educational/technology jargon and acronyms. Keep sentences short and concise. Write complete sentences. Check spelling and grammar. Use active verbs and sentence constructions. Use everyday words. Write with authority and conviction.
  50. 50. 5. List in the proposal if you have received money from thefoundation in the past6. Get a second look at your proposal before it is submitted7. Even if you’re turned down try again next time8. Always thank the grant maker
  51. 51. According to RMA, here are some effective tips to help:1. Follow the guidelines from the grant maker2. Do some homework on what the grant maker is looking for3. Make a call, if needed to talk with someone at thefoundation for more information needed or to get an insidelook at what the grant maker is looking for.4. Keep track of deadlines
  52. 52. 1. Organize your presentation so that it is clear and easy to understand.2. Be concise and to the point. Avoid broad generalizations.3. Be specific. State exactly how much you want, and why.4. Keep use of professional jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms to a minimum.5. Don’t assume that the reader knows about your organization. Explain everything. Give examples.6. Be impassioned, reasonable, and creative.7. Show the reviewers what return will result from the funding they provide.
  53. 53. When writing your grant, be sure to include how youreducational establishment aligns with their goals.~How are you similar?Be sure to tell who your organization is but don’t givethem your life storyBe brief but to the point!
  54. 54. •Describes the target populations to be served•Defines the community problem to beaddressed•Is related to the purposes and goals of yourorganization•Does not make any unsupported assumptions•Describes the situation in terms that are bothfactual and of human interest
  55. 55. This is the section where you should talkabout:•Who is involved•Timeline•Specifics•Details•Goals and Objectives
  56. 56. Companies want to know if the grant moneythey gave you was put to good use and if theprogram was successfulHow will you measure and evaluate the successof the program?
  57. 57. Be sure to check over the writing mechanics of yourgrant before handing it in. Check for: ~Spelling ~Typos ~Grammar ~Spacing Have another person, not involved with the grant, read it over. A fresh mind always is unbiased.
  58. 58. Follow up in a few weeksKeep your eyes open for more information.Many funders may ask for moreinformation so be sure to be aware whenasked for additional paperwork or statistics
  59. 59. This is a great place for two things:1. Make a final appeal for your grant2. Give follow up activities for the future (if appropriate)
  60. 60. This can also be the time, if appropriate, tooutline some follow-up activities as to whatyour school will do next after the grantShow the grant givers that you have a visionfor your school
  61. 61. Whatproposal ideas do you have?
  62. 62. If the funding organization denies your request, be sure to find out why. Knowing that will help you be successful when writing your next grant proposal.
  63. 63. Fritz, J. Tips for writing the evaluation [Online Forum Comment]. Retrieved from http://nonprofit.about.com/od/foundationfundinggrantsGeever, J. (2007). Proposal writing. Retrieved from http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/tutorials/shortcourseGrant statistics. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.governmentgrants.com/grants-statisticsHow to write a project description [Online Forum Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_2132654Jones , D. (2010, June 23). Tips for writing effective grants [Online ForumComment]. Retrieved from http://richardmale.com/?p=431
  64. 64. Lips, D. (2006, November 9). The facts of federal education funding.Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/education-notebook/the-facts-on- federal-education-spendingPandey, K. (2010, April 26). Grant writing examples. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/grant-writing-examples.htmlSchool grant writing. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fundraiserhelp.com/school-grant-writing.htmStrait, M. (2011, February 14). Facts about government grants. Retrievedfrom http://www.ehow.com/info_7935488_government-grants.htmlThe need statement. (2000, September). Retrieved from http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=4803
  65. 65. Wahtera, R. (2008, March 12). #45 catchy name [Online Forum Comment].Retrieved from http://grant-writing-resources.blogspot.com/2008/03/45What is a grant?. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.federalgrants.com/what-is-a-grant.html

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