grant writing 101

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Grant writing is part science, part art. While most people prefer dental surgery to grant writing, the process is fairly painless if you follow a few of the simple steps discussed in this seminar. While this seminar focuses on federal grant applications, the same process can apply to state, foundation, corporate or other types of response to a request for proposals.


  • 1. Grant Writing 101 - Preparing a Successful ProposalJohn Izzo Special Thanks To Our Sponsors

2. Helping ordinary people raise extraordinary amounts for nonprofits is all we do, and we love it. A Proud Sponsor of 3. Todays Speaker John Izzo Co-Founder, Community Grants Associates, Inc.Hosting: Assisting with chat questions:Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars 4. GrantsGrants AreGrants are NOT Competitive Formula-Based Time Sensitive Continual Project Based For things or generalsupport Conditional Free Money 5. Preparing to WriteWhen the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers- Oscar Wilde 6. Issues Most Grants are lost Power of Databefore writing begins Organizational CollaborationIssues Mission Driven $$ Branding 7. Power of Data Rule: Funders increasingly demandmeasurement Collection of data is meaningless withoutmanagement of data. Best Practices Longitudinal Data 8. Branding Rule: Run like abusiness What is yourcommunity profile Social Media 9. CollaborationWhat it Means? What it Does? Want big $$- collaborate Raises profile and shows community buy-in Power of Synergy Specialization & Cost Saving Selection of Partners Reputable Add Value Play Nice with Others 10. Mission Driven $$$Rule: Do not chase $$$- let yourmission lead to funding 11. What Do Funders Look For Social Research and Development Innovation is not scary! E.g. Repeat Reputable and Dynamic Need is OK Results are Better 12. Finding Funders continued Technology and Change Glass Pockets Initiative Transparency in Funding and What it Means 13. Have you even seen how complex these things are? IfEinstein had to fill one these things out, God only knowsif wed know what E equalsJosiah Bartlett (as played by Martin Sheen on T.V. Show The WestWing)REVIEWING THE RFP 14. Approach Read critically What is mission and purpose? What about program design? Measurement Scoring Criteria Layout Read Conditional Language Unconditionally Review Scoring Criteria This will help set up the narrative 15. Money often costs too much Ralph Waldo EmersonA fire drill does not require a fire Bartholomew J. SimpsonFOLLOW THE MONEY? 16. Writing the Narrative The Rules 17. The basics Follow the Directions (no matter how illogical) Good Writing is Good Writing Write to win, not to impress Simple sentence structure is better Data Current and relevant data please 18. Let the RFP Do The Work Contains all questions,sub- questions andscoring Organizing Principle &Narrative Outline Scoring = How Much ofNarrative to Devote toeach section/question 19. Hemingway is Dead Answer the question .directly You are trying to convince people to giveyou money! 20. The power of G*O*A*M*sGrant Writing Pyramid GoalsGO ObjectivesA ActivitiesMs Measures of Success 21. Goals & ObjectivesGoals Objectives Typically One of Two Align under goals E.g. Reduce Truancy in Reduce truancy by at least Minority Youth in East20% in target population Moncton Big Think but Be Real Flesh out the steps to getto goals While not Quantifiable- QuantifiableBelievable 22. Activities The specific steps undertaken E.g. Identify 300 youth who meet project criteria over three yearlife of project Provide after school programs/summer programs for 100 youthper year. When, Where, Why, How Each activity is quantifiable when everpossible 23. Measures for Success Below Activities Cumulative- i.e. if met for activities and objectives likely will reach goal Quantifiable Longitudinal i.e. how you met Goal Measure AgainstBaseline Data MUST HAVE 24. Benefits of Approach The Process Builds on Itself Should Use in Project Design Makes Writing Evaluation Easy 25. Why Limit GoalsGoal #1 Goal #2GGOOAAMMss 26. Program Narrative = Story Telling The Funder Has Never Heard the StoryBefore Grab Him or Her Quick Before Interest Lost Supported with Specific Data Your organization (annual report) Prior Proposals Walk me Though the Process Especially for Comprehensive Programs 27. Saving Space & Consistency Consistent Messaging Typically 2 -3 key messages in narrative Need for creativity E.g. if only 50% of a population has a high school diploma,that means at least 50% have no college degree Importance of Page Limits Remember the limitations in the RFP Space Saving Devices Signals Tables, Charts, Footnotes, etc. 28. Evaluation A well- written proposalshould generate data Funders Demand It MoreOften Qualitative vs. QuantitativeMeasurement 29. Evaluation contd Hiring and Outside Evaluator Credentials = Data/Statistical Expertise The evaluator should be involved in writing the proposal Costs Evaluator can cost up to 10-15% of project budget Negotiate up front Do Your Homework 30. Evaluation and G*O*A*M*S Sets the basis of an evaluation Typically use it to set up evaluation table Power of Repetition Remember confidentiality protocols If applicable 31. Project Staff Appropriate people doing appropriatethings Percentage of time dedicated to the project Cultural Competency 32. Narrative Must be consistent with the rest of theapplication Be persuasive Prepare Multiple Drafts & Have SomeoneReview . 33. Budgets Very Important OftenOverlooked Financial Road Map Involve Budget Folks Early 34. Sustainability What happens after the $$ is spent It is OK to talk about fundraising strategy Nobody likes to pay for everything Program Design 35. Support Memorandum ofUnderstanding (MOU) Letter of Commitment Letter of Support 36. MOU A Contract Each Party Specifies What They Will Do Usually Involves Legal Review Takes the Longest 37. Letter of Commitment v. SupportLetter of Commitment Letter of Support Written by Project Provided byPartnerPolitician or Other Senior Official Partner Agrees to EncouragementSpecific Tasks Stronger Usually Weaker 38. Budgeting PitfallsOversellingGold Plating Overly Competitive Grant = Lottery Ticket Grant as Loss Leader Red Flags Excessive Travel Entertainment Victory? Lifestyle Audit Consequences Consequences 39. Matching Cash Match Usually Spend with Grant Funds A Variety of Sources Can Match Grants with Grants Limitations Sustainability In-Kind Fair Market Value Time CAN Equal Money Rule: No Such Thing as 110% 40. Winning and Losing Winning Thank You Kick-Off Event/Recognition Alert the Media Manage Well Losing How do I Improve Ask Why Schedule Phone Call/Meeting if Possible 41. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register Chris 707-812-1234 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors


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