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  1. 1. Secrets of Successful Proposals: Tips From Funders Virginia Rural Health Association Conference Foundation Roundtable December 9, 2011
  2. 2. Grantwriting is a Courtship!
  3. 3. Create a Good Impression• Create opportunities for the funder to get to know you and for you to get to know funder.• LISTEN carefully to what motivates funder.• Ask about the process.• Be conscious and deliberate about all contacts (in person and in writing).• Do homework!!!
  4. 4. Create a Good Impression• Make sure your proposal meets the funder’s criteria.• Adhere to prescribed process and guidelines.• Address all questions in grant guidelines.• Include all requested attachments.
  5. 5. The Proposal is a Reflection on the Applicant• Need statement should use compelling local data.• Clear and understandable program description.• Identify specific intended results.• Specific plans for sustaining.• Identify partners and their roles.• Clear demonstration of management capacity.• Reasonable budget and rationale.
  6. 6. Prepare for Any Follow-up Calls• Assemble and brief key players on:  Funder’s rules and guidelines  The proposal and their roles  Questions that might be asked• During call, designate a notetaker to record questions.• Follow-up with any requested information promptly.
  7. 7. If You Do Not Get Funded, How Will You Respond? a. Feel disappointed/angry, and move on? b. Feel disappointed, and call and angrily complain to funder? c. Feel disappointed/angry, and call and thank funder for considering request? d. Feel disappointed/angry, and call and thank funder and ask how to improve proposal for next time? e. None of the above?
  8. 8. BePrepared
  9. 9. Panel Questions1. What are your generalguidelines for a proposal?
  10. 10. Virginia Health Care Foundation Guidelines – website has full instructions Funding priorities:  Developing or expanding patient capacity  Establishing a broader scope of services  Creating local systems of care  Strengthening infrastructure Focus on Sustainability 2012 calendar: concept papers due  January 25, 2012  July 18, 2012
  11. 11. VHCF: How to Apply Step One: Determine if your organization and the project you’re proposing meet general eligibility requirements, and review the VHCF Grant Guidelines. Step Two: If your organization and project meet the general eligibility requirements for a VHCF grant, you will need to submit a Concept Paper. Step Three: If VHCF invites your organization to develop your concept further, you will need to submit a Formal Proposal. (please do not submit a proposal if your organization has not been requested to do so.) Questions? Contact a VHCF program officer at 804-828-5804.
  12. 12. 2. Describe what makes a good proposal?What makes the best impression?
  13. 13. 3. What are some common mistakes or omissions that should be avoided?
  14. 14. 4. How does an applicant make an initial approach to your foundation?  What guidance would you give, in general, to an applicant approaching a foundation for the first time?
  15. 15. 5. What do you tell the applicant whose proposal you have rejected? What do you tell the applicant who asks WHY the proposal was rejected?