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Grant Training for Non-Profits
Transcript of Grant Training for Non-Profits
Experience w/ grants
Burning grants question? Topics for today's session... Strategic grant sourcing
Where to look for grants...
...And finding the best fit for your organization
Proactive proposal writing
Grant proposal development
Typical grant proposal components
Qualities of a successful proposal
Also walk away with...
New ideas for collaboration
Clear goal statement Before applying for funds... Development Before looking for funds... Become a proactive proposal writer. Or spend your grant writing career chasing dollars. What does that mean? Money or resources given to an organization for a particular purpose deemed publicly good. What is a grant anyway? Grants are a great way to build capacity, advance your organization's mission, and allow you to better serve your target population
Promotes innovation and creativity--prevents you from doing the "same old, same old" And why do I want one? Purchase equipment
Pay personnel costs
Cover conference fees
Hire a contractor Beware of mission drift
Fight temptation to create a funder-centered proposal
Focus on what your agency is already good at
Create "Concepts" folder
Think through new ideas well before RFP release
Develop a grants calendar
Better match your needs to funder's priorities Proactive proposal planning Grant sourcing Foundation Center
Free at Downtown Omaha Library Branch See sample Corporation websites
Walmart, Verizon, Wells Fargo
Seliger + Associates A successful proposal balances the needs of the applicant with the priorities and values of the funder
Read the mission statement
Look at past grant recipients
Ask for a successful proposal Get to know your funder
Tailor each proposal to your funder, no cookie-cutter proposals! What is the single most important variable in increasing a proposal's chances for being awarded? A national survey estimated that a pre-proposal contact increased a proposal's chances of winning funding by 300% from a Federal government funding source and 500% from a private or non-profit funding source Pre-proposal contact. Submit a one-page summary of your proposal
Ask for a copy of a successful proposal
What was your average award last year?
What is the most common mistake in proposals?
Are there any areas you would like to see addressed that may have been overlooked? And now it's time to start writing... Typical grant application components
Be sure to keep these in mind when creating your planning documents or "Concepts" form Needs/Problem Statement
Budget How and when to submit?
What size font?
How many pages?
How to structure narrative?
Staples? Read all directions carefully Grant guidance will have all the info you need. Unclear? Call program contact. These may seem like secondary items, but when readers have 20+ applications to review, missing these items just makes it easy for the reviewer to move your application to the "no" stack. But first... When working with foundation or non-profits, a LOI may be the first step in the funding process.
A LOI is typically 1-2 pages and gives a clear snapshot of the project you propose.
Introduction: reason for writing
Why this funding source: why this grantor was selected
Uniqueness paragraph: Why your organization is the right one
Request for funds: Don't forget to ASK for the money!
Closing & signatures Letter of Inquiry Why your organization/the community/the population you serve need the funds that you are requesting? Should align with funder priorities... Grant Components: Needs Statement Do not assume that the funder knows anything about your organization, your community, your target population (Organization Description)
Use data effectively (do you have a resource folder?)
Portray the human side of the problem
Use best practices & research-based programs
Convince the reader that the gap between what is and what ought to be must be closed immediately. Lack of funds, a good idea, the absence of something are not needs 1. What is the problem you will address with these funds (funder priorities)
2. How do you know it is a problem? (data)
3. What is your proposed solution? (program you are proposing)
4. What alternative solutions are there? Why won't they work? (current gaps) Grant Components: Needs Statement Goals Grant Components: Performance Measures That's why it is important to first assess the capacity of your organization
Is the fiscal health of your organization strong?
Do you have accounting processes in place that make it easy to document expenditures?
Do you have staff capacity to manage grant post-award?
Do you have strong data collection system?
Do you have strong community partnerships?
Do you have a long-term vision for your organization?
Can you accommodate an increase in the population you are serving?
Do you have approval from your board? But they are a lot of work! See sample Goals indicate your vision for the project's impact
What good things will occur?
What bad things will change?
Goals should be attainable
Use words like develop, deliver, decrease, increase, improve, produce, provide
Shouldn't say what you're going to do; instead try to emphasize the ultimate benefit of your project Step 1: Determine Results Area
Results areas are the key places that you'll look to see improvement in your population. Examples: "health of people over 65 years of age in Fremont" and "better educated minority students." How to write goals
(Charles Wood, Tallahassee State College, 2012) Step 2: Determine Measurement Indicators
By measuring your performance with quantifiable indicators, you're able to see how well you're doing. Examples: "number of hospital re-admissions of people over 65 years old" and "scores on standardized tests." Pick the one that best reflects your intent--and that you are able to collect! Step 3: Determine Performance Standards
Answer the question, "How much (or little) of the measurement indicator do we need to consider ourselves successful?" Examples: "10 percent drop in hospital re-admissions" and "Scores rising from the 80th to 90th percentile." How to write goals
(Charles Woods, Tallahassee State College, 2012) Step 4: Determine the Time Frame
The time frame is the amount of time in which you want to reach your performance standards. It's your deadline. Step 5: Determine Cost Frame
What is the maximum I want this to cost? Should reflect what you are asking the funder for. Step 6: Write the Goal
Combine the data that you've generated in the previous five steps. Standard format is:
"To (action verb & statement reflecting your measurement indicator) by (performance standard) by (deadline) at a cost of no more than (cost frame)."
