Grant Writing for Libraries An informal and incomplete introduction Just one more instance of someone giving you too much information and then telling you there’s way, way more information out there you probably should know
Overview Getting Started Components of a Grant Proposal Writing the Proposal
I. Getting Started Things you need to know before you start to write
What Types of Library Projects Receive Grant Funding? New Projects New Audiences Sustainable Projects Projects that Address a Particular, Demonstrable, and Local Need
What Things UsuallyDo Not Receive Grant Funding? Basic Operating Costs Old Projects Low Priority Projects
Types of Grants • Specific Purpose Grants • Request for Proposals (RFP) • See the Library Grants Blog • Cooperative Grants • Research Grants • Grantee-Initiated
Sources of Grant Funds • Governmental Grant Programs • e.g., IMLS, LSTA, NHPRC, NEH • Quasi-Government Agencies • e.g., Library Systems • Academic / University Grants • Foundations • Private / Family Foundations • Private / Independent Foundations • Community Foundations • Corporate Foundations
Find Funders Whose Goals and Objectives Match Yours This is going to take some work
Know Your Goals and Objectives • Goals and Objectives: Not the Same Thing • Goals define overall purpose of program • “The goal of this project is to explore oral language as a door to literacy by actively engaging children in grades K-6 and their parents and/or caregivers in talking about stories and literature through library sponsored programming.”
Know Your Goals and Objectives • Goals and Objectives: Not the Same Thing • Objectives are the measurable changes expected as a result of the program • “100% of participating libraries will attend at least 85% of the grant-funded training sessions learning family literacy programming techniques for school-age children and their families.”
Have a Well-Developed Plan • Relate project to Mission and long-range plan of organization • Draft Timeline • Planning • Research • Proposal Writing • Intended Project Start Date • Anticipate Outcomes, Think about Evaluation Strategies, Draft Outline of your Budget
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars • Online Resources • Grants Library Website
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars • Online Resources • Grants Library Website • Library Grants Blog
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars • Online Resources • Grants Library Website • Library Grants Blog • Grants.gov
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars • Online Resources • Grants Library Website • Library Grants Blog • Grants.gov • Foundation Center
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars • Online Resources • Grants Library Website • Library Grants Blog • Grants.gov • Foundation Center • Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP)
Grants Research Resources • Grants Library • Grants Collection • Databases • Seminars • Online Resources • Grants Library Website • Library Grants Blog • Grants.gov • Foundation Center • Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) • Grant Space
Grant Writing Resources • Writing Center • Main Center is only two floors up • Satellite Locations • Online at writing.wisc.edu
Analyze Request for Proposal Eligibility Relevance Feasibility Probability
Get in touch with Funders Ask Questions Make a Contact Letter of Intent? Previously funded Projects Samples of Successful Proposals Average Award Budgetary Constraints? Due Dates Application Details
Get Organized • Especially true if you’re applying to multiple funders at once • Create a spreadsheet with: • Due Dates • Required Documents • Contact Information of Project Officers • Funder Mission Statements
II. Components of a Grant Proposal Generally speaking
Letter Proposals • Some funders require only a short letter, not a full proposal • Ask for the gift • Describe the Need • Explain the Project • Provide Information About Your Organization • Indicate Total Cost and Appropriate Budget Data • Conclusion
Long Proposal • Follow Exact Funder Guidelines • General Components • Cover Letter • Table of Contents • Executive Summary • Needs Statement • Project Description • Evaluation • Budget (& Budget Narrative) • Organization Information • Conclusion
Cover Letter • First Paragraph: • Why is project a good match for funder? • Second Paragraph: • Summary of project and request for funding amount • Third Paragraph: • Enthusiasm, closing.
Executive Summary • Statement of your case and summary of entire proposal • Problem • Solution • Funding Requirements • Overview of Organization
Needs Statement • Defines problem or issue the grant application addresses. • Overview • Problem Description: Who, What, Where? • Problem Recognition: Why is it a Problem? • Problem Implications • Problem Challenges • Problem Urgency • Human Interest Story
Needs Statement Pitfalls • Problem is Insufficiently Documented • Support your claim with statistics, research • Information in Needs Statement should be substantial, substantiated, and up-to-date • Problem Is (or seems) Insurmountable • Are the project goals achievable? • Project Does Not Seem to Match Problem • Make sure your project addresses the actual need • Circular Reasoning • The problem is NOT the absence of your project
Sample Needs Statement #1 “Libraryfield is an economically depressed community with many people out of work. With many industries moving out there is a large segment of the population who need help, including a population of teen mothers living in poverty. The library can help them by providing services. The library will expand their family services collection by 1,500 titles dealing with pregnancy needs. The library will also offer eight programs over the grant year dealing with such pregnancy topics as: breastfeeding, prenatal care, post-partum depression and more. The addition of a grant- funded staff member to coordinate efforts with the local medical field will make the project a success.”
Sample Needs Statement #2 “A 1999 report from the New York State Department of Health showed that the Town of Libraryfield ranked among the worst in the state over a 3-year average for infant mortality, low birth weight and premature births, late entry into prenatal care, unmarried parents, teen pregnancies and poverty. An Everywhere County Prenatal Focus Group report revealed that communication by families and doctors is generally poor. There is a need for information on: childbirth education opportunities, support services, childbirth preparation, breastfeeding, sibling preparation for new baby, and post-partum depression. The focus group indicated that the public library could be helpful in directing new parents to resources and materials. In order to meet this need, the library proposes a grant program to expand collections and programs by linking for the first time with family practitioners and the Libraryfield Memorial Hospital to reach expectant and post-partum mothers and their children.”
Project Description Objectives Methods Staffing / Administration Evaluation Other Funding / Sustainability
Objectives • Must be specific, tangible, measurable, concrete, and achievable in a specific time period • “Help children read better” • “Assist 50 children in improving their reading scores by one grade level as demonstrated by standardized reading tests administered after participating in the program for six months.” • Must be realistic
Objectives • Questions to answer: • Who is the target audience, and how will you involve them in the activity? • How many people do you intend to serve? • What are you going to do? • What project planning has already taken place?
Methods • Description of the specific activities that will take place to achieve the objectives • Questions to answer: • How will the activity be organized and implemented? • When will the activity take place? • Might be appropriate to include a timeline • Where will the activity take place?
Staffing / Administration • Discuss the number of staff who will work on the project, their qualifications, and specific assignments • Question to answer: • Who is going to do the work and what are their credentials?
Evaluation • Measure Impact and Outcomes • Questions to answer: • How will evaluation information be collected? • How will data be analyzed? • Who will be responsible for evaluation?
Other Funding / Sustainability • Describe other sources of funding • Describe how project fits into long-term plans for organization • Questions to answer: • Will you continue the project after the grant period? • How?
Budget • Financial Description of Project • Requirements vary • Use Funder’s form or categories if specified • General Categories: • Personnel • Salaries, fringe benefits • Non-Personnel • Travel, printing, space, equipment, supplies, insurance, etc. • Indirect costs (Overhead) • Utilities, rent, etc.
Budgeting Plenty of Budget Builders Out There