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Steps to Writing a Successful SARE Grant PowerPoint Presentation
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Steps to Writing a Successful SARE Grant

Steps to Writing a Successful SARE Grant

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Steps to Writing a Successful SARE Grant

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    2. SARE GRANTS: http://www.sare.org/ncrsare/cfp.htm OTHER GRANTS: Value Added Producer Grants (RB-CS/USDA) http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) (CSREES/USDA) http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/fundview.cfm?fonum=1220

    3. My Comments Today Today I will focus on SARE Grants but will make reference to other grants Search the internet for other grants REMEMBER - the same basic principles apply for all grants to be successful

    4. 3 Keys to Success! Important Venture Proposal Matches the NOFA (RFA, RFP) Top Quality Proposal A logically consistent story Easily understood story Convincing to the reviewers Matches the evaluation criteria There are 3 keys to a successful proposal. First, your value added venture must be important. Second, what you are asking for money for must match the NOFA. Third, you must develop and deliver a top quality proposal.There are 3 keys to a successful proposal. First, your value added venture must be important. Second, what you are asking for money for must match the NOFA. Third, you must develop and deliver a top quality proposal.

    5. Is your Venture Important? Do your goals match the goals of SARE?

    6. Does your Project Fit Notice? Criteria used in SARE Grants: Well identified problem and specific plan to test possible solution to that problem Best use of existing knowledge on that problem Economic, environment and social impacts of the project Appropriateness of budget Everyone thinks that THEIR venture is the most important one around!! However, you want to be honest with yourself and evaluate your venture from the perspective that others do will it be profitable? Remember that the reviewers will be following the criteria laid out for themEveryone thinks that THEIR venture is the most important one around!! However, you want to be honest with yourself and evaluate your venture from the perspective that others do will it be profitable? Remember that the reviewers will be following the criteria laid out for them

    7. Does your Project Fit Notice? Criteria used in SARE Grants: Cooperation with other farmer/ranchers and organizations through which information can be shared (e.g. workshop, field day, publication) Contribution to growth of sustainable agriculture

    8. Does your Project Fit Notice? Understand the Notice Read, Reread, Reread . . . the Notice Call the contact person Obtain clarification on all your questions Confirm that your project fits the category of the grant Confirm Eligibility Know and meet ALL DEADLINES Check for eligibility both with respect to Value Added Venture and whether your group is eligible. Calling the contact person can be one of the most important calls you make. Check for eligibility both with respect to Value Added Venture and whether your group is eligible. Calling the contact person can be one of the most important calls you make.

    9. A Top Quality Proposal Involves: An effective Plan of Attack in developing/delivering the proposal A carefully crafted document that is submitted Developing a top quality proposal is multi faceted but you can think of dividing the activities into 2 categories the plan of attack and the development of the document. The plan of attack is sort of the strategy part of this and then the development of the document is getting all of the components of the strategy onto paper to submitDeveloping a top quality proposal is multi faceted but you can think of dividing the activities into 2 categories the plan of attack and the development of the document. The plan of attack is sort of the strategy part of this and then the development of the document is getting all of the components of the strategy onto paper to submit

    10. Keys to an Effective Plan of Attack Have an Important Sustainable Agriculture Project Have Previous Work that shows strong probability of success Develop Linkages with Appropriate Partners Establish your Team (to complete the proposal) with Necessary Expertise Matching Funds There are 5 Keys to an effective plan of attack an important Value Added Venture; having previous work that show strong probability of success for the venture; developing linkages with appropriate partners; establishing the best team to carry out the activities of this proposal and securing appropriate matching fundsThere are 5 Keys to an effective plan of attack an important Value Added Venture; having previous work that show strong probability of success for the venture; developing linkages with appropriate partners; establishing the best team to carry out the activities of this proposal and securing appropriate matching funds

    11. Important Problem If your Project doesnt score well on the criteria listed: Adapt or change your Venture Essential to demonstrate in your proposal that you have an important Project Hopefully all ventures are important so the top part of this slide is moot. But you cant stop there you MUST DEMONSTRATE that your venture is important.Hopefully all ventures are important so the top part of this slide is moot. But you cant stop there you MUST DEMONSTRATE that your venture is important.

