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Grant Writing Basics Part II

Now that you have the basics, let us look at the federal government's publication for rules as well as a break down of the critical components of a the grant.

Federal Register

• The Federal Register is the federal government’s official publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices from federal agencies and organizations, executive orders and other presidential documents. Access the Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov.

Reviewing the Funding Announcement

• The grant program’s purpose

• Definition of terms

• Who is eligible to apply

• Total amount of money available

• Average size of grant if awarded

• Instructions on grant narrative

• Scoring criteria

• Eligible and ineligible expenses

• Matching requirements (if required)

• Budget instructions

• Agency contact person and phone number

• Instructions on format of proposal

• Instructions on submission (deadline, number of copies, where to send, etc.)

• Timeline for review and selection

Planning the Proposal

• The key to writing a successful grant proposal is knowing what you intend to accomplish with the grantor’s money.

• You must present a well-planned project.

• Program planning can be difficult.

• Solid program planning is necessary for good grant writing.

• When structuring the planning process a series of questions must be answered.

• Sample questions for the planning process:

What are you trying to accomplish?

How will you get there?

What are the resources necessary (staff, equipment, space, money)?

How much will it cost?

How long will it take?

What effect if any will it have?

How will you determine success?

“What are you trying to accomplish?” – leads to the problem statement or statement of need.

“How will you get there?” – leads to project description or work plan as well as questions of scope and timing.

“What are the resources necessary?” – leads to the budget.

“How long will it take?” – also leads to the budget.

“What effect if any will it have?” – leads to project’s objectives.

“How will you determine success?” – leads to proposal’s evaluation.

Writing the Proposal

• The major sections of a typical grant proposal are:

a) Abstract (or summary)

b) Organizational information

c) Problem statement (or statement of need)

d) Project description (or work plan)

e) Evaluation

f) Budget

Abstract

• The abstract gives a quick overview of the proposal and covers the key elements of the proposal:

Who the applicant is

How much money is requested

What will the funds be used for

What results are anticipated

Organizational Information

• Organizational information helps to address the question of available resources to perform the project and may fall into several categories:

Experience

Personnel

Physical facility

Financial management capability

Administrative support

Oversight

Problem Statement or Statement of Need

• A problem statement or statement of need is where the applicant defines or explains the problem or issue the applicant will address with the grant funds.

Project Description or Work Plan

• Project description details how the applicant plans to use the requested grant funds. Although the RFP may contain explicit instructions as to what should be included in this section, the following questions should be answered:

The format of the budget is typically dictated by the funder.

It is advisable to become familiar with the funding agency’s budget forms, the accompanying instructions and any alternative budget formats the funder has requested.

Some funders may require a budget narrative which is a brief explanatory narrative about the budget. Some grants require matching funds.

Matching funds is a percentage of project costs that the applicant is contributing to the project.

What do you expect to accomplish by doing it?

How will you go about it?

Over what time period will it take?

Who will implement the project?

Evaluation

• All funders, public or private require applicants to describe their plans for the evaluation of the grant funded project.

• The purpose of this section is to answer the question, “How do we know whether the project has had an effect on the problem identified in the need assessment?”

• Evaluation methods may include:

Performance standard

Evaluation tools

Analysis

Program Improvements

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