Irving ISDGrant Specialists’ Meeting29 September 20059:00 AM Keep Your Eyes on the Prize! 2005-2006
Today’s Agenda • Welcome and Introductions • The Role of a Grant Specialist • The Proposal Development Process • Procedures, Requirements, & Guidelines • Peer Review Activity • On The Horizon
What is a Grant Specialist? • The primary liaison between the Grant Services Office and your campus • An expert conduit through which information and assistance can flow … in a manner that fits your campus’ constraints on funding, personnel, time, etc.
Characteristics of Grant Specialists • the desire to participate in grant seeking, proposal development, proposal submission, and monitoring post-award activities • writing and research skills • written and verbal communication skills • computer skills • interpersonal skills
Characteristics of Grant Specialists • organization skills • ability to work collaboratively with faculty and staff • ability to work independently • ability to meet deadlines • ability to lead planning groups • the desire to participate!
You Know You’re a Grant Writer If…..By Saul LeshDirector of GrantsWestchester Community CollegeSource: www.schoolgrants.org I was recently asked by a wanna-be grant writer what he should know in order to participate in this profession. He was not impressed when I went through the litany of how one finds funding agencies and the basic elements of a proposal. He wanted to know the underside (underbelly?) of grant writing and what he should really know that no “how-to” book ever explains. So I have prepared the following list of characteristics that every grant writer should have.
You Know You’re a Grantwriter (cont’d) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a gambler – taking chances that what you produce will hit a jackpot somewhere. (I’ll bet my life on this!) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a masochist – resubmitting proposals after being rejected over and over again. (One mo[re] time.) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a diplomat – standing by silently while someone else takes the credit for a successful proposal you wrote. (I’m biting my lip because it itches.) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a squirrel – saving every scrap of paper on which notes are written just in case they might be useful someday. (You never know.) Source: www.schoolgrants.org
You Know You’re a Grantwriter(cont’d) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a miser – hoarding information and materials and refusing to share them because you know you will never get them back. (I lost it!) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a gangster – threatening people with dire consequences if they don’t give you the information you need. (Talk or else!) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a hermit – keeping to oneself because you’re not invited to participate in other agency activities. (All alone by the telephone.) Source: www.schoolgrants.org
You Know You’re a Grantwriter(cont’d.) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a rhinoceros – so that the insults you receive bounce off your hide. (See if I care.) • A grant writer should be somewhat of an idiot – asking for clarification on what appear to be innocuous requirements. (Can the deadline be extended a week?) • A grant writer should be somewhat of a … but alas, I have depleted my storehouse of knowledge. Help! Source: www.schoolgrants.org
The Role of a Grant Specialist • Stay informed of the needs of your campus • TAKS performance • Campus initiatives • Special populations • Gaps or weaknesses in service • Receive e-mail announcements of funding opportunities and disseminate to colleagues in a timely manner
Role of a Grant Specialist(cont’d.) • Lead campus-based teams in developing grant proposals for your campus • Consult • Assist • Guide • Coordinate campus grant records • Lead grant report development and submission • Monitor post-award activities
Role of a Grant Specialist(cont’d.) • Participate in specialized training for proposal writing • Attend Grant Specialists’ meetings • Participate in the Peer Review and Response activities • Provide campus-specific information to the Grant Services Office
Traits of a Grant WriterBy Saul LeshDirector of GrantsWestchester Community CollegeSource: www.schoolgrants.org As a grant writer, you should have the following afflictions: • Schizophrenia so you can support both sides in an argument. • Amnesia to forget all the snide put-downs of your work. • Carpal tunnel syndrome so it looks like you're struggling to find just the right word. • Bladder problems for the appearance of always being in a hurry.
Traits of a Grantwriter(cont’d.) • Hemorrhoids for that look of concern. • Whooping cough to hide your laughter at the nonsense going on around you. • Scarlet fever for that sweaty look of working very hard. • Toothache so you have an excuse for yelling at people. • Tennis elbow so you don't have to do any heavy lifting. • Paper cut so you can wave your hand around without offending the person you want to offend. • Schistosomiasis (look it up!) for that pale/ashen look of a martyr. Source: www.schoolgrants.org
Traits of a Grantwriter(cont’d.) But enough - with all of these ailments you can probably get medical leave and won't have to write grants! Source: www.schoolgrants.org
The Five-Finger Rule Imagine that your hand represents all the time you spend putting together a winning proposal. The four fingers -- fully 80% of your time-- is time you should spend on various planning activities.Only 20% is actual writing -- but that 20% is the thumb, the part that makes all the rest work!
The Proposal Development Process • Identify a problem • Conduct a needs assessment • Develop a project to address the identified need • Write a Concept Paper • Find a funder • Write the proposal based on the identified funder’s requirements • Submit the proposal to the funder
Identify a Problem • Board Goals • District Objectives from District Improvement Plan • Campus Objectives from Campus Improvement Plan • Data Disaggregation • Etc.
Conduct a Needs Assessment • What are the conditions now? • What needs to change? • What kinds of changes need to be made?
Develop a Project to Address the Identified Need • Use the Project Idea Development Form • Write a Concept Paper to prepare for writing a proposal
Concept Paper • What is a concept paper? • A concept paper is a brief, focused overview of the project for which you’d like to obtain funding. • The concept paper is the backbone of any grant proposal. • How will a concept paper be useful? • Resource to help research and identify appropriate grantmakers • Talking paper to help engage staff, Board, and other possible collaborators/partners • Letter of inquiry to potential grantmakers; and • Full proposal to some grantmakers
Concept Paper, cont’d. • How will developing a concept paper assist in writing a grant? • Challenges you to demonstrate your commitment to pursuing the idea • Provides the opportunity for you to organize your thoughts on paper • Identifies the information, commitments, and additional research necessary to create a winning proposal
The Concept Paper, cont’d. • What elements make up a concept paper? • Title Page • Introduction • Statement of Need • Organizational History • Project Narrative • Timeline • Budget • Funding Strategy
Find a Funder • Look at the Grant Services Web site • Look at Schoolgrants.org • Look at other sites found in A Grantseeker’s Source List • Search the Web with relevant key words such as “grant,” “K-12,” “ESL,” etc.
