Grant Writing and Administration Dr. Joe Saviak Karsh and Fox, The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need, 2009 Visuals by Google Images
Course Introduction Why study grants? • 1/3 of all local government revenue results from federal & state funding – without grants, local government would be out of business! • During your career, you will be connected to a grant in some way – it may fund your position or program - you may be asked to apply for a grant and if you win one, then manage it • You may have a winning idea but limited current agency resources making the grant option the only option • If you aspire to be promoted within the organization, having the knowledge & skill to win and manage grants is a very attractive skill to have • A number of our students & alumni have been successful in their pursuit of grants – this benefits their program, agency, community, & career • Let’s hear some examples of grants that you may have a connection with during your career
Course Introduction A Word on our Textbook – Karsh & Fox The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need – 3rd Edition • I utilized the 2nd edition of this textbook last time which was very well received by our students – it is information rich and an easy and inviting read • We are employing the 3rd edition this time – the authors have extensive experience & successful careers in both winning grants and awarding grants – you will learn their proven strategies for success – there are a number of valuable elements to this textbook – Funders’ Roundtables, class exercises, the appendices • Our students report that they hang on to this textbook as an excellent resource for them professionally – it provides you with everything you need to know in the business of grants – hold on to it!
Course Introduction Learning the Language of Grants • As with every subject we study, we need to become fluent in the specific language to master the subject – this is especially true in grant writing where understanding exactly what the grantor wants from you is critical to success – fail to understand a key term and not address it or insufficiently cover it and your entire proposal is rejected (months of hard work) – learning the language is vitally important to your success in this course & in winning grants • We will spend some time tonight introducing you to these key terms in grant writing • Our sources are the Delaware Valley Grantmakers, a Philadelphia-based consortium providing technical assistance and resources to non-profit organizations http://www.dvg.org/grantseekers/glossary.htm • Plus Karsh & Fox (2009) • This next section is a lot of information to throw at you right now – we are starting to build a solid foundation for your success in this course – introducing these key concepts now - we will reinforce these critical concepts during our study of each chapter but this gives you the ability to recognize the concept when we actually examine it in each chapter • A number of these terms/elements are required in your grant proposal
Course Introduction TYPES OF GRANTS: • Block grant: A grant that the federal government allocates to fund a specific need (i.e. “The federal government will allocate 2.5 million dollars in a block grant to schools that provide after-school care for children”) – these are for broad public purposes – give more flexibility & discretion to state & local govts. – they don’t micromanage state & local govt. as much as categorical grants which give you the federal funds & then specifically tell you how to do the job (they have a lot more rules & regulations – less flexibility & discretion for you) • Bridge funding: Funding intended to fill-in funding gaps that occur between seed money grants and more generally available unrestricted funding or traditional large foundation grants - a dilemma that occurs often at major research institutions (helps carry you between start up or pilot program funding to establishing more long term or institutionalized funding) • Challenge grant: Funder sets fundraising goal for grant-seeker to reach; rewarded if $ goal is met. • Capital grant: Funding for endowment purposes, construction or equipment (finances a capital purchase)
Course Introduction • Competitive Grant: A grant awarded by a government or private funder through a competitive screening process such as a request for proposals (RFP) or notice of funding availability – awarded after proposals have been scored/ranked by independent reviewers - proposal quality matters! • Endowment grant: Funding retained by the recipient in its investment funds, from which only the income or a specific percentage of principal can be used (you fund programming with income/interest & protect your principal) • Formula Grant: Federal government funding to states and major localities is based on formulas that account for the number of individuals who are entitled to that funding. They may be based strictly on total population, or they be based on the number of individuals in specific categories: elderly, youth, people with disabilities, etc. within your community (i.e. the formula grant is available to communities with __% of residents living at or under the federal poverty line) – these are “entitlements” – meeting the formula is what matters and if you qualify, you get the $ (as opposed to writing a compelling proposal to beat out others for a competitive grant) – if you do not meet the formula, you cannot obtain these grant dollars no matter how impressive your proposal is (it’s not the proposal which matters anyway – it’s the formula which does)
Course Introduction TYPES OF GRANTS: • General Operating Support: Funding for the general purpose of work of an organization including personnel, administration, and other expenses for an existing program. • In-Kind Contribution: A donation of goods or services rather than cash. • Matching Gifts Program: A grant or contributions program that will match employees' or directors' gifts made to qualifying educational, arts and cultural, health or other organizations. Specific guidelines are established by each employer or foundation. (Some foundations also use this program for their trustees.) • Matching Grant: A grant or gift made with the specification that the amount donated must be matched on a one-for-one basis or according to some other prescribed formula. • Project/Program Funding for specific initiative or new endeavor, not a general purpose grant. • Restricted grant: Funding limited to the purpose for which the request was made and accepted (cannot spend on other programs or purposes). • Seed grant: Funding designed to help start a new project or charitable activity, or to help a new organization in its start-up phase. • Technology grant: Funder donates technological equipment (computers, phone system, etc). • Unrestricted grant: Grant made for any purpose the recipient chooses, including operations and overhead.