    12. Previous Work Highlighting previous work helps to demonstrate that your group is action-oriented and will make things happen Excellent examples of previous work include preliminary market analysis, and preliminary feasibility studies. When the results of these studies are promising, indicating a potentially strong venture thats great! Again, you cant stop here you NEED TO DEMONSTRATE this in your proposal so that the reviewers can see it.Excellent examples of previous work include preliminary market analysis, and preliminary feasibility studies. When the results of these studies are promising, indicating a potentially strong venture thats great! Again, you cant stop here you NEED TO DEMONSTRATE this in your proposal so that the reviewers can see it.

    13. Appropriate Partners The appropriate connections are important because that increases the probability that your Venture will be successful You must demonstrate that you have the appropriate links with key partners Again, there is a two-step process here. First, you must establish the links with the appropriate partners and THEN YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE that these are set up and working. Whenever possible it is useful to highlight previous collaborations that have been successful so that the reviewers can see that this is real as opposed to something that sounds nice on paper.Again, there is a two-step process here. First, you must establish the links with the appropriate partners and THEN YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE that these are set up and working. Whenever possible it is useful to highlight previous collaborations that have been successful so that the reviewers can see that this is real as opposed to something that sounds nice on paper.

    14. Expertise of your Team to Carry out this Proposal You need to demonstrate that you have your team structured so that you have the necessary expertise to carry out the planned activities for this proposal successfully. The reviewers of these proposals want to fund those proposals that have the greatest chance of being completed (ie. Feasibility study completed and presented to producer group in a manner so they can make an appropriate business decision)The reviewers of these proposals want to fund those proposals that have the greatest chance of being completed (ie. Feasibility study completed and presented to producer group in a manner so they can make an appropriate business decision)

    15. Matching Funds Requirement of some Notices including SARE When required: Want to ensure you and your group are really committed to this matching funds is the indication you are willing to put something up yourself. Matching funds are a requirement of the NOFA The logic behind requiring matching funds is to ensure that you and your group are really committed to this venture and ALSO to completing the tasks outlined in the proposal (ie the feasibility study). Keep this in mind if you have some choices of which funds to declare as the matching funds. For example, if you were reviewing two proposals and the matching funds from the one proposal was cash that the producers had put up themselves. In the second case, the matching funds were in-kind contributions from a producer organization. In which case is there more commitment from the producers themselves?Matching funds are a requirement of the NOFA The logic behind requiring matching funds is to ensure that you and your group are really committed to this venture and ALSO to completing the tasks outlined in the proposal (ie the feasibility study). Keep this in mind if you have some choices of which funds to declare as the matching funds. For example, if you were reviewing two proposals and the matching funds from the one proposal was cash that the producers had put up themselves. In the second case, the matching funds were in-kind contributions from a producer organization. In which case is there more commitment from the producers themselves?

    16. Document Preparation/Submission Forms Make sure they are complete and correct Text of Proposal (the guts of the proposal) Supporting Materials Letters from Partners Follow Directions/Details Page limits, Fonts Meet Deadlines In preparing the document there are several things to consider. First, make sure you have copies of all forms, and you know what to fill in in each box if not ask the contact person when you call Second, decide whether you are going to make a paper or electronic submission Third, be sure and allocate enough time to the development of the Text of the proposal after all this is the GUTS of the proposal! Writing always takes longer that we expect. Fourth, collect all supporting materials e.g. letters of support also be sure and NOT submit things that were specifically not asked for Fifth, be sure and follow all directions and pay close attention to details! Stay within page limits, use the requested font. Finally, there is zero tolerance on the deadlines for MOST Grant submissions so in other words meet the deadlines.In preparing the document there are several things to consider. First, make sure you have copies of all forms, and you know what to fill in in each box if not ask the contact person when you call Second, decide whether you are going to make a paper or electronic submission Third, be sure and allocate enough time to the development of the Text of the proposal after all this is the GUTS of the proposal! Writing always takes longer that we expect. Fourth, collect all supporting materials e.g. letters of support also be sure and NOT submit things that were specifically not asked for Fifth, be sure and follow all directions and pay close attention to details! Stay within page limits, use the requested font. Finally, there is zero tolerance on the deadlines for MOST Grant submissions so in other words meet the deadlines.

