The Plus 50 InitiativeGrant Writing 101 American Association of Community Colleges Funded with a grant from Atlantic Philanthropies Presented by: Karen Norris, Grants Manager Montgomery College, Maryland
Presentation Overview • Writing & Context: AACC Plus 50 Initiative • Writing & Context: Atlantic Philanthropies • Writing & Context: Community College • Grant Writing for Success • A Few Words About Partners • Sustainability
I. Writing and Context AACC: The Plus 50 Initiative • Re-wired • Re-hired • Re-inspired
II. Writing and Context Atlantic Philanthropies – Lasting Change “ … we support efforts to make systemic and lasting change through new laws, policies, and programmes. We believe in the power of advocacy by the people who will benefit by it. Atlantic seeks to strengthen leaders and institutions, because doing so is the best insurance of a vibrant movement for social equality and justice that will endure long after we have made our last grant.” Gara LaMarche, President and CEO, on behalf of Charles “Chuck” Feeney, Founder Photo Credit: Atlantic Philanthropies
III. Writing and Context Community College Mission and Impact • Do you know your College’s mission statement? • The students' education is the first priority at Cape Cod Community College. • Central Florida Community College offers educational opportunities which are accessible, affordable and high quality. • Century College inspires, prepares, and empowers students to succeed in a changing world. • What are national trends for community colleges? • What is your project’s potential impact?
IV. Grant Writing for Success Why Pursue Grants?
Benefits and Risks Benefits • Grants support programs through new opportunities and resources • Grants cultivate partnerships and endorsements Risks • Grants are competitive • Grants generate additional responsibilities
What is the Purpose of the Grant? Before you begin writing, think about context, priorities, needs, impact, and sustainability. Share your thoughts with leadership and gain approval to pursue your project.
The Writing Begins Priorities and Selection Criteria • Read the grant guidelines • Find the defined purpose of the program • Find the list of criteria that will be scored • Base your narrative outline on the priorities and selection criteria
Federal Grants Funding Priorities • Absolute • Competitive • Invitational
Federal GrantsInvestigate for Scoring Methods Selection Criteria • Purpose • Extent of need • Plan of operation • Quality of key personnel • Budget and cost effectiveness • Evaluation plan • Adequacy of resources
Purpose _____________________ • Meet the needs of the authorizing statute • Address the absolute priorities • Correlate the grantor’s purpose to the proposed project • Focus on anticipated outcomes
Extent of Need • Include local statistics and data • Correlate the local data to national data • Conduct a needs assessment or SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) • Describe the need for Plus 50 programs on your community college campus
Plan of Operation Goals and objectives Activities Methods or strategies Timeline Management plan
Sample Objective We will create a new math computer lab that includes the latest software designed to help students learn college algebra. (assumes that learning will take place) Or Students enrolled in college algebra in the Fall 2010 term who successfully complete 30 hours of computer-based academic support in the new math lab will reflect a course completion rate 10% higher than a comparable cohort of students who do not have access to the lab. (documents that learning takes place) Which objective sounds more worthy of funding?
Quality of Key Personnel Quality is key. Who is responsible for implementation? What qualifications and prior experience do they bring to the project? Think about sustainability. What percentage of tuition supports positions?
Budget and Cost Effectiveness A good budget does more than add correctly. The budget should be large enough to accomplish the proposed objectives and activities, but it should be cost-effective and reasonable. • Is your project a good investment? • Are there existing resources to support costs? • Do requested costs match the narrative? • Will the investment of funds make a difference?
Evaluation • What will be evaluated? • Who will be responsible for the evaluation? • What methods will ensure timely collection of data? • What instruments will be used? • Is there base-line data? • Are pre- and post-tests feasible? • Should surveys, interviews, and meeting records be used? • Is IRB approval required? • Is a third-party evaluator required?
Adequacy of Resources What can be contributed toward the project? Are classrooms available, computers, Internet, faculty, a finance office or grant accountants, libraries, scholarships? Are these resources still available once the project has ended?
Federal GrantsWhat Else is Included in a Proposal? Federal proposals have four basic components: (1) cover page and other forms, (2) narrative, (3) budget, and (4) appendices.
Searching for Public Grants • www.grants.gov • Individual agency websites such as the US Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including NIH, CDC, Administration on Aging, National Institute on Aging) • State agency websites • Local government websites
Corporate & Foundation Grants Private funders can offer an appropriate alternative for grant seeking.
Foundation Grants • Foundations often require a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) or preliminary application • Standard application form • Descriptive letter
Letter of Inquiry-Preliminary Application • Preliminary applications usually include: • Purpose of grant • Statement of need • Population served • Amount requested with itemized budget • Strategy to secure full funding (in-kind support) • Plan of action including milestones and target dates • Evaluation plan • Some foundations also request: • Annual report • Most recent financial statement • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) Letter • List of Board of Directors/Trustees
Searching for Private Grants Resources for private funding include: • Foundation Center at www.foundationcenter.org • Regional Area Grantmakers (RAGs) at www.givingforum.org • Local Community Foundations at www.communityfoundations.net • Council on Foundations at www.cof.org • Professional Associations • Corporate Foundations
A Few Words About Partners Most large initiatives benefit from the participation of partner organizations or collaborators. What happens beyond termination of the project period?
The Concept of Sustainability • Lasting change • Impact • Long-term outcomes
Beyond the Project Period Sample language: While all the objectives of the project strive to build capacity, it is important to develop with purpose an initiative that will be sustained over time. Several factors contribute to the sustainability of the program. The level of support may not replace 100% of the grantor contribution; however, sustainable components include: 1) the relationships forged among community college, four-year institutions of higher education, business, county, and military partners; 2) the business community networks created; 3) the project infrastructure including existing college faculty, leadership, and courses; 4) the knowledge gained through the extensive outreach efforts; and 5) the development and refinement of curriculum and course offerings.
Thank You for Participating In Summary: • Think about purpose and priorities. • Remember to address context. • Gain approval of your idea with leadership. • Search for the selection criteria in the grant guidelines and make an outline for your narrative. • Plan your program with sustainability in mind. Best wishes for continued success.
AACC • Leading advocate for the nation’s community colleges for more then 80 years. • 95% of all public two-year colleges are members of AACC. • Represents 1,195 community colleges with close to 12 million students annually. • AACC is the voice for the largest and most diverse sector of U.S. higher education.
For More Information http://Plus50.aacc.nche.edu
Presenter – Grantwriting 101 Karen Norris Grants Manager Montgomery College 900 Hungerford Drive – Suite 254 Rockville, Maryland 20850 240-567-4028 phone 240-567-7314 fax firstname.lastname@example.org