Grant Writing forInstructional TechnologyandDistance EducationR & E II Written by Dr. Mike Simonson NOVA Southeastern university firstname.lastname@example.org
Agenda • Definition of Terms • Type of grants • Elements, Basic, Benefits of the Well-Written Proposal • Developing and Designing the Component Parts of the Grant Proposal from Ideas to Fundable Project • Building Support and Involvement • Putting It all Together: Formatting and Packaging
1. Terms Sponsored Project Grant award made by an external funding source to conduct research, training, or community service project/ program which specifies conditions and carries terms on : use of funds, objectives to be achievedby use of funds, individuals responsible for completion of the project, period of performance, reporting requirements ( both financial and technical), and adherence to federal and/or agency-specific regulations/guidelines. Gift A donation which is philanthropic and charitable in intent and accompanied by few or no restrictions. A period of performance is not specified, formal financial accounting is not required, and unexpended funds need not be returned.
Request for Proposal(RFP) When a funding agency has funds available for a new contract or grant program, it sends out an RFP, which lists project specifications and application procedures. Request for application (RFA) Used mostly by the federal government when requesting outside assistance for projects under taken internally at the agency. These usually result in a Cooperative Agreement although a Grant or Contract may be awarded. Proposal A written application with supporting documentation submitted to a funding source to request financial assistance for a particular research, training, or community service program or project. Grant An award made by the funder to provide funds for a particular purpose, usually for the benefit of the public.
Invitation for Bid (IFB) Used by a funding source usually government agencies-when requesting goods, services, for certain research from specific organizations-typically results in a contract award. Contract A term used to describe a binding compensation agreement where a product, instrument, device, or technical report (i.e., a “deliverable”) is the result, or a service is provided ( i.e., training). Contract requirements are more specific and less flexible than grants (inclusion of indemnification and termination clauses); agency personnel tend to maintain strict oversight. Major components of contract are terms and conditions, statement of work, and budget. Statement of Work (SOW) the technical part of the contract agreement which details the specific plan, methodology, activities, and timeline used to meet work specifications and achieve results.
Cost Reimbursement Contract Payment made based upon performance of work and actual expenditures incurred while implementing and carryout the project/research to completion. Invoicing of sponsor to be completed per schedule specified. Fixed Price Contract Payment(s) made in fixed amount(s), typically lump sum up front, monthly, or quarterly. Unexpended funds are kept by the awardees unless return of unexpended funds is specified in the terms and conditions of the contract. Cooperative Agreement A financial assistance mechanism used when substantial federal programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the project is anticipated. Ex: recipient must meet specific procedural requirements prior to the beginning of subsequent stages of the project, program officer participates in selection of key personnel, etc.
Solicited Grant/Contract A funding agency’s request for outside assistance to conduct research, training, or community service through issuance of an RFP, IFB, Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), or other program solicitation and where reviews are conducted and awards made through a competitive selection process. Unsolicited Grant/Contract Submission of a proposal based on knowledge of funding agency’s priorities,m interests, or granting guidelines, etc. and where a funding agency has not formally requested outside assistance through the issuance of an RFP, RFA, IFB, NOFA, or other program solicitation. Principal Investigator (PI)/Project Director (PD) An individual responsible for directing the project/program being supported by the funding agency through a grant or contract.
Grant/Contract Administrator A staff member at the funding source who is authorized to act as the official in all matters pertaining to award administration. This individual has the authority to bind the funding agency to all performance/programmatic matters concerning the research/project. Program Officer A staff member representing the funding agency who reviews proposals and makes funding recommendations. Assists award recipient with programmatic management of grant (scope of research/project plan, goals, objectives, etc.). Direct Costs Costs that can be attributed directly to a specific project or program. Indirect Costs Costs that are incurred by the organization to achieve common or joint objectives and which therefore cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program . Commonly referred to as “overhead”.
Cost Sharing The sharing of costs on a grant, by an organization, which is more than a token amount (i.e., more than 1%) and not paid by the awarding agency. Matching The value of cash contributions made to a project by non-federal third parties. Third Party In-Kind Contributions The value of non-cash contributions made by non-federal third parties. May include volunteer services, supplies, equipment, buildings, land, and property
2. Types of Grants • Solicited • Unsolicited • Discretionary • Formula • Earmarks
SOLICITED • One that originates from the funder: a • funding agency’s formal documented • request for outside assistance to conduct • research, training, or community service • Agency’s do through: • --Request for proposals (RFP), RFA’s NOFA’s PA’s, • and IFB’s • Federal and state agencies typically use these • competitive mechanisms due to the increased • demand for sponsored project funds. Funders must • now be more specific about what they want • accomplished for the number of dollars • available/allocated.
Unsolicited • Proposer conceptualizes program idea/research project • based on an identified need or lack of knowledge. • A proposal is developed based on plan to conduct • research, training, or provide community service. • An Appropriate funding source is then approached • based on that organization’s identified interests, • published priorities, and /or granting guidelines.
