Grant WritingEAL 6610A Procedural Approach
Federal grant programsMost complex;Very competitive;Lengthy proposalsTypically offer larger awards; fund for multiple years; recently reduced stringsAnnounced in the Federal Registerwww.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.htmlStep Two: Wheres Da Money?Sources for Grant Programs
Sources for Grant ProgramsState Government Grant FundsSmaller awardsOne year awardsEasier to writeDifficult to locate the programsNo central information source for programsObtain a copy of the state government telephone directory and contact departments directly.
Sources for Grant ProgramsCity and County Government GrantsLocal government receive money through block grants i.e Community Development Block Grant Program; and from local taxes.Grants are based upon identified needs from public hearingsMoney distributed through economic and planning divisions of the local government.Small awards given annuallyMaybe an opportunity to partner with a local governmental agency.
Sources for Grant ProgramsFoundation fundingThere are more than 60,000 national; regional; and local foundations.Foundations are generally interested in the well-being of the communities where they are locatedInterested in new and innovative programs that share information with other agenciesApplication process can be very shortSearch engines i.e. yahoo; google; excite
Sources for Grant ProgramsCorporate GrantsAverage award is about $50,000Their focus is promoting their products; increasing profits; assisting employees and their families; tax write-offs; and creating public awarenessTypically have Corporate giving programs and regional or national foundationsChances your corporate neighbor has a foundation. Start with the local manager and work your way up the chain.
General Guidelines for Finding GrantsDirectoriesNewslettersThe InternetProfessional AssociationsCollaboration
Understanding the RFPGrant application guidelines are usually issued in a document called the Request for ProposalsRFP reveals the intention of funding source by describing the populations and problems they want to impact through their assistance.Some are very clear and easy to read others are very complicated and may be written by someone who has never applied for a grant!Always try to obtain the grant application as early as possible.
Avoiding Common RFP ErrorsThe most common errors in grants are due to not following the RFP! Keep the original grant applicationDecide if you should apply for the grantEligibilityTime FrameEffort RequiredAppropriatenessReturn on InvestmentLikelihood of Success
Avoiding RFP ErrorsDetermine what the funding source wantsMany proposals fail because the goals of the program do not coincide with the goals and intentions of the funding source.Think of the RFP as an advertisement explaining what the funding source would like to buy. Format the proposal as described in the RFPPagesArrangement and formatting of sectionsFormatting specifics (fonts; size; word limitations)Appendices
Avoiding RFP ErrorsSubmit questions to the funding sourceMake only one call-ask all questionsAsk for previously funded proposals-many times they will send them if you ask.Attend the applicants workshopInattention to DetailsReview RFP one more time as you put finishing touches on proposal.Prepare for document submissionDate dueAddressNumber of copiesFinal product (bind or no binding)
Assume readers know nothing about your communityAssume readers are unfamiliar with your problemsReader may not understand the relationship between the appalling demographics; root causes; and resulting problemsMay not be aware of national or state averagesUse statisticsSet the stage; explain why the statistic is significantCompare the state to the nation or a county to the state to gain perspective.Step Three: Defining the ProblemGoal: To Make the Reviewers Cry
Defining the ProblemSolicit input from different sectorsExamine community problems from different perspectivesThink negatively as you describe community problemsGoal to compel the reviewer to want to help your community by funding your programProblem statement is not the place to mention anything positive. That comes later in the program section.Sometimes you will encounter a favorable statistic. There are times you might want to include it because it is misleading.Ex. Surprisingly, the unemployment rate has recently improved to the state average, but this is misleadingthis trend does not reflect local jobs. These statistics are the young mothers who climb onto buses before dawn every morning for the right to minimum wage jobs at a coastal resort, not returning until 7 or 8 each night.
Needs AssessmentMany different ways to determine the needsYour job is to convince the reader that your needs are greater than everyone elses, but are also the most compelling.You should include 4 or 5 different methods for credible; independent documentation of community needs.There are 10 ways demonstrate community needs
Assessing Community NeedsResearch available statisticsUS Census Bureau www.census.govState and County Quick Facts http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfdKids Count national data compilations provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation www.aecf.org/kidscount/censusConduct SurveysHold community meetingsSolicit Input from the target populationReview existing studiesInterview Key InformantsInterview professionals who work with the population
Assessing Community NeedsSeek input from your professional colleagues and associationsReview the literature (Internet and journals)Create an newspaper clippings file
Developing Convincing Problems StatementsThis is an important sectionA straightforward approach is bestA clear and concise statement of the problemThe problem is The problem is caused by Long-term and without intervention will result in Lets stop and practice this right now.
Developing Convincing Problem StatementsDescribe and personalize your community needsWrite them as if you are one of the communityOur students ... not The typical student of Compel the reviewer to help your target populationUse strong; emotional language such as misery index poorest of the poorObjective to get the reviewer to help our population not someone elses.Statistics Prove the need existsUse graphs and charts for important statisticsThe most important statistics should be set in a graph
Developing Convincing Problem StatementsHighlight significant statisticsUse bold text to draw attention to important statistics and information that you do not want the reader to miss.Effectively use white space (charts and graphs; bulleted lists; bold text)Make numbers catch attention by writing them out not spelling them.Use whole numbers; round them up or downExpress them in a way that will provide a lasting impression64% of the population is affected by the problem then sayNearly 2/3 of our families or2 out of every 3
Developing Convincing Problem StatementsClose the needs section with a ray of hopeHaving made them cry you want to end on a brighter note.Reason: Most reviewers read a section and then rate it.Want them to be moved by the problem but not be so depressed that they negatively score the proposal because the targeted population is beyond help.Close out the needs section with a ray of hopeCould include a summaryOffer closure to the problemSuggest that there are solutions availableNote: Do not disclose any program activities at this point. That will come in the next section.