Course Introduction GENERAL TERMS USED IN THE GRANT PROCESS: 501(c)(3): Section of the Internal Revenue Code that designates an organization as charitable and tax-exempt. Organizations qualifying under this section include religious, educational, charitable, amateur athletic, scientific or literary groups, organizations testing for public safety or organizations involved in prevention of cruelty to children or animals. Most organizations seeking foundation or corporate contributions secure a Section 501(c)(3) classification from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Note: The tax code sets forth a list of sections-501(c)(4-26)-to identify other nonprofit organizations whose function is not solely charitable (e.g., professional or veterans organizations, chambers of commerce, fraternal societies, etc.). Abstract: A brief overview of your proposal. No more than one page long and containing the bare essentials and a description of the goal and outcomes. Addendum: Extra pages that you include with your grant proposal, such as letters of support. These must be labeled (Addendum IV) and referenced within the narrative of the grant. Application: The forms used by the funding agency to submit your proposal. You should call or write the funding source before you begin writing the grant (i.e. some grants are made via a standard application you complete – others via a proposal you generate) Authorized signature: The signature of the person who is legally responsible for your organization (may be agency head, CEO or ED – may be Chair of BOD). Budget: The financial plan for your grant, itemized to show breakdown of both income and expenses.
Course Introduction GENERAL TERMS USED IN THE GRANT PROCESS: Consultant: A professional who is not on-staff but who lends periodic expertise. Contract: A legal document that specifies work/services provided as part of grant. Cost Sharing: A method of "matching money" in which you, the grantee, agree to put up a certain sum of or even "in-kind" dollars in order to make your proposal more attractive. Cover Letter: A formal letter that you attach to the front of your application/proposal when you submit it. Deadline: The date after which you proposal will not be accepted. Usually a postmark will not suffice; the funding group may require that it be received by a certain date. Check with funders to learn exact specifications (date mailed vs. date received matters!) Direct Cost: The whole dollar amount necessary to fund your project. Includes cash money only, not indirect costs (the costs of keeping the lights on at your agency – not program-specific costs) Dissemination: Distribution of results or information to others. Due Diligence: The degree of prudence that might be properly expected from a reasonable person in the circumstances; applicable to foundation personnel who act in a fiduciary capacity. Effective Date: The date the award is made.
Course Introduction GENERAL TERMS USED IN THE GRANT PROCESS: Evaluation: Qualitative and quantitative assessment of project. Did you meet your goals? Expendable: This refers to items that are useless after just one year, such as paper supplies. Expiration Date: The day on which your funding cycle ends. Exportable Product: A part of dissemination; something you prepare, such as a presentation, brochure, a video, etc. that is then used to tell others about your project. Fee: A negotiated sum of money that is paid to an individual or business for a service. Typically, a contract is required before the grant can pay such a fee. Final Report: A summary of your project's outcomes in terms of the program, evaluation, budget and personnel. Take your time and make the report thorough, as it can affect future funding. Form 990/Form 990-PF: The IRS forms filed annually by public charities and private foundations respectively. The letters PF stand for private foundation. The IRS uses this form to assess compliance with the Internal Revenue Code. Both forms list organization assets, receipts, expenditures and compensation of officers. Form 990-PF includes a list of grants made during the year by private foundations.
Course Introduction GENERAL TERMS USED IN THE GRANT PROCESS: Foundation: A private group or organization that awards funds for charitable or research purposes. Grant: An award of financial assistance, equipment, or other forms of assistance that is based on a proposal for change or research. A grant does not have to be "paid back.” Grantee: The agency or foundation that receives the award/grant. Grantmaker: The agency or individual that gives the award/grant (also called grantor). Grantor: See Grantmaker. Grantseeker: The agency or individual who approaches a grantor/grantmaker for a grant.
Course Introduction Goals: The broad outcomes expected from project. Unlike objectives, not directly measurable. Guidelines: A statement of a grantmaker's goals, priorities, criteria and procedures for applying for a grant. Honorarium: A monetary amount paid to a prestigious speaker or advisor who has given you assistance in the program. This is not a fee. Indirect Cost: The overhead an organization would have to pay in order to support a grant (electricity, rent for space, parking, etc.) In-Kind: This refers to a contribution of service or items that an organization donates instead of a monetary sum, in order to help fund the project. (i.e. contributing a portion of a staff member's time as in-kind to a grant) Justification: See Need Statement.
Course Introduction Letter of Intent: A grantseeker sends a letter of intent before writing or submitting a grant proposal to an agency or foundation in order to ensure that the proposal will fit within the foundation's guidelines. Letter of Support: This refers to a simple letter that you attach as an addendum to your proposal.This letter would be from an "expert" or supporter of your project who tells why he or she believes that your program should be funded. This is not a letter to prove a partnership exists – this is a letter to support that your program will do what you say it will do. Matching Funds: This refers to a dollar amount that the grantee or other outside party contributes to the project. Narrative: The written portion of your grant. The story of who, what, where, when, why and how. Every grant has at least two parts: a narrative and a budget. Often the grant guidelines will specify that your narrative may not exceed a certain page length. Always adhere to these instructions
Course Introduction Need Statement: The part of the grant in which you explain, using both qualitative and quantitative data, the need or problem that exists which your proposed program is addressing – without documenting need, you will not be funded – proving the need you have – proving the problem you are addressing – need must be proven – it cannot be assumed. Provide data to verify or justify the problem or need. (Sometimes called "Justification.") Objective: Specific, measurable aims for project, with matching outcomes to measure them (remember your program is what translates objectives into outcomes). Outcomes: Expected results of a project that can be used to measure its success – proof that program objectives have been achieved. Outside Evaluator: An unbiased, professional consultant who is brought in to do the evaluation of your project. Typically, an outside evaluator is advisable in large grants and assures the grantmaker of the quality and integrity in your evaluation. This avoids the problem of the grantor having to take the grantee’s word that outcomes were achieved.
