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The Grant Writing Process

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The Grant Writing Process

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  1. The Grant Writing Process Diane Cruze Coordinator, Resource Development Jefferson County Public Schools October 30, 2012

  2. Goals for Today • How to prepare for writing a grant. • Basic steps for developing a proposal. • Ways to identify funding for projects/ideas.

  3. Grant Writing Fundamentals

  4. Know the Language • Requests for Proposals (RFP) • Request for Applications (RFA) • Notice of Funding (NOF) • Letters of Intent (LOI) • Notice of Award (NOA)

  5. Searching for Funding • • • • - Search RFP database. Also, sign up for Philanthropy News Digest (PND) e-newsletter for grant alerts • Google – grants AND literacy; grants AND math

  6. Sample Proposals • US Department of ED FOIA Reading Room: • Sample Proposals - • • Request to agency or submitting institution

  7. Read the RFP Carefully • Make note of eligibility requirements • Look at Funding Limits and Year Limits • Use the font suggested or required • Many online applications have character limits. • Use the line spacing and page layout required by the agency • Note funding priorities • Follow directions explicitly!!!

  8. Get to Know the Funder • Call the Program Officer and ask questions. • Look on the website or annual report to see the types of work that was funded in the previous year. • Request copies of previously funded proposals –for the Dept. of Ed they will refer you to the FOIA Reading Room. • ALWAYS participate in technical assistance workshops and webinars for applicants if offered.

  9. How to prepare • Understand as much as possible about the funder – search and read! • What are the current trends in the field? • Research and evidence-based strategies. • What projects/programs have been funded recently? • What are the priorities of the funder?

  10. Investigate • Total amounts of funds • Number of projects to be funded • Average dollar amount awarded • Record of past awards • Who/What have they supported in the past

  11. Understand the Review Process • Anticipate reviewers for the proposal • Look for reviewer rubrics and evaluation information in the RFP or on the website • Note points awarded for specific sections and information • Anticipate what the reviewer will want to know and provide the answers to questions before they are asked

  12. Foundation/Corporate Proposals • May require a one to two page Letter of Inquiry or preliminary proposal first. • Many do not accept unsolicited or uninvited proposals.

  13. Before You Write • Read the RFP Instructions several times through making notes. • Highlightfrequently used phrases. • Develop your proposal outline and have it match the RFP outline. • Know the scoring rubric to help you allocate time and space in writing. • Draft your goals and objectives.

  14. Proposal Language • Use “active language” – avoid am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being • Be concise – make every word count

  15. Learn to Write Active Text • Active Voice"I write technology articles."The subject (I) does something (write). • Passive Voice"Technology articles are written by me."The subject (technology articles) has something done to it (are written).

  16. Writing the Grant • Write objectively (the students, the staff, etc.) • Write to the reviewer • Answer only the question • Answer the entire question • Edit the entire document • Number the pages

  17. Writing the Grant (Cont.) • Use key words and phrases • Skip educational jargon • No jargon • Clear and concise sentences • No passive voice • Use format to enhance content (usually must be in Word)

  18. Writing the Grant (Cont.) • Don’t ramble on • Use Who, What, Where, When, Why, How • Inverted Pyramid / Newspaper Style • Bold or underline to emphasize • Bullets rather than long sentences

  19. Key Elements of a Proposal • Essentially the same for every funder – may vary slightly. • Most proposals now are submitted online with character/space limitations. • Federal proposals generally will be longer than proposals submitted to foundations and corporations.

  20. Key Elements of a Proposal • Background (Have updated description of organization for any grant proposal) • Needs Statement • Goals/Objectives/Outcomes • Methodology/Management Plan/Implementation Plan • Evaluation Plan • Budget • Budget Narrative/Justification

  21. JCPS Background Jefferson County Public Schools is the largest urban district in Kentucky and the 29th largest district in the nation. With more than 100,000 students enrolling for 2011/2012 in 155 schools, over 62% of the district’s students qualify for free/reduced lunch with 52% of the student population white and 48% non-white. Thirty-six percent of JCPS students are African-American, 5% Hispanic, 3% Asian, and 4% identify as other ethnic minorities. The district provides Exceptional Child Education services to almost 14,000 students and more than 5,000 students have limited proficiency in English. More than 10,000 JCPS students are homeless at some point in the year.

  22. Statement of Problem or Need • Reason for writing the proposal. • Condition or situation you wish to change: scope and magnitude, demographic and geographic. • Related to purposes and goals of the organization. • Objective evidence of problem/need.

  23. Needs/Problem Statement • National Needs • State Needs • Regional Needs • Local Needs

  24. Examples • State Assessment Scores (% proficient, distinguished, and novice) • Free/Reduced Lunch Rates • ACT Scores • % ECE students • Number of students who are homeless • Number of parents who attend parent/teacher conferences

  25. Sources for Statistics • Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count – Kentucky Youth Advocates • KDE – School Report Cards • Office of Education Accountability district Data Profile

  26. Sources for Statistics (cont.) • I Love – Interactive database by county of health statistics and life expectancy - • US Census

  27. Regional/Local Need(s) • Use current, relevant data and information. • You must prove there is a compelling problem. • Anecdotal information is ok if used to enhance data/statistics. • Cite sources. • The Needs Section drives the entire proposal.

