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.

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

Task 4: Family and Community Involvement


Guideline: Utilizing the completed family and community involvement assessment the grant seeker can assess the relevant areas of need. This analysis can be included in the organization's need assessment as well as aiding in program design aimed at meeting those needs.

Strenghtening Partnerships: Community School Assessment Checklist

This Coalition for Community Schools document contains three checklists designed to help schools assess partnership activities within their community.

Community Vision - Key Questions

This list of seven questions to pose to community constituents is designed to help schools identify a vision of what the community wants and expects from its schools. The questions were developed by the 2003 Baldrige National Quality Award in Education recipient, Community Consolidated School District 15 in Palatine, Illinois.

Awareness of Cultural Differences in Parental Involvement

This Department of Education archived documents focuses on Bridging School-Family Differences.


Four Types of Parents

This document describes the spectrum of parent involvement found in the four basic types of parents.


Parental Involvement - What Does It Really Mean?

Lack of parent participation is a prevalent problem among America's schools today. "Parental Involvement - What Does It Really Mean?" discusses many of the facts of parent involvement and how it affects today's schools. It offers a model to analyze the extent of parental involvement present within a school.


Six Types of School-Family-Community Involvement

This National Network of Partnership Schools webpage discusses six types of cooperation among families, schools, and other community organizations as identified by Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships Director Joyce Epstein.

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