Discretionary Pot of funding available through government agencies for grant awards based on appropriations made. --Funds awarded by the federal or state government on a competitive basis-typically for demonstration, special research activities, and service projects. Awards made by judgment, not mandate.
Formula • Grants awarded to states on a non competitive • basis according to a formula determined by • authorizing law. • --Formula usually based on relative population • and demographic factors relevant to the • purpose of the grant program. • Formula grant program often require states • or state agencies to re-grant, subgrant, or • pass through funds to other entities, • organizations, and providers within the state.
Earmarks • At the state level, funding set-asides for • specific organizations written into the • congressional record based on legislative • priorities and awardee’s ability to utilize • funding for a specific purpose.
3. Elements, Basics, and Benefits of a Well-Written Proposal
Transmittal Letter from submitting Organization Cover Sheet Table of Contents Abstract Introduction, Description and Capabilities of Organization Problem Statement/Needs Assessment Goals Objectives Plan of Operation-(Methodology) Key Personnel (biographical sketches) Expected Outcomes Formative and Summative Evaluation Plan Dissemination Plan Budget and Justification Institutional/Organizational Commitment Resources and Facilities Plans for Project Continuation/Self Sufficiency Appendices Elements of the Proposal
The essence of each and every grant request is the same, whether it is a two-page letter proposal to a small foundation or a 125 page response to an RFP issued by the federal government. All Proposals must include: • A statement that a need exists; • a presentation of evidence to back up the contention; • a recommended course of action, means and manner of addressing that need; and • a request for funds to implement the recommended actions
Grant development is hard work, but very rewarding. • Benefits include: • Personal Accomplishment to the writer • Fiscal reward to awardee • Implementation of programs and projects of importance with • external funding support • Successful grant writers use the basic rules of good writing and grammar while mastering the art of persuasion. Through clear and concise communication, the intended message is well received by the reviewer and funding is awarded.
4. Developing and Preparing Winning Grant Proposals • Identifying Funding Opportunities • Reading and Interpreting RFP’s and Agency Guidelines • Developing Your Idea • Developing the Problem Statement, Objectives, and Methods • Preparing the Budget • Writing the Evaluation Plan
Where to look when identifying funding opportunities: • Libraries • Internet and World Wide Web Sites • Local College/University Offices of • Grants and Contracts or Sponsored Research • Funding Agencies • Newspapers, Newsletters, and • Professional Association Publications
Resources to assist you in identifying funding opportunities • Federal Grants directories, guides, and catalogues Examples: Federal Register (FR); Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA); National Institute of Health Guide to Grants and Contracts (NIH Guide); Guide to Federal Funding for Education • State Grants Directories, guides and catalogues Examples: A Guide to Florida State Programs; The Complete Guide to Florida Foundations • Periodicals Examples: The Chronicle of Higher Education: Children and Youth Funding Report; Community Health Funding Report; Federal Grants and Contracts weekly; Health Grants and Contracts Weekly
Specialized Directories Examples: Directory of Building and Equipment Grants; Directory of Operating Grants; Directory of Grants for Organizations Serving Individuals with Disabilities; Directory of Biomedical and Health Care Grants; Directory of Research Grants; Directory of Financial Aids for Women; Directory of Financial Aids for Minorities. • Books and Other Publications Examples: The “How to: Grants Manual: Successful Grantseeking Techniques for Obtaining Public and Private Grants; From Idea to Funded Project; Grant Proposal that Work; The Grantseekers Guide to Project Evaluation; A Complete Guide to Proposal Writing; The Complete Book of Model Fund-Raising Letters; Administering Grants, Contracts, and Funds: Evaluating and Improving Your Grants System
Program purpose/priorities Definitions of terms used throughout RFP Eligibility of funds available Estimated size of each award Estimated number of awards to be made Deadline for submission of proposal-postmarked or received Number of copies required Funding preferences (HBCU) Cost share, matching requirements Allowable and unallowable costs Indirect cost limitations, if any Certifications/assurances required Review/evaluation criteria and process Common to all RFP’s/Guidelines:
Readingand Interpreting RFP’s and Agency Guidelines • First things first! Focus on eligibility requirements. • Be sure that your organization/agency is eligible to • apply directly and receive an award from the particular • funding source for the project. • Check for limitations by geographic area organization type • (501( c ) (3), state, country) designation (EZ, EC community), • service area, size, etc. • Read instructions thoroughly. • Note all requirements and specifications for submitting a proposal, • down to page and font size, line spacing. Some agencies have • “fatal flaw checklist”; verify that proposal meets basic requirements • prior to sending on for full review.