  28. Sample Needs Statement Community and education leaders have reacted to evidence that many Jefferson County students are struggling and need support in order to be successful in school. The most recent data from the Kentucky Department of Education reports that in 2010 the JCPS graduation rate (where students graduate on time in four years) was 69.3.7% and the dropout rate was 5%. These numbers are higher than the state graduation rate of 76.7% and the state dropout rate was 3.2%.

  29. Use Research In Needs Statement A 2009 KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief entitled “Reducingthe High School Dropout Rate” points to the “quiet troubles” associated with disadvantaged communities that often make it difficult for students to stay on track. The brief recommends that schools should focus on forces outside of school that contribute to dropping out including health issues, mental health issues, and personal needs such as lacking clothes or shoes.

  30. Sample Needs Statement (cont.) Data from the 2011 KIDS COUNT gives details on the multiple risk factors of children in many Jefferson County households. The number of children living in poverty has increased from 19% in 2005 to 25.3% in 2010 and the number of children enrolled in Medicaid increased from 52,719 in 2005 to 62,210 in 2009. Of the 170,927 children living in Jefferson County, 7,787 received KCHIP, 7,978 received K-TAP, 5,716 received SSI, and 40,270 received food stamps. In addition, 21% of all births in the county in 2006 were to mothers who were not high school graduates.

  31. Your Case for Support • How does your school/organization create value? • Why does your school/organization merit support? • Who benefits from your organization and the work that it does? • What impact does your organization have in the community?

  32. Why does your school/organization merit support? Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs) were established by the Kentucky Education Reform Act in 1990 to provide school-based assistance centers for children and their families. The FRYSC program is the largest state-supported, school-based, family support program in the United States. The centers’ primary goal is to address the multiple barriers to student achievement by developing and sustaining programs, services, and partnerships that promote student success. Understanding that poverty can be a major barrier to student success, Family Resource Centers at the elementary school level and Youth Service Centers at the middle and high school level are placed in schools where a minimum of 20% of students qualified for free lunch. FRYSCs are now in 132 of the district’s 155 schools.

  33. Why does your school/organization merit support?(cont.) But limited and reduced funding has caused many FRYSCs to cut back in the services they are able to provide the growing numbers of students who need help in order to be successful in school. These centers need additional assistance to address the specific needs of struggling students and their families.

  34. Goals and Objectives • Goals • Are large statements of what to accomplish • Are not very measurable • Objectives • Operational • Tell specific things you will be accomplishing in your project • Are very measurable

  35. Goal Statement • Change in status • Condition to be changed • What do you want to accomplish with this grant? • Big picture statement

  36. Change in Status • To improve • To prevent • To enhance • To change

  37. Condition to be changed • Literacy • Homelessness • Achievement • Attendance • Parent Involvement

  38. Your goal statement should focus on your ultimate outcome and results.

  39. Sample Goal Statements • To turn around persistently low-performing schools using whole-school reform and targeted approaches to reform. • To improve achievement for high-need students. • To increase college access and success for graduating students.

  40. Objectives • OBJECTIVES arise out of goals and provide a basis for evaluation. They are: • Measureable indicators of achievements or quantifiable outcome of the project. • Specific – define the target population to be served and when. • Give a time frame for project implementation.

  41. S.M.A.R.T. Objectives Objectives – measurable outcomes • Specific – reasonable scope of project. • Measurable – quantifiable. • Attainable – are you attempting too much? • Realistic – do you have the resources to • make it happen? • Timed – state when you will achieve objective. • Include baseline measures.

  42. Objectives (cont.) To define your objectives, ask such questions as: • What will our target population learn/do/achieve as a result of this project? • What percentage success rate can we expect? • What changes will occur in client attitudes and/or behaviors? • How will our services change? • How many or what percentage of our clients will participate in the activity?

  43. Sample Objectives (w/indicators) • By June 30, 2011 increase the high school graduation rate from 87% (June 2008) to 95%. • By June 30, 2011 increase the number of 4th grade students scoring at or above proficiency in math from 65% (May 2008) to 85%. • By June 30, 2011 increase the number parents participating in parent/teacher conferences from 20 (October 2008) to 60.

  44. All objectives must be tied to the needs statement.

  45. Objectives (cont.) Objectives may be: • Short-term – for the immediate time period; generally the end of the grant or project period. • Example: 60% of nursing home residents who participated in the Tai Chi program will state an intention to continue with a daily exercise program.

  46. Objectives (cont.) Objectives may be: • Long-term – results achieved after the specific time frame and may require follow-up interventions and additional resources to achieve. • Example: Over the following year, there will be at least a 20% reduction in fall incidence among nursing home residents who participate in the Tai Chi program. Do not confuse objectives with methodology.

  47. Objectives (cont.)

  48. Methodology/Program/Plan • Who – target audience, participants • What are you going to do? • Where will activities take place? • When - timeline • How will things happen? • How will you achieve your objectives and goal? • Who will do the work – credentials?

  49. Methodology/Program/Plan (Cont.) • Includes specific activities which must be performed to accomplish objectives. • Indicates how objectives will be accomplished. • Step-by-step plan of action; who will do what, how, where, and when. • Includes credentials of key staff, special qualifications or job descriptions. • Any specific rationale for selection of unusual or unique methodology. Has it been tested or will it be pioneered in this project?

  50. Methodology/Program/Plan (Cont.) • Includes only those activities critical to interpreting achievement of objectives. EXAMPLES: • By December 1, 2009, the community referral manual will be completed. • Within six months after completion of the Stop Smoking program, the instructor will have called all participants to ascertain smoking status. • In month three of the project, a coordinator will be hired.