Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase

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.

Task 6: Study School Context and Organization


Guideline: Factors impacting a school's environment include leadership, student mobility and retention, facility quality, and a safe and drug free environment. The resources offered addresses some of these topics. Depending the on nature of the grant sought assessing how these factors impact the school and students may be essential.

School Safety Profiler

As noted at its website, "The School Safety Profiler is a free tool to measure perceived safety at your school, so you can reduce or prevent violence. The Profiler is designed to help you meet needs assessment requirements for school safety funds, as well as to guide you in creating a positive school environment."

15 Effective Strategies to Prevent Dropouts

This link is to strategies developed by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network having the most positive impact on high school dropout rates.


School Culture/Climate Resources

This link is to ASCD resources on school culture and climate. ASCD members can access the full text of all articles upon logging-in to the ASCD website. According to its website, "ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner."


The Challenge of Assessing School Climate

This article from the December 2008/January 2009 edition of ASCD's Educational Leadership publication explores issues associated with measuring school climate.

Element 1: Assess Organizational Needs and Basis for Desired Funding

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.

Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of Your Organization

Activity 2: Identify Broad Areas in Need of Improvement

Element 2: Outline the Project Ideas

Purpose: Developing innovative grant ideas that fulfill organizational needs is essential in a successful grant application. The successful grant application will be one that effectively matches the grant seeker's project ideas with the grant funder's interests or programmatic focus!

Activity 1: Create a Project Team

Activity 2: Conceptualize Project

Element 3: Organize for Action

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.

Activity 1: Understand the Grant Requirements

Activity 2: Plan to Act

Element 4: Develop and Submit the Grant Proposal

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.

Activity 1: Develop the Project Plan

Activity 2: Commit the Proposal to Paper

Activity 3: Review and Finalize the Proposal

Element 5: Implement the Grant

Purpose: Upon receiving the grant award it is necessary to have a process in place for administering and managing the grant. Element 5 outlines the steps involved with implementing the project and fulfilling the grant's administrative requirements.

Activity 1: Administer and Manage the Grant

Activity 2: Accomplish Change

Activity 3: Evaluate Project Outcomes