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Successful Grant Writing. Presented By David W. Dillard & Melanie Dillard. YOGI’ ISMS. “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ‘cause you might not get there.”. “Remember that whatever you do in life, 90 percent of it is half mental.”.
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Successful Grant Writing Presented By David W. Dillard & Melanie Dillard
YOGI’ ISMS • “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ‘cause you might not get there.” • “Remember that whatever you do in life, 90 percent of it is half mental.” • “Stay alert - you can observe a lot by watching.”
YOGI’ ISMS • “The future ain’t what it use to be.” • “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” • “If you ask me a question I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.” • “We make too many wrong mistakes.”
So you want to write a grant? Four Part In-service • Part I: Planning a proposal & the typical parts of a proposal • Part II: Finding a grant to write will be another issue • Part III: Actual Writing • Part IV: Hints on grant writing and management
So you want to write a grant? Workshop objectives • Planning & choosing a proposal • The typical parts of a proposal • Budgeting process
Step 1: Find a grant that fits what you want
Know What You Want • Have a solid idea – looking at grants and then developing an idea can be done, but it is hard • Build commitment – are you the only person involved? • Another teacher? • Administrators? • The entire building or department? • What part will others have? (You at least need a proofreader)
Know Your Situation • What do your students need to do better, differently? What needs to be changed? • Who will benefit? • Who/what can help? • What about district/building requirements? • Technology support? • Collaboration/Communication
Collaboration/Communication • Incorporate groups • Other Teachers • Technology Department • Parents/community • Principal • Superintendent • Communicate • Get input • Get support • Find the “snakes” with your idea
Know the Solution • What are the steps to making the change? • What funds are needed to make the change? • How will we know when the change has been successfully made? • Should I write a GRANT? • Is it do-able? • Does it have “value” or do I just “want”?
Know What You Want • Be sure the district supports your activity • Is there matching funds?* • Does the district have a policy?* • Who will do the bookkeeping and other finance?* • Determine how much funding you need • Ensure you have the time to complete the entire project
The "BIG" Idea • Have an idea that goes above and beyond the normal (most funders want exemplary projects) • Some funders provide classroom materials with the intent to help what might be considered regular district expenses • Some funders expect their funds to be above and beyond or tied to specific equipment like cameras, specific software, or projectors • Some funders are more or only concerned with the process or content of what will be taught and learned: higher order thinking, problem solving, literacy, etc.
What Funders want to see • Something different • A creative, local hook • Ideas that involve students, families, & community • A fresh approach to the “problem” • Be Careful with buying computers to bring every child into the information age • Teaching integrated lessons • Multicultural literature • Been there – done that
The wRIGHT Grant • Read the application • Re-read the application • Highlight the important stuff • Look for “snakes” – requirements that you cannot or may not be able to meet • Be sure your project “fits” the application • Some grants are pre-screened to ensure applications meet the givers intent and philosophy
The wRIGHT Grant • Be sure your project “fits” the application • Follow the sections in the grant application • Research the funder’s history and philosophy – know what they are about • See if they have past grant winners listed or sample projects • Read the scoring rubric and address the key scoring points (not all grants have these)
Major Components of a Grant • Proposal Abstract or Summary • Needs Statement • Goals & Objectives • Plan of Operation • Key Personnel • How the Effectiveness of the Project Will Be Evaluated • Adequacy of Resources • Assurances • Attachments • Budget and Cost Effectiveness
Proposal Abstract or Summary • A short description of the project (they may be posted by the funder to show what their organization does) • Often these have a word limit • Keep it short and positive • Be very specific and to the point • It has to be clear – the reader should know what is going to happen after reading it once • You need to have the “idea” if you are required to submit a “letter of inquiry” #1
Proposal Abstract or Summary • There may be a separate section (introduction) where you describe your institution (school) and/or the community • Again keep it short, positive and to the point • The community is poor and rural, but we can accomplish great things given the chance #1
Needs Statement • A good needs statement should give the reader a clear picture of who has the need and what they need. • Statement of the problem you are going to solve • Include lots of “local” data, national and research data is often not helpful, but may not hurt (Scientific Research Based) #2
Needs Statement • Make sure it fits the intended purpose of the grant • Be positive – don’t “cry” about being poor or rural or low academic scores or not having equipment or services • Explain what you have been successful at in the past in similar projects #2
Needs Statement • Documents the “specific problem” • May refer to past attempts to address the problem • Explain unique opportunity available • Is well documented with local data and evidence. • Significant for the district. • Directly relates to state and/or national standards: Show-Me Standards, Grade-Level Expectations, NCTM standards, etc. #2
Needs Statement #2 • Where do you find data: • Local surveys (PDC, MSIP, district/building/teacher created) • DESE (next slides) • District Achievement: AYP, APR, MAP, Attendance, Graduation • District demographics: staff, budget • County Demographics: unemployment, income and education levels, population
http://www.dese.state.mo.us/ Local Data
What is a Goal #3 • A broad, single statement that describes the general purpose of the proposed project, i.e. the stated need. • A goal statement is a generalization and uses non-measurable terms like “know,” “appreciate,” “value,” and “improve.”
Goals & Objectives #3 • The goal and objectives directly address the stated opportunity/need for the target population. • A maximum of three objectives describing measurable, anticipated, and beneficial changes in an identified target population (parents, students, teachers). • The proposed evaluation procedure uses appropriate assessment measures that will provide objective data about the success of the project.
