How to prepare strong grant proposals to compete effectively.
Workshop Goals • To provide general tips for preparing strong application packages. • To provide an overview of general elements for successful proposals. • To provide and discuss examples of strong and weak proposals.
Do You Need to Write aGrant Proposal? • Do you have the talent and materials within your partnership to complete the project? • Could your problem be addressed by having local vendors provide materials or make other contributions? • Could a community fundraiser fulfill your needs? If you answered yes to any of these questions … then you may NOT need to write a proposal.
Yes, I do need to write a grant proposal! 1. Begin researching funding sources 2. Collect materials to write your proposal • Your mission/purpose • Letters of support • Budget estimates • Project support • IRS documentation
SHOW ME THE MONEY How to work with funders References and resources to find external funding
External Funding Sources • State/Territory fish and wildlife agency • Federal government grants • Friends associations • Local businesses • Universities • Local conservation organizations
Grant Funding Resource Information • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance www.cfda.gov • Federal Register http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ • Grants.gov www.grants.gov
What is Grants.gov? • A one-stop online shopping source to find and apply for Federal government-wide competitive grant opportunities • Houses 900+ grant programs from 26 grant-making agencies • Fund opportunities for more than 20 diverse grant categories • Over 1,100 active grant opportunities posted • Nearly 9000 grant applications submitted through the electronic system Dummy bullet for transition
Find and Apply • “Find” feature allows users to: • Search for available grant opportunities • Register to receive notification of grant opportunities • “Apply” feature allows users to: • Search for and download application packages • Complete application packages offline • Submit completed application packages online • Track the status of submitted applications
Getting Started – Register with Grants.gov: • A multi-step process with time required between steps for verification, authentication and confirmation • Register with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) - Organization • Register with the Credential Provider to receive username and password - Individuals • Register with Grants.gov to be designated as an Authorized Organization Representative - Individuals • Log in to Grants.gov to verify successful registration - Individuals • Download PureEdge viewer to be able to access and submit application materials - Individuals Grants.gov registration/authentication processes—allow 7-14 days!
Help is available… • Grants.gov provides numerous sources of help to guide you through the process • Online tutorials and training demos • Checklists and worksheets • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) • User Guide • Help line – telephone and e-mail support
Grant Funding Resources – Agency Information • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service www.fws.gov (see “Grants at a Glance”) • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration www.coralreef.noaa.gov/grants.html • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation • www.nfwf.org
Other Types of Grants Foundation Corporate
Foundations and Corporations $213 Billion Where the money comes from: Where it goes: 7% environmental and animal 3% science and technology 25% education 65% other 4% Corporations 12% Foundations 76% Individuals 8%Bequests
Foundations and Corporations • Give locally • Don’t normally have applications • Personal contact is required • Fund very specific projects • Give to non-profits
How Do we Find Foundations and Corporations? • Internet • Foundation Center Online • Conservation Grants • Environmental Grantmaking Foundations Directory • Libraries • Foundation Center Collections • Foundation searches, 990s • Chronicle of Philanthropy
Does the Grant Opportunity Work for Me? • Does your project meet the funder’s interest? • Are you an eligible applicant? • Does it support projects in your area? • Does the funder support all project needs? • What size grants are given? • What is involved in the application process? • What are the grant criteria? • Does the timing of funding meet your needs?
Budget Your Time Communicate Solid partnerships Innovative project Define your budget 80% planning the project 20% writing the proposal
Get the award for a strong proposal • Do your homework • Know the big picture • Coordinate, establish partnerships • Communicate • Know the funder’s budget cycle • Determine how you will meet match requirements. Pre-writing Phase
Basic Grant Application Components For a more competitive application be sure to include: • Detailed methodology/description of activity • Detailed Budget include how match funds are will be used • Demonstrated partnerships with local communities and resource agencies • Relevant Principle investigator experience and expertise • Description of how information from project will be used to improve management. • Realistic description timeline with benchmarks for deliverables
Get the award for a strong proposal (cont) • Follow grant application instructions • Be succinct, well organized, on time • Specify your piece of the pie • Target funding agency’s priorities • Set a realistic budget • Provide real, legitimate match • Be innovative • Work with a proofreader Writing Phase
Grant Writing Tools – Agency Information • Updated Agency Websites • FWS/NCTC Grant Writing for Conservation Course • EPA Grant Writing Tutorial • NFWF Pre-proposal Form • NOAA Coastal Services Center • NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service • NOAA Grants Management Division
Weak proposals • Do not follow directions in the guidance • Are not proof read, have lots of errors • Have incorrect or insufficient match • Lack coordination and had duplication of activities. • Are submitted after the deadline.
Weak proposals (cont) • Do not provide adequate description of PI’s relevant past experience or performance • Demonstrate that work begins or is completed before the grant is to be awarded.
Remember, Funders Are Partners! • Build a relationship • Be courteous • Respect their time • Know their interests • Discuss opportunities • Follow up
What if You Don’t Get the Grant? Follow up – ask: • Any hints to increase success next time? • Any other funders recommended?