    17. Text of the Proposal The GUTS of the proposal Write, Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite Get comments from other (people who are willing to tell you it doesnt make sense) Rewrite, Rewrite, . For most people this is by far the hardest part of the proposal so be sure and allocate enough time for it. A common phenomena occurs the person who originally writes the paragraph/section knows exactly what he/she meant but the person reading it sees something different or cant follow the logic. This is simply the evolution of writing the proposal and the rewriting is the fix for the above noted problem.For most people this is by far the hardest part of the proposal so be sure and allocate enough time for it. A common phenomena occurs the person who originally writes the paragraph/section knows exactly what he/she meant but the person reading it sees something different or cant follow the logic. This is simply the evolution of writing the proposal and the rewriting is the fix for the above noted problem.

    18. Putting the Proposal Together Go back through the Notice and include section by section Make sure you address everything the funding agency is asking for and Make sure it is easy for the person reading your proposal to see that you addressed everything

    19. Effective and Ineffective Text Examples of first few lines of text for different sections of the proposal Examples of both effective and ineffective text Slide of text followed by Slide of comments

    20. Proposal Summary This risk management extension program will address all five risk management areas of production, price, financial, legal and human. Through the use of case studies price risk, financial risk, production risk, legal risk and human resource risk will be incorporated. Participants will learn how to identify and evaluate the various risks, and implications for returns, of new business ventures. This risk management program will be delivered to Purdue Extension Educators and producers throughout Indiana in a series (between 4 and 6) of 1-day workshops. This is a summary from a successful proposal that I submitted last year. The 5 areas of risk management were directly noted in the RFP so that is why I incorporated them into the 1st sentence. Then I noted the use of case studies as the means by which I am incorporating all 5 areas of risk management. Then I have a sentence noting that participants will learn to identify and evaluate risks and returns of new business ventures. Finally, I note who the audiences will be and the type and number of workshops.This is a summary from a successful proposal that I submitted last year. The 5 areas of risk management were directly noted in the RFP so that is why I incorporated them into the 1st sentence. Then I noted the use of case studies as the means by which I am incorporating all 5 areas of risk management. Then I have a sentence noting that participants will learn to identify and evaluate risks and returns of new business ventures. Finally, I note who the audiences will be and the type and number of workshops.

    21. Comments Summary from a successful proposal Submitted a couple of years ago 5 areas of risk management Directly noted in the RFP Incorporated them into the 1st sentence Use of case studies To incorporate all 5 areas of risk management Participants will learn to identify and evaluate risks and returns of new business ventures Noted who the audiences will be and the type and number of workshops

    22. Nature of the Proposed Venture ABC producers have formed a cooperative to produce organic cheese from the milk that their members produce. The members of ABC producers are among the top milk producers in the region and always produce a top quality milk. The cheese that can be made from this milk is superior. Why all the talk about production of the raw commodity when the focus of the grant is on the marketing of value added products? Superior in what way? Is it superior in any way that consumers care about? What makes their product unique?Why all the talk about production of the raw commodity when the focus of the grant is on the marketing of value added products? Superior in what way? Is it superior in any way that consumers care about? What makes their product unique?

    23. Comments Fictitious example for marketing project Why all the talk about production of milk when the focus of the grant is on the marketing of value added products (cheese)? How is the cheese superior? Is it superior in any way that consumers care about? What makes ABCs cheese unique? Think about this content for later in the section not the opening paragraph

    24. How can we change this? Take a couple of minutes to identify 2 or 3 ways to change the paragraph noted in the earlier slide Rewrite (or begin to rewrite) the text Well share our answers

    25. Qualifications of those Doing Studies ABC producers will employ MNL Marketers to complete the marketing plan for selling the top quality organic cheese, from the milk production of ABC producers. ABC producers are among the most efficient milk producers in the region and have a reputation for high quality milk. The 3 person team from MNL Marketers bring a combined 45 years of experience in marketing agricultural products Questions that should arise here from this text: Does anyone from ABC producers have any experience in direct marketing to consumers? Does anyone form ABC producers have any experience in supervising a consulting firm as it develops the marketing plan? What sort of criteria are ABC going to give MNL? Do the members of ABC know the right questions to ask? Do the people from MNL have the experience in food products or is it ag products? Questions that should arise here from this text: Does anyone from ABC producers have any experience in direct marketing to consumers? Does anyone form ABC producers have any experience in supervising a consulting firm as it develops the marketing plan? What sort of criteria are ABC going to give MNL? Do the members of ABC know the right questions to ask? Do the people from MNL have the experience in food products or is it ag products?

