Grant Writing 101 Danell Hetrick, Communications Director, BACC
HOW IS THIS IMPORTANT TO ArCOP’S MISSION? • Thanks to a grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention is excited to offer its 2013 Growing Healthy Communities Regional Summits FREE for up to 975 attendees interested in receiving training from experts and learning: • How to Implement Cooking Matters Programs in Your Community • How to Increase Access to Healthy Foods • How to Make Your School & Community Healthier • How to Lead Walkability Audits • How to Make Your Worksite Healthier • In short, grants provide opportunities. *www.arkansasobesity.org/news-events/
COMMON TERMINOLOGY • Activities: what the program does with its resources in order to fulfill its mission • Budget Period: the interval of time into which the project period is divided • F.O.A (Funding Opportunity Announcement): a publicly available document by which a federal agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds
COMMON TERMINOLOGY (cont.) • Grantee: the organization/individual to which a grant is awarded and which is responsible and accountable for the use of grant funds • Grantor: the organization/individual providing funding • Matching Funds: the value of third-party, in-kind contributions (non-federal funds) and/or the portion of the costs of a federally-assisted project or program not borne by the federal government • Pre-Application (a.k.a. “Letter of Intent”): statement of the intent of the applicant to request funds; often used to predetermine the applicant’s eligibility More definitions can by found at usda.gov
FINDING MONEY • National Government (NIH, NSF, NEA, NEH) • State Government (Arkansas Humanities Council, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, etc.) • Private/Corporate Non-Profits (Walmart, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.) • Grant Pools • grants.gov • cfda.gov
INSIDE THE GRANTOR’S MIND • Why should WE care? • Is this plan viable? • Has it been done before? • Are YOU qualified to do it? • What, exactly, will you do with OUR money?
LITERATURE REVIEW • DO YOUR RESEARCH! Know what has come before, who has tried it, and the outcomes. • Are others working on this right now? Can you team with them? Find a network, a support group. • Don’t know where to start? Hire experts. Find tools. • David Saarnio, ASU Center for Community Engagement • tgci.com (The Granstmanship Center) • nih.gov (National Institutes of Health)
SCHEDULING/PLANNING • Allow plenty of time! If you cannot possibly meet a deadline, do not waste precious time you could allocate to another opportunity. • Know your window! • Letter of intent due date • Final solicitation due date • Pay close attention to minute details: • How many copies of each packet • Letters of assurance • Signatures
SELL YOUR PROJECT AND SELF • Service-Oriented: know you sponsor’s goals; mirror key phrases and terminology • Future-Oriented: emphasize work that should be done rather than work that has already been done. Stretch the boundaries of possibility • Sales-Oriented: lead with your most exciting ideas, using active language, and emphasizing your UNIQUE talents
LETTER OF INTENT • Think of this as a mini-proposal. • Summarize your proposal while: • Being clear about your funding priorities • Speaking to the interests of the granting agency
THE “MEAT”: YOUR PROJECT DETAILS • Be specific about your objectives and the activities necessary to complete them. • Be particular about what goals you will accomplish during the grant period. • Be explicit about your expected outcomes. • Allow your prose to express your own excitement about the project.
PROPOSAL ESSENTIALS • Follow ALL specified formatting guidelines! Improper formatting will KILL your proposal. • Proofread. • Proofread again. • Ask a well-versed friend to proofread. • Did I mention proofreading?
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! • You will win some and lose some. • DO NOT stop trying to obtain grant monies. • “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”—Albert Einstein • If a proposal is denied, change it. Do not keep sending in the same proposal expecting a different answer.
WHEN YOU WIN . . . • Build credibility with funders by being responsible with their money. • Ensure tasks are given to responsible persons who will efficiently and effectively employ the granted funds. • Keep thorough and accurate records of your project.
THE BEST ADVICE FROM NIH • “This highly competitive endeavor can be subverted by poor planning, preparation, disorganization and lackluster presentation. The successful grantee allows ample time to plan, organize and write a grant application that competes well in the peer review process and ultimately earns funding.”