Write the Proposal • Summary: Very briefly summarize the project for which you are requesting funding. You should be able to describe your project in just 3-4 sentences. • Introduction: Use this section to tell a little about your organization - what qualifications do you have to administer the program/funds for which you are asking? • Statement of Need: Use facts to describe the needs your organization has that the proposed project will address. • Objectives: Describe the major ways the project is expected to impact your goals and the organization's needs. Objectives should be stated in measurable terms. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Write the Proposal • Methods: How are you going to accomplish the objectives of the program? • Evaluation: What quantifiable methods will you have in place to monitor the success of your program? [On-going monitoring of the program is reqired to determine that objectives are being achieved. Frequent self-evaluations enable timely corrections and adjustments if parts of the program are proving to be ineffective.] • Future Funding: How will your organization continue this program when the grant ends? • Budget: Clearly delineate costs borne by the grant. Be as accurate as possible. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Hernandez’s 10 Grantwriting HintsSource: http://www.schoolgrants.org You should always seek grant opportunities that match your program's goals and objectives rather than the other way around. If you change your program based on a funder's giving guidelines, you may end up with a project or program that is a mere shell of the original plan. The goal of grant writing is not simply to bring more money in for your agency; the goal is to fund programs that will meet the needs of your constituency.
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Obtain as much information as possible about a prospective grantor! Understand the mission of the grantor, look at past-funded programs, and determine the range of grant awards typically given by the agency. Be sure you make a note of any geographical preferences and/or limitations. Save yourself some time and look at "funding exclusions" and/or "eligible applicants" first - make sure your institution and/or project fits within the guidelines of the funding agency. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Most funding agencies publish grant guidelines or requirements. Be certain you understand them and follow them to the letter. Note the deadline and whether the proposal must be received or postmarked by the deadline. Don't have your proposal thrown away because you didn't follow the guidelines to the letter. Exceptions are rarely made; regardless of the circumstances. Some funders have special requirements; follow them! Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Your "needs statement" drives your entire grant proposal. The proposed program should revolve around the problems faced by your clients. The purpose of the grant is to meet the specific needs you have identified. If you have not adequately described the reason you need the program, including the use of statistics and other research data when possible, the funder will see no reason to invest in your project. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Most proposals, particularly foundation and corporation proposals, should include a short project abstract. The abstract defines your entire project - needs, goals, objectives, and budget - within a paragraph or, at most, one page. As always, follow the guidelines of the grantor with regard to the program summary requirements. Remember that it is this summary that is usually read first. If you haven't adequately described your project, it may be the only part of the entire proposal that ever gets read. Consider writing the abstract last. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Every proposal will require a section(s) that describes the broad goals and measurable objectives of your project. You should detail the activities that will be implemented to accomplish the program's goals and objectives. Your budget and budget narrative must closely match the described activities. Your evaluation should carefully measure whether the stated project objectives are being met on a timely basis.Foundation and corporate funders generally expect this section to be no longer than five to ten pages. Federal grants may allow up to 50 pages or more for a thorough discussion of your project. Again, follow the guidelines of the prospective funder. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Include a one-page cover letter if not specifically prohibited by the funding agency. The cover letter should briefly introduce your organization and describe your project, including the funding request. The cover letter should be signed by your school's or district's executive officer and should be written on school/district letterhead. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Use a reasonable font type and size (no smaller than 10- point; preferably 12-point). Leave plenty of white space - use margins of at least 1"; double-space if space limitations allow it. If possible, include graphs, photographs, or sidebars occasionally. Bold headings and sub-headings help break up the proposal and also make it easy for the reviewer to find sections within your proposal. Grammar and spelling errors show a lack of concern on the part of the applicant. Do not submit a proposal if you are not proud of its appearance. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) Even if your proposal is not funded, always send a thank you note to the grantor for the opportunity to submit your proposal. Ask if it is possible to receive reviewer comments so that you can see why your proposal was not funded. Use the reviewer comments to improve upon your proposal-writing techniques.And remember, even the most well-written proposals for the most super projects are not always funded. Do not get discouraged because your proposal was not selected for funding by a particular agency at this time. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Donna Fernandez’s 10 Grantwriting Tips (cont’d.) If you are fortunate enough to have your proposal funded, send a thank you note for the grant. Next, keep the funding agency informed about your activities, progress and accomplishments. Invite them to come see your program in operation. Send photographs of the program in action. Send quarterly or semi-annual reports that tell how you've used the funds. In short, make the grantor your partner. Source: http://www.schoolgrants.org
Procedures, Guidelines, Requirements (Oh my!) • Planning • Communicating • Coordinating • Developing • Submitting • Refer to the Grant Services Procedures document
Peer Review & Response Panel • Each Grant Specialist will participate on the Peer Review & Response Panel at least one time per school year. • Each Grant Specialist will serve on the Peer Review & Response Panel for about 4 weeks.
Irving Schools Foundation • Relationship to Irving ISD
On the Horizon • 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Cycle 4 • Investment Capital Fund • Smaller Learning Communities • Jacob Javits • Teaching American History • 10,000 Steps