Example: "To reduce hospital re-admissions of people over 65 in Fremont by 10 percent by Jan. 1 at a cost of no more than $15,000." How to write goals
(Charles Wood, Tallahassee State College, 2012) Step 7: Evaluate the Goal
"Does this goal reflect the amount of change that we want in the result area?" Grant Components: Work Plan Explains to the funder how you plan to implement a project. If 'A' is your Needs Statement and 'Z' is your Goal, then 'B' - 'Y' is your Work Plan. Identifies the activities and tasks to be completed, when they will be completed, and by whom they will be accomplished
Should note major milestones (events, outputs, outcomes) in the project's implementation
Use a visual timeline See sample Follow funder's guidelines, format Grant components: Budget Major categories: Personnel, Benefits, Travel, Contractual, Construction, Supplies (<$5,000), Equipment (>$5,000), Other
Breakdown each expense by line item
Budgets are also broken down by columns: Funder, Applicant, Total
Make sure costs are related to work plan
Provide budget narrative when possible See sample Grant components: Budget DOUBLE CHECK YOUR NUMBERS The very last thing that you write! Match: applicant's contribution
Can be cash: real cash funds from organization, donors, other granting organization
Can be in-kind (if allowed): donated services, contributed time and effort by staff, volunteer hours (independentsector.org)
Even if not asked for, demonstrates commitment to the project Grant components: Executive Summary/Abstract First section that reviewers read--creates first impression that can shape how the evaluator reads the rest of the proposal
Should provide a clear, quick summary of project tailored to funder's priorities
Very first sentence can be your goal statement See sample Leave enough time to have others read the draft of your application
Pick someone outside of your organization who may not be familiar with what you do
Make it as easy to read as possible
Use BOLD words when emphasizing key points and phrases
Spelling errors distract reviewer
1.5-2 line spacing
Page 1 of 72
Hand-deliver application when possible
Be mindful of copies needed Submission time THEN PARTY!!!! Other grant components Evaluation plan
Board member list
501 c3 documentation
Letters of commitment
Photos It may have been awhile since you submitted the application. Re-read application
If anything needs to change, contact funder right away
Sign agreement and send thank you note to funder
Perhaps you didn't get as much as you requested? Be sure that you submit a revised budget that still allows you and your partners to accomplish goals stated in your application.
Read, double-read, and triple-read all funder requirements as stated in agreement
How to appropriately credit your funder
When reports are due
What to include in reports So, you have been awarded a grant! Now what? It happens to the best of us!
Grant proposals that don't get funded shouldn't be seen as a waste of time and energy
Pull partners back around the table to discuss next steps and other funding streams
Send Thank You note to funder
Contact successful applicant
USE feedback to improve application and re-submit So, you didn't get a grant. :( Now what? Be ready to hit the ground running once you receive award notification
Develop tracking tools based on your goals that will help you document project's success
Work backwards: What do you want to be able to report to funder at the end of the grant period?
If hiring new staff with grant funds, have job description written and ready to post once grant gets awarded (or sooner!). Otherwise, risk delaying program implementation
Designate ONE individual to be main point of contact between your organization and the funder. Project manager? Tips for good grant stewardship Don't forget to invite your funder to witness your program in action
Even if they only ask for a final report, submit a progress report to your funder
Communicate with your funder
Document your project with photos
Final report? Include a photo album (Walgreens on-line, $20 or less) for funder with pictures of your project.
And don't use your grant funds to pay for it!
Playground story Tips for good grant stewardship Invite all partners and relevant staff around the table to discuss award, include PR/marketing and accounting
Include this meeting in your Work Plan
Provide copies of the following to everyone:
Reaffirm commitments and re-clarify roles and duties for the grant period Grant Kick-Off/Orientation Meeting Collaborative grant project planning There's more to grants than meets the eye... Pam Perry, Coordinator of Grants and Innovative Planning at MCC Collaboration is an essential part of many grant requirements--and good for the health of your organization! In groups of 5, 15-20 minutes to develop a collaborative project that...
Includes each of your organizations. What will you bring to the table?
Meets your individual organization's needs. Can you identify a common need?
Is mutually beneficial.
Achieves a shared end goal.
Be creative and think big! Example: Org A builds homes for low-income individuals, Org B serves veterans, Org C mentors at-risk youth We'll start back up again at 1:00 LUNCH TIME! What's coming up, you ask? We'll break down the components of a successful grant application Crisis Center for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault
Capital campaign to construct a new facility
Requesting $100,000 over a 3 year period
Application to the Fremont Area Community Foundation
What does a funded proposal look like? Group 1--Organization Description
Group 2--Purpose of Request a. & b.
Group 3--Purpose of Request c.-g.
Group 5--Cover page, Finances, and Attachments