Course Introduction Payout Requirement: The minimum amount that a private foundation is required to expend for charitable purposes (includes grants and necessary and reasonable administrative expenses). In general, a private foundation must pay out annually approximately 5 percent of the average market value of its assets. Project: The activities that you will carry out as part of the grant. Project Director: The individual who is responsible for the activities involved in the grant, including the evaluation and follow-up - may also be called a coordinator. Prospectus: A draft of your proposal that may sometimes be called a preliminary proposal. Qualitative Data: The results of attitude inventories, case studies, and questionnaires that tell you how people are feeling or behaving (i.e. a focus group of parents talking about the difference the program made in their children's’ lives). These can be used for needs assessment or evaluation. This data is expressed in words not numbers – it is not scientific or statistical. It can provide more in depth data on attitudes of program participants – it complements your quantitative data. Quantitative Data: Statistics that justify the need for or the outcomes of your grant. It is a good idea to mix qualitative and quantitative data to paint a thorough picture of your situation.
Course Introduction Qualitative Data: The results of attitude inventories, case studies, and questionnaires that tell you how people are feeling or behaving (i.e. a focus group of parents talking about the difference the program made in their children's’ lives). These can be used for needs assessment or evaluation. This data is expressed in words not numbers – it is not scientific or statistical. It can provide more in depth data on attitudes of program participants – it complements your quantitative data. Quantitative Data: Statistics that justify the need for or the outcomes of your grant. It is a good idea to mix qualitative and quantitative data to paint a thorough picture of your situation. Reader: A consultant or staff member who reads and evaluates the quality of proposals. Often part of a committee. Also known as a reviewer. RFP: A kind of memo that agencies or foundations send out to solicit proposals. It stands for "Request for Proposals." Grantseekers should send a letter of intent and request an application packet. Site Visit: One or more evaluators from the foundation visit your organization to either review the facilities for the purpose of funding you, or as part of the evaluation after you have been funded.
Course Introduction Summary: The portion of the narrative in which you describe who, what, when, where, why and how, but do it briefly. Let the reader know what the proposal is about. Also called "Cover Summary" and "Executive Summary."Terms and Conditions: The legal requirements that you must agree to before accepting the grant award. Three-Column Budget: A kind of budget in which you show three sources for funding: the grantmaker (agency or foundation), outside funding (matching funds from a business partner or supporter), and your own in-kind support. Trust: A legal device used to set aside money or property of one person for the benefit of one or more persons or organizations. Trustee: The person(s) or institutions responsible for the administration of a trust
Course Introduction Key Terms – Karsh & Fox – Appendix 3 • Abstract/Executive Summary – a brief (1/2 page to no more than 2 pages) summary of the entire proposal • Anecdotal Information – informal information to demonstrate need or program impact (i.e. example of a life changed by your program) – this is qualitative data (expressed in words not numbers or statistics) – winning proposals combine quantitative data (statistics) with real world examples or stories - qualitative data – puts a human face on the problem – personalizes the numbers) to make the case for program need and program impact • Annual Report – a report issued by an organization describing its programs & activities for the year plus its financial data – useful for grant-seekers as a source of research on the potential funder (i.e. what are their interests, what types of programs do they fund?) • Best Practices – In a specific field, the theories and activities which have been demonstrated to be successful solutions to specific problems. • Bidders’ Conference/Technical Assistance Conference – early in the process, ameeting or teleconference held by the grantor to answer questions from prospective applicants – everyone will receive the answers to all questions which are asked • Board of Directors – every established non-profit has a BOD who IDs goals, sets policy, & ensures financial stability – grantors will want to know who your BOD is – BOD quality matters to grantors
Course Introduction Key Terms – Karsh & Fox – Appendix 3 • Boilerplate Language – standard language for required elements of proposals that a grantee can have immediately accessible for each proposal (i.e. paragraph describing the overall mission of the agency) – needs to be kept current & modified somewhat for different proposals but it stops you from having to rewrite the exact same standard information each time there’s a proposal to complete • Organizational Capacity – The organization’s ability to manage a grant & ensure that a funded program is implemented effectively - what is the evidence that can you deliver on what you promise to do? - finances, experience, staff, leadership – prove you can deliver • Collaboration – partnerships – should show complementary capabilities (each partner is there to do what they do best) – grantors like partnerships because partnerships (when they make sense) provide evidence of capacity and sustainability • Common Grant Application Form – a standard proposal or application format utilized by a group of grant-makers in a specific jurisdiction (i.e. all major foundations in a county have adopted a common form which they expect all grantees to use) • Demonstration Project – A project designed and funded to determine the viability of new or promising programs or approaches • Determination Letter – letter from the I.R.S. documenting your tax exempt status as a non-profit organization – required element for many grant proposals • Evaluation – A detailed plan for measuring a program’s effectiveness and its impact on program participants.