Goals & Objectives • There is usually only one to three goals • The goals are usually broad • There should two or more objectives for each goal • They need accomplish the goal • They need to be measurable • They should describe • Who will do • What • By When • How measured #3
Keep It Simple • S – Specific • I – Immediate • M – Measurable • P – Practical • L – Logical • E - Evaluable
Example Goal Third-grade students at Inspired Learning Elementary will demonstrate: • improved mathematics achievement and • improved critical thinking/problem solving skillsas a result of using manipulatives, technology and hands-on activities.
Objectives Indicate: • who? • does what? • how well? • when? • how measured? Show improvement which is relevant and measurable, above and beyond expected changes #3
Sample Objectives #3 • By the end of the 2005 school year, 70% of the third-grade students will master 80% of the math objectives on the TerraNova norm-referenced test. • By the end of the first semester, 90% of the students in Mrs. Jones’ third grade class will demonstrate computer/problem solving skills with 90% accuracy as evidenced by a teacher-made checklist.
Plan of Operation • A detailed account of what you are going to do • Should be directly tied to and supportive of the objectives • Begin with a verb. • Students will…. • Read, Identify, Participate,Record,Reflect,Participate, Demonstrate. • Activities should be in logical order (A timeline is often helpful) • There should be benchmarks (to ensure the project is being accomplished on time) • Responsibilities should be outlined #4
Implementation Plan #4 • Describe learner activities, timeline, and method of dissemination • The activities are realistic and are consistent with current educational philosophy, practices, and research. • The planned activities include a description of the major learner activities and deadlines, and relate to the goals, objectives, and evaluation of the proposed project. • The activities listed include a plan to disseminate information about the project to the local community, educators within the district and other educators.
Key Personnel • Often required to provide a list, if not you need one for yourself • Define roles and responsibilities • Tie back into the goals and objectives • Who is leading the project and has responsibility for each aspect of the project • Paperwork & reporting • Teaching & learning • Technical assistance • Know what resources are available #5
Evaluation A written plan that helps the reader determine if the project goals can and will be achieved. (The trick is to refer directly back to the objectives) • How will you know if you have met the goals and objectives • Use more than one evaluation tool. • If using standardized testing make sure the data will be in on time to meet your timelines. • Who will do the evaluation • In-house or outside evaluator • Levels of evaluation • School Board, Committee(s) involved, Granting agency, student, community, teacher #6
Evaluation The evaluation section of your proposal must clearly delineate: • what will be evaluated, • when the pre- and post-evaluations will occur, • how much change is predicted, • who will perform the evaluation, and • how much the evaluation component will cost. • Be prepared to explain why the criteria was not met. • The key is that the project was evaluated, not necessarily that every objective was met. #6
#6 Evaluation • Standardized tests (MAP, EOC, IBS) • Teacher-made tests or rubrics • Attitude surveys, Likert scales • Individual or group demonstrations, exhibits or projects • Lessons (#) developed and implemented • Measures that can be “documented”
Evaluation Samples • Your evaluation should/MUST be tied to your objectives: • When asked to perform keyboarding/computer skills, students will be able to perform 9 of 10 items as measured by a teacher-made checklist. • The TerraNova will be administered in April and scores will be reviewed to determine 80-percent mastery rate by 70 percent of students.
Evaluation Samples • A minimum of 80% of the teachers will implement one unit per semester. The principal will evaluate with a 10-point criteria checklist. Teachers will master all 9 of 10 criteria in developing integrated units utilizing both technology and mathematics and use them in the classroom.
Adequacy of Resources • Explain what resources are available to assist the project • Check that listed items can be used (we have two gyms – but can not use them till 9:30 in the evening) • Computers are available but the software will not work, going to print but did not purchase paper • Be positive • Coordinate with others, don’t forget custodians and maintenance #7
Deliverables & Assurances • Know what the funding agency requires you to send to them • Make a list of what you must provide at the end of the grant • Training: dates/times, attendance lists, topics, handouts • Educational activities: dates, curriculum development, use of software, other activities • Reports and progress reports: know what data is required to be turned in and when #8
Deliverables & Assurances • These are usually legal and set forth by law • They are usually signed at the beginning of the grant process • Review them, so you do not violate them • Many of these refer to management and to the budget • They may also explain what the grant will produce or the outcomes • Often, if they are not met, funding may have to be paid back #8
Attachments • Some grants do not allow • Know the limits (number of pages, type of attachments) • Some things that might help: • Surveys • Sample lessons (curriculum) • Assessments • Pictures to demonstrate need, layout, or location • Letters of support and agreements #9
Budget • The budget is usually where problems happen • This is often the only area (outside mid-year and final reports) that are checked by DESE • District auditors will also check • Codes must be in the district budget and all expenditures in the correct category • Don’t include an object in the budget if it does not directly tie to an objective or strategy. #10
Budget • When I write a grant, I start with the budget • If its in the budget make sure its explained • Items found in the budget but not explained in the body can cost points or be eliminated • Most grants want a budget grid of expenditures and a budget narrative
Budget Narrative • Usually divided by budget category • Detailed description of each expenditure • Number of each item with projected cost (some items may have to go through the bid process of the district) • Includes hours and rate for salaries with benefits and rates