Next, be sure to obtain application materials for the competition to which you are applying. Federal agencies have numerous programs in each division/directorate under which grants are available and numerous awarding mechanisms with modified application packets for each. • Examples: PHS 398, pHS 2590, PHS 4013-1, NSF 95-28, • etc.
Read instructions thoroughly. • note all requirements and specifications for submitting a proposal, down to page and font size, line spacing. Some agencies have “fatal flaw checklist”; verify that proposal meets basic requirements prior to sending on for full review.
Look for announcements of technical • assistance workshops. • Someone directly involved with program/project development • and proposal preparation should attend. • This may be applicant’s only chance to ask questions regarding • guidelines or process. Gain insight to funder’s priorities, • instructions not clear in application packet, range of awards etc. • Provides opportunity to network, assess competition, and • develop collaborative relationships.
SERVICE PROGRAM • Consider surrounding community, local conditions, unmet • needs, and issues unresolved. • Identify individuals to reach /those targeted for services • and find out if they are currently utilizing services/participating • in a program similar to the one you want to implement. • Research your idea! If similar program is already in place, find out • whether or not being served by that program and propose to fill • the niche or close a gap in service provision so that all client needs • may be met.
Prove existence of the need by gathering strong base of knowledge • Review the literature and relevant publications, collect data to support the program being proposed. Use up-to-date resources with hit home statements and statistics. • Example: If you are proposing a program to assist individual infected with HIV/AIDS in Broward County, call the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Unit through the local Department of Children and Families (formerly HRS) and obtain current statistics/ breakdowns on number of individuals infected by gender, race, age, etc.
Talk to people you are planning to serve. • Find out what the needs are exactly, how • the proposed program plan to meet them, and • include quotes and/or a letter from a potential • program participant in your proposal.
RESEARCH STUDY • Consider relevant research already published by experts in the field. • Analyze effects of conducting study on research team, organization, study participants, etc. Do the ends justify the means? • Develop clear scientific protocol/research plan
AS YOU DEVELOP YOUR IDEA, KEEP IN MIND: • In order to be competitive, you must prove the organization’s credibility, come up with innovative solutions, and ensure funding source t hat the dollars requested will be used to provide direct service and support related to the goals/priorities of the funder. Goal is to meet the needs of the individuals you have identified as those in need of services; or that research conducted will prove valuable, whether results of study are positive or negative
Typically, the organization must commit some • of its own resources. Commitment takes many • forms and can include: • proposal development costs (brainstorming • sessions, grant-writing time and effort). • Cost share, matching, in-kind that may be • required by funder
The organization’s ability and commitment to continue the program after external funding support ends (i.e.., the funder will continue to be met after external funds run out and whether the program will institutionalized • follow-up research will be conducted.
If funded, your organization will be obligated • to provide services to those you identified as • beneficiaries with the amount of funding awarded • and meet deliverable requirement (publications, • reports, research results, products, etc.) • individuals served and other community • organizations will evaluate what your are doing • to see that expectations are being met.
Documenting the Problem Statement/Needs Assessment: A key Element of the Successful Proposal • Present in a clear, concise, well-supported statement the specific problem/issue to be addressed by the project or program. • Describe problem or need in terms of beneficiaries, not your organization. • Show a match between the sponsor’s interests and priorities with the applicant’s experience and skills base. • Utilize quantitative and qualitative data whenever possible, cite limitations of existing programs and document evidence of demand.
Areas to Document • History, nature, and scope of the problem from macro to micro; from national, state and local perspective • the organization's purpose for developing the proposal • How organization realized the problem exists • The beneficiaries or target population-who they are and how they will benefit
The social and economic costs affected • What is currently being done about the problem/to address the need and by whom • Negative effects realized without external funding support to address the problem or meet the need and positive outcomes achieved with support
How to Conduct Formal/Informal Needs Assessment • Literature review of current publications, articles, statistical abstracts related to subject matter • Survey of or interviews with potential clients, beneficiaries, and local providers dealing with similar issues or areas of research • Documentation of service requests/waiting lists
Objectives establish benefits of the project in “measurable” terms. They should be: • Specific and directly related to goal(s) • Attainable • Time-Limited • Use action words, quantifiable outcomes and verifiable figures. Examples: to increase the number of participants enrolled from 15% to 20% by the end of year one, or: to improve the online internet skills of 10% of classroom teachers.
Methods and Procedures describe activities planned to achieve results-the project’s implementation strategy. • Flows from objectives; clarify and justify provide rationale for choices. • Specify activities to occur during each phase or year of the project or program. • Develop a flow-chart or propose a timeline. • Design table of organization for project and define it within the larger organization.
Identify personnel assigned to the project • and describe their respective roles and time • and effort to be contributed. Describe • responsibilities and qualifications of each. • Attach vitae(s)/resume(s) as appendix item. • Describe project participants and/or clients • (target population) to benefit from the • proposed program (numbers of, eligibility • criteria, characteristics, etc).