Course Introduction Key Terms – Karsh & Fox – Appendix 3 • Fiscal Conduit – an established 501 (c) (3) which functions as a partner for the purpose of receipt and administration of grant funds. • Goals - The overall & broad long term purpose of the agency/program (i.e. improving education) – can be general but need to be translated into specific & measurable objectives • Grant – An award of money to accomplish a purpose defined by the grant-maker • Indirect Costs – A % of total program costs allowable to pay for overhead costs like utilities, wear & tear on equipment, etc. • Institutionalization –a strategy for sustainability – a larger organization absorbs the program into its budget & operations when the grant ends (i.e. the local government becomes responsible for support of the program when the grant to the local non-profit ends) • Key Staff – The managers and staff who are critical to an agency’s operations or a program’s performance • Letter of Inquiry –letter to a funder/foundation to gauge interest in funding a certain program – serves as a mini-proposal (summary of the real proposal) – if the funder has rules for LOIs, follow them when sending one – they may want a LOI first & if they accept yours, then they will ask you to submit a proposal • Letter of Intent – letter expressing intent to apply for the grant – not a mini-proposal or proposal just official confirmation that the grantee will formally apply – helps the funder identify how many proposals will be received & how many reviewers will be needed
Course Introduction Key Terms – Karsh & Fox – Appendix 3 • Letter of support – a letter of support should not be used to prove a partnership exists - today, the funder wants a linkage letter, letter of commitment, or MOU which confirms the proposed partnership which would operate the program if funded. • Memorandum of Understanding – provides the funder with a contract between the proposed program partners – this is evidence to a funder of a real partnership (as opposed to a quick letter which claims the organizations will be collaborating but offers little else) – like any contract or agreement, it specifies which partner does what • Needs Assessment – qualitative and quantitative data which proves a need or problem exists which this program would address – may utilize waiting lists, statistics • Objectives – clearly defined and measurable results that a program is intended to achieve (i.e. we will reduce the high school dropout rate by 10%). • Other than Personnel Services (OTPS) – all budgeted costs of a program that do not relate to staffing costs (i.e. rent, equipment purchase or lease, consultants, office supplies) • Outcomes – the intended measurable result of a program (here is how we will validate that the high school drop out rate was reduced by 10%). • Program Evaluation – Systematic documentation and analysis of key indicators demonstrating that a program has achieved its objectives or intended outcomes.
Course Introduction Key Terms – Karsh & Fox – Appendix 3 • Reviewers/Readers - most federal grants and many state & local govt. & foundational grants engage outside reviewers to read, review, & score/rank proposals – selected for their subject matter expertise (relates to this grant) – with federal agencies, they will not review proposals from their home area or state (i.e. Florida reviewer on a federal grant review committee will read the proposals from the western states) • Reviewer’s Comments – you can obtain from federal agencies the scores/rankings & specific comments from reviewers of your grant proposal when the process is done – this is helpful to retaining your strengths and avoiding repetition of mistakes in your future proposals – scores & comments are de-identified (identity of individual reviewer is removed) • Site Visit – A visit by a funding agency to either determine the suitability of a potential grantee when considering making a grant award or after the grant period to conduct a program evaluation. • Sustainability – The prospect that an organization will be able to keep a program going after the grant expires. • Waiting Lists – a form of needs assessment/documentation – lists of potential users of a service who cannot be accommodated at a given point in time due to limited resources – this helps validate there is a gap between the current service level of a program and the actual level of need in the community or targeted population.