    26. Comments Fictitious Example Does ABC producers have any experience in direct consumer marketing? (notice all the focus on their reputation for quality milk production) in supervising a consulting firm? What sort of criteria are ABC going to give MNL? Do the members of ABC know the right questions to ask? Noting the expertise of MNL consulting is good but how is the 45 years of experience spread over the 3 people?

    27. How can we change this? Take a couple of minutes to identify 2 or 3 ways to change the paragraph noted in the earlier slide Rewrite (or begin to rewrite) the text Well share our answers

    28. Project Leadership The President and Vice President of ABC Producers, Sam Jones and Tom Smith bring valuable leadership to this project. They have effectively worked together in the past to develop the plans, raise the money, and bring to implementation a multi million dollar business and community center. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Project Leadership section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Project Leadership section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text.

    29. Comments Fictitious Example Noted that Sam Jones and Tom Smith work well together Noted that Sam Jones and Tom Smith have history of success with multi faceted projects

    30. Commitment ABC Producers has extensive support from the dairy producers in the region. Over 75% of producers in the region having joined the cooperative and contributed the initial venture capital of $5000 each. In addition ABC Producers has extensive support from the Dairy Producers as evident by the letter of support included in this proposal. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Commitment section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Commitment section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text.

    31. Comments Fictitious Example Good use of numbers Over 75% of producers (although specific area is not noted) $5000 investment/producer Reference to external letter of support

    32. Work Plan/Budget The work will begin 5/1/09 and be completed by 4/30/10. As noted in the table below, the initial market assessment will be completed by 7/1/09 and focus groups will be held during August and September. .. The final version of the marketing plan will be delivered to ABC Producers by 2/15/10. ABC Producers will review the marketing plan and develop final report that will be submitted by 3/31/10. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Work Plan/Budget section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Work Plan/Budget section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text.

    33. Comments Fictitious Example Good use of dates specific Use of a table to show timeline of events is good idea Could note the person responsible for the conclusion of each component

    34. Amount Requested State the amount that you are requesting Remember that for some grants you receive extra points for smaller grants, while for others you dont You may want to note some specific items, and $$ associated with those, that are particularly important for this project Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Amount Requested section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text. Here I am going to insert the first few sentences of what might appear in the Amount Requested section and then during the presentation we can note the good points as well as the weak points of the text.

    35. Supporting Letters May need letters for different reasons From each of your Partners/Collaborators Partner needs to indicate support in the first paragraph (and state both name of group submitting and title of proposal) Clearly identify type of support Any information partner can provide to augment proposal When you get supporting letters (that you will include in the Appendix of the proposal) you may want to draft a letter for the partner then he/she can change it, but you have a better chance of ensuring that the important components of the letter are included. First you want to make sure the following are in the first paragraph of the letter: name of your producer group; title of the proposal; that the partner fully supports this proposal. Then in subsequent paragraphs you want to make sure that your partner clearly identifies the nature of the partnership and the type of support that they will provide. Finally, there may be other information that the partner can provide in the final paragraph(s) of the letter that will augment the proposal. It is also good if the partner indicates how he/she can be contacted if there are questions.When you get supporting letters (that you will include in the Appendix of the proposal) you may want to draft a letter for the partner then he/she can change it, but you have a better chance of ensuring that the important components of the letter are included. First you want to make sure the following are in the first paragraph of the letter: name of your producer group; title of the proposal; that the partner fully supports this proposal. Then in subsequent paragraphs you want to make sure that your partner clearly identifies the nature of the partnership and the type of support that they will provide. Finally, there may be other information that the partner can provide in the final paragraph(s) of the letter that will augment the proposal. It is also good if the partner indicates how he/she can be contacted if there are questions.

    36. Directions/Details and Deadlines Follow Details Page Limits Font Size Spacing on page Meet Deadlines Use a courier service especially for anything going to Washington DC Just once again, a reminder that it seems like you can never pay too much attention to details and deadlines!Just once again, a reminder that it seems like you can never pay too much attention to details and deadlines!

    37. 3 Keys to Success! Important Venture Proposal Matches the NOFA Top Quality Proposal A logically consistent story Easily understood story Convincing to the reviewers Matches the evaluation criteria Finally, as a reminder there is a recipe for writing successful grant proposals and ensuring that these 3 keys are taken care of is where it is at.Finally, as a reminder there is a recipe for writing successful grant proposals and ensuring that these 3 keys are taken care of is where it is at.