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The “How To” Grants Manual

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  1. The “How To” Grants Manual David G. Bauer 5th Edition

  2. Setting Yourself Up for Grants Success Chapter One

  3. Setting Yourself Up for Grants Success • Developing Your Career Grants Plan • Developing a Proactive System • Festinger’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance • Values-Based Grantseeking

  4. Developing and Documenting the Need for Your Project Chapter Two

  5. Creating Urgency and a Compelling Proposal • Document the need • What is the problem that requires a solution? • What will happen if this needs area is not addressed? • What is the gap between what exists now and what ought to be or would be if the knowledge existed to solve the problem? • Why should grant funds be used now to solve the problem and reduce the gap?

  6. Creating a Gap Between What Exists Now and What Could or Should Be • The statement of the problem must be: • Clear, • Concise, and • Possess a futuristic reference to why the problem needs to be addressed now! • Grantors fund proposals that show the greatest impact in moving to close the gap in a particular problem.

  7. Needs Assessment ApproachesThe Six Basic Approaches • Key informant: Quotations from people who know about the problem or are experts in the field. • Community Forum: Public meetings to get testimony on the problem. • Case Studies: Examples of clients in a need population. • Statistical analysis: Use of data from public records. • Survey: Random selection of population to answer questions related to the need. • Studies: Literature search of published documents on the subject.

  8. Finding Time to Write Grant Proposals Chapter Three

  9. Organizing a Proposal Development Workbook • There are two (2) major obstacles to grantseeking: • Finding the time to get involved • Developing a proactive approach • The Swiss Cheese Concept • Create manageable tasks for the process • Time-efficient and cost effective • Keeps proposal information more organized

  10. Suggested Proposal Development Tabs • Introduction • Documenting Need • Organizing the Process • Developing Ideas • Redefining Ideas • Uniqueness • Advisory Committees and Advocacy • Choosing the Marketplace

  11. Tabs for governmental funding sources • Researching Government Marketplace • Characteristics: Government Grants • Contracting Government Sources • Planning Federal Proposals • Improving Federal Proposals • Submission: Public Sources • Decision: Public Sources • Follow-up: Government Sources

  12. Tabs for private funding sources • Differences: Public versus Private Sources • Recording Research • Foundation Research Tools • Researching Corporate Grants • Contracting Private Sources • Letter Proposal • Submission: Private Sources • Decision: Private Sources • Follow-up: Private Sources

  13. Developing Grant-Winning Ideas Chapter Four

  14. From Research to Model Projects • Look at your organization and grant request from the the grantor’s point-of-view. • Try and determine the grantor’s values, their likes and dislikes, and avoid those that are negative and highlighting those that appeal to the grantor • Develop several approaches to solving your problem and discuss them with the prospective funding source before submittal.

  15. Worksheets can help you • Generate more fundable ideas through brainstorming sessions • Develop a system to summarize best ideas and access organizational commitment to the project • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of your best ideas • Develop institutional support for your proposal early in the process

  16. Brainstorming More Fundable Proposal Ideas • Break your participants into groups of five to eight. • Appoint a neutral group leader to facilitate the process • Appoint a recorder • Set a time limit • State one question or problem • Ask group members to generate and present as many possible solutions to the problem as they can within the time limit.

  17. Brainstorming More Fundable Proposal Ideas • Encourage group members to piggyback on each other’s ideas • Record all answers, combining those that are similar. • Avoid any evaluation or discussion of ideas until the process is over; this rule is critical for productive brainstorming

  18. Cost-Benefit Analysis Worksheet

  19. Preproposal Summary and Approval Form • This is like your Insurance Policy • You fill out the form and then solicit review and a critique by those who will be involved and must sign off on the proposal • This form provides a way to test the acceptance of your idea • Helps summarize all needed resources: staff, capital, match and other items that will be required to implement the project.

  20. Redefining Proposal Ideas Chapter Five

  21. Improving Your Database Research and Finding More Funding Sources • Don’t become overly self-focused (a case of the “we-we disease”) • Develop different key search terms to uncover different types of funding sources • Learning to develop Corporate Key Search Terms • Remember corporations like to support projects where they “live” and like to fund projects that can be related to their profits.

  22. Why Grant Funds to You and Your Organization? Chapter Six

  23. Capitalizing on Your Capabilities • Why should the funder choose you? • When to use similarity as a uniqueness • Conduct a uniqueness exercise • Using your organization’s case/mission statement to support your proposal • Using your existing case/mission statement • Elements of a case/mission statement

  24. Creating Grant-Winning Teams and Consortia Chapter Seven

  25. Involving Volunteers through Advisory Committees and Advocacy Groups • Recognizing the roles that comprise an effective team • Involving volunteers • Grants Advisory Committees

  26. Grant Resources • Preparing your proposal • Making pre-proposal contact • Developing consortia or cooperative relationships and subcontracts

  27. How To Incorporate Advocates To Increase Grants Success • Endorsement Letters • Contacts • Community Support • Involving Existing Boards, Advisory Groups, Volunteers, and Staff • Using Webbing and Linkage Information