Course Introduction The Current Economics of Successfully Pursuing Grants • Cannot have a realistic discussion of grant writing without considering how the current economic climate influences the issue – this is the first “Funders’ Roundtable” in the textbook – group of grantors who analyze specific issues – this is their economic summit • Funders have become more “self critical” – more closely examining their decision-making • Grant proposals have always been strongly scrutinized – now, it’s even more true – “We’re raising the bar. Money is worth more.” (p. xxiv) • Funding interests & priorities will largely stay the same for each grantor (i.e. the types of issues/program they like to fund) – they will protect their current grantees (honor current awards) – more likely to favor renewals rather than funding new initiatives – for these reasons, newer organizations will have more difficulty attracting grants
Course Introduction The Current Economics of Successfully Pursuing Grants • Favoring collaborations (i.e. programs with partners) and increasing capacity for successful programs (i.e. enabling them to serve more clients) – both strategies allow limited dollars to have maximum impact • This is a time for agencies/organizations seeking grants to “stand out” – positive publicity, compelling case for their program, a strong & positive image • Grantees need to diversify their funding streams not depend on a single source • Grantees need to utilize the current climate to examine themselves & show grantors that they have done this successfully – identify & achieve cost savings • Grantees need to convincingly confirm & demonstrate their actual program outcomes – evaluation is key – grantors are “investors not funders” • Fewer dollars mean more competition – this is not the time to fail to answer a key question which was required in the RFP
Course Introduction The Current Economics of Successfully Pursuing Grants • “We fund proposals – we don’t fund ideas.” A high quality proposal convinces the reviewing committee for the grantor that you understand the problem you are trying to address and that your programmatic activities effectively address that problem • “A written grant should convey that lives are being transformed.” - prove your program will work & write in a way which inspires the potential grantor in the process • Relationship management matters – the relationship matters a lot after the grant is awarded - closely communicate with your grantor – don’t ever surprise them (i.e. they read about your program’s problems in the newspaper instead of hearing directly from you) • Funders are being much more strategic – they need to be convinced of program impact Never lose sight of the fact that this is a symbiotic relationship “We only do well if our grantees do well” (p. xxxi) “Without grantees, we just have money. Grantees are our clients.” (p. xxxv) They are invested in your success but the objectives of both parties have to be fulfilled for this relationship to prosper
Chapter 1 Lesson One: Who Am I? Dr. Joe Saviak Karsh and Fox, The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need, 2009 Visuals by Google Images
Chapter 1 • Grants – “exciting but completely misunderstood” (Karsh & Fox, 2006) • Excellent proposals do not always succeed (Karsh & Fox, 2006) • “But the proposal has to be excellent in order to stand half a chance of winning any money.” (p. 2) • If this year’s proposal would be low quality – wait for next year – nothing damages or ends a long term relationship like submission of a poorly prepared proposal – wait until next year if you have to in order to submit an excellent proposal • First, examine who you are, when & why you should seek grant opportunities – the answers to these questions will determine who you seek grant money from • There must be the right match between the right grantor and right grantee – who the grantee is determines who the potential grantors will be
Chapter 1 Diff. types of grant seekers: 1) Grassroots organizations – small, local groups such as HOAs (homeowners associations), neighborhood groups – limited fundraising – specific purpose for their area – should not seek grants until you are ready to do so 2) Social Service Agencies – service providers - can be nonprofit or local govt. – can be designed for a wide range of community needs – may be small & informal in size & structure – may be large & complex – may run a single service or multiple programs - if non-profit, must have a determination letter from the I.R.S. to document tax exempt status as 501 (c) (3) – without a determination letter confirming your non-profit status, you will be largely grant ineligible • New nonprofits may encounter difficulty attracting grants at first and it may be a more sound strategy to partner with and apply through an established provider who has a track record because grant-makers want to see: 1) a significant track record 2) a committed BOD 3) fiscal stability 4) strong leadership 5) clear vision & the ability to achieve that vision and 6) sustainability
Chapter 1 Diff. types of grant seekers: 3) Advocacy Groups – range in size from community-based to international – pushes for a specific issue or issue agenda – not normally eligible for govt. funding – may not be 501 ( c ) (3) as non-profits can only engage in a very limited amount of lobbying – these groups need to target appropriate funders (those individuals/organizations who share their issue agenda) 4) Individuals – artists, writers, filmmakers, scholars – need grant $ to fund their specific project or research – may need a fiscal conduit (this is an existing non-profit who can apply for & handle the grant funds) Grant Eligibility – do you even qualify for this grant – how do you know? • It’s called research – do it before you write the proposal • A great way to hurt your credibility with a funder is to send them a grant proposal when you clearly do not qualify • Grant eligibility often tied to specific types of organizations – even if your proposal has a lot of merit in meeting a community need or solving a public problem, if your type of org. does not qualify for the grant program, it’s a no-go • For example, many private foundations won’t directly fund a govt. agency although a govt. agency may set up a 501 (c) (3) to qualify for those funds (this can be done but needs to be carefully managed to avoid controversy or real/perceived conflict of interest)
Critical Concepts – Chapter 1 • First, examine who you are, when & why you should seek grant opportunities – the answers to these questions will determine who you seek grant money from – there must be the right match between the right grantor and right grantee – who the grantee is determines who the potential grantors will be • New nonprofits may encounter difficulty attracting grants at first and it may be a more sound strategy to partner with and apply through an established provider who has a track record – because grant-makers want to see: 1) a significant track record 2) a committed BOD 3) fiscal stability 4) strong leadership 5) clear vision & the ability to achieve that vision and 6) sustainability Grant Eligibility – do you even qualify for this grant – how do you know? • It’s called research – do it before you write the proposal • A great way to hurt your credibility with a funder is to send them a grant proposal when you clearly do not qualify • Grant eligibility often tied to specific types of organizations
Chapter 2 What is a Grant & How Do I Get One? Dr. Joe Saviak Karsh and Fox, The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need, 2009 Visuals by Google Images
Chapter 2 Grant “An award of money that allows you to do certain very specific things that usually meet very specific guidelines that are spelled out in painstaking detail and to which you must respond very clearly in your grant proposal.” (Karsh & Fox, 2006)
