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