  28. Choosing the Correct Grants Marketplace Chapter Eight

  29. General Grants Marketplace Information • The two main sources of support for nonprofit organizations and their grant requests are • Government • Private philanthropy • The grants area is one that does not have a political action committee or strong lobby

  30. Understanding the Government Marketplace Chapter Nine

  31. Types of Grants • Block Grants • Formula Grants • Categorical Grants • Contracts • State Government Grants

  32. Block Grants • Under this program states would set their priorities and grant the federal funds to the high-priority areas and projects as they saw fit • Example: Small Cities CDBG (Community Development Block Grant)

  33. Formula Grants • Funds are allocated according to a set of criteria • Generally specific to a problem area or geographic region • Must pass through an intermediary, such as a state, city or county government or a commission, before reaching the grantee. • While the general guidelines are developed at the federal level, the rules are open to interpretation, and local input can significantly alter the intent of the original federal program. • Formula and block grants are also easy target for elimination because it is difficult to substantiate results.

  34. Categorical Grants • Designed to promote proposals within a very specific, well-defined area of interest • Use peer panel reviews to evaluate proposals • Each federal agency has its own grant system • Detailed, time consuming grant applications • Most agencies are now going to on-line submissions

  35. Contracts • The basic difference between a grant and a contract is that a contract outlines precisely what the government wants done. • Advertised differently from grants • Grants—CFDA • Contracts—FedBizOpps • The contract game requires a successful track record and documentable expertise

  36. State Government Grants • While all federal funding must be listed in a database, most states do not have a database and grant seeking is much more difficult • Look at the state agency websites and talk with state officials • Advantages are that you don’t have to travel as far and it allows you to use your state and local politicians to make your case heard. • Disadvantages are states set their own priorities and they may add additional restrictions.

  37. Researching the Government Marketplace Chapter Ten

  38. The Federal Grants System • Requests for Proposals (RFP) • Matching Requirements • Other Requirements • Federal Grants Research Form

  39. Federal Research Tools • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) • Federal Register • Federal Business Opportunities

  40. Grant Databases • GrantSelect • Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) • Illinois Researcher Information Service (IRIS) • Community of Science (COS) • Federal Agency Internet Mailing Lists

  41. How to Contact Government Grant Sources Chapter Eleven

  42. When To Make Prepropsal Contact • Step 1: dissemination of and comment on the rules and regulations governing each program and comments from any interested party. The comments are published, the finalrules are printed, and the announcements of deadlines are made in such publications as the Federal Register, NIH Guide, and National Science Foundation E-Bulletin.

  43. When To Make Prepropsal Contact • Step 2: The federal Program officer then develops the actual application package and places it on the agency’s Web site for public access. (RFP or RFA) • Step 3: The deadline for submission occurs. • Step 4: Once proposals are submitted, they are reviewed, peer reviewed and evaluated and scored according to the evaluation criteria of the agency. • Step 5: The notices of award and rejection are made and the cycle starts again.

  44. Getting The Most From Past Grantees • Who received funding in the past? • Contacting a Past Grantee (what questions to ask) • Did you call or go see the funding source before writing the proposal? • Whom did you find most helpful on the funding source’s staff? • Did you use you advocates or congressperson? • Did the funding source review your idea or proposal before submission?

  45. Getting The Most From Past Grantees • Did you use consultants to help you on the proposal? • Was there a hidden agenda to the program’s guidelines? • When did you begin the process of developing your application? • When did you first contact the funding source? • What materials did you find most helpful in developing your proposal?

  46. Getting The Most From Past Grantees • Did the funding source come to see you (site visit) before or after the proposal was awarded? Who came? What did they wear? How old were they? Would you characterize them as conservative, moderate, or liberal? Did anything surprise you during their visit? • How close was your initial budget to the awarded amount? • Who on the funding source’s staff negotiated the budget? • How did you handle matching or in-kind contributions? • What would you do differently next time?

  47. Understanding The Proposal Review Process • Who was on the last review team? • What were their credentials? • What organizations were the reviewers affiliated with? • How were proposals reviewed?

  48. Contacting a Past Reviewer • How did you get to be a reviewer? • What training did you receive? • Where did you review proposals? • What evaluation system did you follow? • What were the most common mistakes you saw? • Did you meet other reviewers? • How many proposals did you review? • How long did you have to review the proposals? • How did the funding source handle discrepancies in the point assignment? • Did a staff review follow your review?

  49. Telephoning, Faxing, and E-Mailing Federal and State Funding Sources • Do your homework • Review all available information that you have on the grant announcement • Ask specific questions • Don’t ask questions where the answer is already in the grant announcement • Follow up

  50. Making an Appointment with a Public Funding Source Official • This is not always possible due to geographic location, but can beneficial • Call first an try to set an appointment • Try a cold call and it might result in someone seeing you right away • Avoid using politicians to set a meeting up or going with you on the appointment