Chapter 2 Mission first and Grant 2nd • What problem are you trying to solve and is this problem and grant opportunity consistent with your organization’s mission? • Don’t be grant-driven setting organizational priorities/services by grant availability but establish your mission and then find the grant which matches it • “The most successful programs are mission-driven not grant-driven” (p. 13) • Funders can easily recognize when an agency is chasing grant dollars and moving away from their core mission and out of their zone of experience & expertise to do it – it affects your credibility and if by some chance, you win the grant, you will end up responsible for delivering a program with which you lack the expertise & experience to successfully deliver – stick with your mission, develop a program consistent with your mission, & find a grant which matches your mission and program – don’t start changing missions and launching new programs outside of your core mission just to try to capture grant dollars • Now sometimes, an agency begins to move in new directions with new programs for new types of clients but that’s an evolutionary process not a sudden leap • Why mission 1st and grant 2nd as the formula for success?1) you may compromise organizational effectiveness by allowing grants to dictate what the organization does each year and 2) grant-makers study your organization and will question your capacity to deliver on program objectives if it involves a major change in who you are & what you do
Chapter 2 Who are the grant-makers? • All levels of govt. (federal, state, & local), private foundations, corporations, & individuals • Regional Association of Grant-makers (RAG): may create a common grant application for all member agencies within a specific region – the grantmakers in the area have decided to utilize a standardized proposal or application form for grantees – key elements to a common form will be: 1) state a need 2) describe the program 3) present a rational budget 4) prove capacity and 5) document your non-profit status • Government grants generally utilize Requests for Proposals(RFPs) or Requests for Applications (RFAs) which detail guidelines, due dates, nature of program/services sought to be funded, expected cost of the program, etc. – usually have a lot of requirements – your ability to win govt. grants is directly related to your ability to comply with the required elements of the RFP not missing any detail • Many foundations do not employ RFPs (large ones may) but their guidelines are so specific as to resemble a RFP
Chapter 2 Foundations: 1) Family Foundations – often concentrate on specific giving patterns tied to the direct intent of the family who funds it – they have specific interests and do not deviate from those funding priorities - some may have designated organizations who are the only entities who can apply (the foundation has created a list of organizations who they specifically fund and then these organizations present proposals for support) 2)Independent Family Foundations – may have begun as a family foundation but is no longer directly controlled by the donor or his/her family – still ethically & legally bound to follow donor’s wishes - does reflect wishes of the donor in its giving patterns but may have a little more flexibility - usually professionally staffed 3) Federated Funds – such as the United Way – mission is to pool donations from individuals & businesses to fund a number of nonprofits – professionally staffed – year round fundraising 4)Corporate Foundations – Created by large private businesses – funds derived from the corporation or its founders/leadership – grants are usually in some way related to the goals of the corporation & their corporate citizenship priorities (i.e. pharmaceutical company – gives to health care causes) 5)Community Foundations – created to manage donations from individuals in the form of trust fund or pooled fund – obviates the need for a new non-profit to be organized – has donors interested in funding specific issues & those with more general purposes 6)Financial Institutions – manage charitable trusts for donors
Chapter 2 Foundations: • Need to ID & match the right foundation to purpose of your grant – research is key! • Check out The Foundation Center at www.fdncenter.org – maintains database of foundations - enables you to access foundation annual reports which tells you what they fund, how much they usually award in $, eligibility rules, contact information, etc. • Read the Annual Report for a specific foundation and contact them to learn more about what they do & don’t fund BEFORE investing time & energy in creating a proposal for them • Foundations, as 501 (c) (3) must annually file tax returns called 990s which detail who they gave $ to and how much & what for – excellent research resource • Before you submit a proposal to a foundation, visit their website & learn their grant application guidelines, access their grant application forms, learn about programs they have funded recently, etc. • In examining their 990s, if you see that the foundation has not funded an organization like yours in the last 3 years or the dollar amount/level you are seeking, that should help you decide whether to submit a proposal or application to them • Use this research in your proposal to communicate to the foundation that you have researched them – they like to know that you know them and that your proposal to them represents the product of solid research & a good understanding of who they are & what they do and why you two might be a good match for each other
Chapter 2 Corporations • May fulfill “corporate citizenship” role with grants & sponsorships • Actual funding decision may be made by top mgt., marketing dept., internal giving office, corporate philanthropy dept., or independent foundation • Good idea to demonstrate how their funding will result in good PR for them – there needs to be a “tie in” between you, your program, and their corporate identity & goals • May be a good opportunity for smaller gifts for smaller & newer organizations – local businesses & civic groups might be the first grant a new group wins – ensure that your Board members aid in this process of drawing upon community relationships & making these contacts
Chapter 2 Federal Grants • A lot of work involved BUT provides distinct benefits to grantees:1) substantial, stable multiyear funding2) credibility comes with winning these grants 3) breathing room – multiyear money gives you a chance to identify other additional funding sources 4) a successful grant experience & relationship with a federal agency tends to provide more opportunities • Designed to achieve some type of public purpose • Can be very restrictive or more flexible • Federal grants, as a rule, are usually complex & technical – involves a major time commitment to develop, research, prepare, & submit • The Federal Register is daily publication which announces all new federal grant opportunities (in addition to new rules & regs, other actions by fed. govt.) – usually gives 30-90 day deadline for response to grant opportunity • Federal agencies also publish grant opportunities on their agency websites • With the web, there’s no excuse today to say you could not locate a grant opportunity
Chapter 2 Federal Grants • When it comes to federal grants, knowing sooner is better – check The Federal Register& the specific federal agency website & the Catalog for Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) regularly & often as you are usually allotted a 30-90 day window to respond – given the time required and complexity involved in federal grant opportunities and the 30-90 day response window/deadline, you need to have your program developed well in advance (i.e. what are your proposing to do with their $?) • Another good source for fed. grant opportunities is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) - describes every fed. grant program available for any type of org. – identifies those programs with multi-year track records so you know that they are likely to be funded again & you can start planning for the next grant opportunity associated with that program – the CFDA is very comprehensive which may mean some difficulty in successfully sorting through it – CFDA identifies both formula grants (the law specifies a distribution formula and if you meet the formula, you get the $ - if you do not, there is no amount of persuasive writing which will likely alter that reality) and project grants (competitive proposals for research $, pilot program $, training $, etc.).
