The Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase is an online resource aiding education professionals in their pursuit of public and private grants to support local programs. Its five elements contain information and resources that assist the grant seeker with developing their project, writing the grant proposal and managing the grant upon its award.
Guideline: Organizational data consists of three components to - demographic, process, and outcome. The demographic data identifies a school's clientele and community. The process data identifies what teachers are doing. The outcome data addresses student academic achievement. Preparing first, focusing on how to collect the data avoids costly misdirected efforts. The provided resources offer information assisting the grant seeker in organizing for data collection. When using advance statistical techniques to analyze data, it is best to seek out assistance from practitioners specifically trained in advanced statistics.
This worksheet from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook lists possible evaluation activities for each project stage from planning to policy.
This tool from the U.S. Department of Education's An Idea Book for Planning is useful for managing the data collected during the needs assessment. It consists of two parts: Data Sources Matrix and Data Collection and Analysis Plan.
"The Data Sources Matrix helps organize needs assessment data collection by identifying information sources and methods of data collection. In the matrix, fill specific sources of information you already have on hand from the school profile (e.g., student achievement data, results from a parent survey with results that are pertinent to the planning effort) so you do not duplicate efforts. Then, list any additional information the team decides to collect. Examine each focus area to make sure that there are data describing the status of major aspects of the priority focus areas."
"The Data Collection and Analysis Plan prioritizes the "focus areas" for which data will be collected and it lays out the data collection and analysis plans. First, define the team's key questions, the data collection methods (i.e., surveys, interviews, focus groups, shadowing, etc.), instruments to be used by analysis subcommittee members, and summarize the plans for analysis. List two to three "focus areas" the team plans to study in order of highest (#1) to lowest priority for data gathering. Respond to the questions for each focus area."
This resource from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Evaluation Handbook provides a list of things to consider when deciding upon data collection methods and instruments.
This chart compares the pros and cons of eight data collection methods.
This resource describes in "plain English, some basic concepts in statistics that every writer should know."
Purpose: Writing a successful grant application begins with understanding the reason for seeking grant funding from a governmental agency or private foundation. If the grant seeker is a school, the organizational assessment undertaken for improvement planning may provide useful reasons for the desired funding.
The grant seekers organizational assessment must address the subject area the funding organization has an interest in supporting. In regards to a governmental grant proposal, the assessment must address the request for proposal's focus.
Element 1 outlines the tasks involved in creating an organizational assessment.
Purpose: Prior to writing the grant application, the project lead should pre-plan how the application will be developed, a timeline for completing it, and an internal review process for the application. Element 3 outlines the steps in creating a road map for the application process.
Purpose: The grant proposal brings life to the project idea. It is the vehicle the grant seeker uses to sell their idea to the prospective funding sources. Element 4 outlines the steps to develop and submit a successful grant application. Once the application has been submitted, follow-up with the funder is essential.