Chapter 2 Federal Grants Federal Agency Websites Search for federal grant opportunities on a regular basis – weekly is recommended Searching specific federal agency websites will do more for you than just help locate new grant program announcements Other benefits by engaging in web-based research involving specific federal agencies: 1. Aids you in accessing “best practices” research to utilize in developing your proposed program (they will want to see in your proposal that you have studied and utilized best practices research to design your program) 2. Can provide you with data & statistics which help you support your need statement (prove there’s a problem or need your program would address) 3. Agency websites also show you which programs have been funded in the past which is helpful to know
Chapter 2 Elected Officials Elected officials can be grantmakers too or more often, they can at least help you with grant opportunities - they can aid you in several ways: 1. Help direct organizations to grant opportunities – aid you with researching & locating federal or state grant opportunities which you then apply for 2. They can write letters of support to attach to a competitive grant proposal to a federal agency – 1) pick members wisely on this one as you want a member who matters to the agency (sits on a key committee for that agency) and 2) realize that federal agencies get a lot of letters from members of Congress so it can help when included within a strong proposal but it does not cause agencies to immediately award grants – agencies are not dumb – they know that the letter may just be a nice gesture and not a real priority for that member of Congress and ultimately, it’s the quality of the proposal which truly matters (first, members of Congress will examine your program before signing a letter so that helps ensure quality – secondly, from the agency perspective, funding a proposal which is weak or where the organization lacks the capacity to deliver to possibly make a member of Congress happy when you can achieve that goal in other ways is not done - the program could fail and that really makes no one happy in the end – besides, if the member of Congress cares about the organization that much, they can just go get an earmark for them and avoid the competitive process) 3. Some state elected officials have small amount of discretionary dollars in their office accounts so they can award small grants individually to organizations in their districts (not true in Florida) 4. Earmarks – the member of Congress gets a specific appropriation to you authorized within the federal budget and then you apply to the agency for it as a grant but it’s a done deal – this is a congressionally directed grant rather than an agency advertising a grant program & accepting competitive proposals – it’s when Congress directs a fed. agency to allocate funds for a specific project via the fed. budget – can be controversial & funds are limited – once earmark is included in fed. budget & budget passes, you complete the grant application process with the designated agency but it’s a done deal for you
Chapter 2 State and Local Government Grants • Search their websites to identify grant opportunities • Some states have a statewide “e-grants” system which allows you to register & receive notifications of grant opportunities • Florida’s website (www.myflorida.com) does not have a centralized grants center combining grant information from all state agencies nor does it send email alerts for interested organizations – you will need to search by each state agency for specific grant opportunities State & local elected officials • Can also help you or your org. ID potential grant opportunities • May be able to persuade a state lawmaker or local official to champion an earmark for your program from the state or local budget (a non-starter now – don’t bother – wait until prosperity returns!) – it would be a relatively small amount but enough to “pilot” the program & show success & leverage other resources & build for the future (enhances your credibility with other funders) Relationship management is key with all elected officials (federal/state/local) – invite them to your events, brief them on your programs, send them your newsletter, include them in your newsletter (photo or story from when you took them on a tour of your program) – build the relationship before you make the ask and keep the relationship strong year round (don’t just be there once a year to ask for $ help – that’s not a good strategy)
Chapter 2 Internet Searches for Grant Opportunities • With the web, there’s no excuse today to say you could not locate a grant opportunity! • See pp. 358-377of our textbook and “Grant Writing Web Resources” within your syllabus Three good sources: • The Foundation Center www.foundationcenter.org • The Grantsmanship Center www.tgci.com • The Federal Register Online www.gpoaccess.gov Publications Listing Grant Opportunities • Some require subscription - some are free • Philanthropy News Digest (PND) is a free newsletter at www.fdncenter.org/pnd - features updates, trends, & news in philanthropy
Critical Concepts – Chapter 2 • Why mission 1st and grant 2nd as the formula for success?1) you may compromise organizational effectiveness by allowing grants to dictate what the organization does each year and 2) grant-makers study your organization and will question your capacity to deliver on program objectives if it involves a major change in who you are & what you do • Government grants generally utilize Requests for Proposals(RFPs) or Requests for Applications (RFAs) which detail guidelines, due dates, nature of program/services sought to be funded, expected cost of the program, etc. – usually have a lot of requirements – your ability to win govt. grants is directly related to your ability to comply with the required elements of the RFP not missing any detail • Read the Annual Report for a specific foundation and contact them to learn more about what they do & don’t fund BEFORE investing time & energy in creating a proposal for them • Foundations, as 501 (c) (3) must annually file tax returns called 990s which detail who they gave $ to and how much & what for – excellent research resource Federal Grants • A lot of work involved BUT provides distinct benefits to grantees: 1) substantial, stable multiyear funding 2) credibility comes with winning these grants 3) breathing room – multiyear money gives you a chance to identify other additional funding sources 4) a successful grant experience & relationship with a federal agency tends to provide more opportunities • When it comes to federal grants, knowing sooner is better – check The Federal Register& the specific federal agency website & the Catalog for Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) regularly
Critical Concepts – Chapter 2 Other benefits by engaging in web-based research involving specific federal agencies: 1. Aids you in accessing “best practices” research to utilize in developing your proposed program (they will want to see in your proposal that you have studied and utilized best practices research to design your program) 2. Can provide you with data & statistics which help you support your need statement (prove there’s a problem or need your program would address) 3. Agency websites also show you which programs have been funded in the past which is helpful to know Relationship management is key with all elected officials (federal/state/local) – invite them to your events, brief them on your programs, send them your newsletter, include them in your newsletter (photo or story from when you took them on a tour of your program) – build the relationship before you make the ask and keep the relationship strong year round (don’t just be there once a year to ask for $ help – that’s not a good strategy)
Chapter 3 What Grant-makers Want Dr. Joe Saviak Karsh and Fox, The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need, 2009 Visuals by Google Images
Chapter 3 • “No 2 application packages or proposal guidelines are the same.” (Karsh & Fox, 2006) • Follow the rules – W.T.T.G. – “Write To The Grant” – it’s not about what you want – it IS about what the grant-maker wants! • Re-read the application package several times very carefully! Each reading will reveal something you missed from a previous reading. • Usually, folks just rush to “The Big Three”: 1) what is the amount of $ being given? 2) what are the questions which must be answered by applicants? and 3) what’s the deadline for submission? And then depending on those 3 questions, they move forward to apply – this is a mistake as critical details may be overlooked and details matter - you may be able to handle those 3 issues but you still may not be a good fit for this specific grant. • Re-read the application package several times to see you are not disqualified but so you that you confirm you are very qualified for this grant – develop the same level of understanding for this grant that the grantor has – fully appreciate what the grantor wants and does not want & what the grantor is seeking to accomplish – understand the meaning of all key concepts – understand both the letter & spirit of this grant opportunity – after fully understanding this grant opportunity, honestly ask yourself “If I were offering this specific grant and an agency and program just like mine applied for it, would I be a front-runner for it?”
Chapter 3 What’s the 1st question to be answered?Is my organization even eligible? • Believe it or not, people blow past that one, complete a grant application with lots of time & effort invested, & then receive a rejection letter with the application un-read • Hint: the eligibility explanation is likely to follow the key words “Eligible applicants are…” • Re-read the definition for eligibility several times & do this carefully – do you truly qualify? Example: if the grant opportunity is limited to agencies within a specific geographic jurisdiction, are you actually in it? If they specify this an eligibility criterion, it will not be overlooked even if you submit a brilliant grant proposal
Chapter 3 What’s the 1st question to be answered?Is my organization even eligible? • Contact the program officer to clarify questions or issues or components of the application – they can help resolve an issue of eligibility or explain some other key component of the grant which would influence your decision to apply or not - also, enables you to build a rapport with the person who may be judging your application – don’t be shy but also don’t be rude – research the grant & show you are familiar with it before you call – it’s not a confidence-builder with a program officer if you call and waste their time with easy to answer questions which only show you did not bother to read the RFP or grant announcement – remember that the program officer researched, designed, and is implementing this grant (they are heavily invested in it & take it seriously so you should too) • Remember that even with a common grant form, you must still go to the website of the member organization offering the specific grant and confirm that you qualify – just because you can complete the common form does not mean you are actually eligible for the grant from that specific funder
Chapter 3 • Follow the RFP or the REA and do it scrupulously – the grant-maker tells you in the RFP/RFA what they want so stick to what they want (i.e. dollar amounts, project team, measurable objectives, etc.) • “The RFP stipulates in no uncertain terms exactly what the grantmaker has in mind.” (p. 43) • By not sticking to the RFP/RFA, you not only hurt your chances this time, you damage your credibility & probability for success the next time as the grant-maker will remember that you were unable to follow directions the last time Advice from the Independent Community Foundation – applicants move up to the top of the list of likely to be funded when they demonstrate certain winning qualities: • A high degree of community involvement • Dynamic leadership • Strong partners who increase the odds of program success • The ability to leverage other resources