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.
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.
Guideline: At its first meeting the project team should have an orientation session revieiwng its purpose, role, and task. In designing the program the grant seeker should include an overview of the team's charter, the anticipated time line for completing its work, and team dynamics. Presenting the orientation program should be the role of the designated lead project person. In doing so the project lead might concentrate on the project specifics and utilize a person experienced with group dynamics to focus on the interpersonal interactions among team members. The length of the session of can be mitigated by providing background material to team members to review in advance. Orienting the project team gives its focus and direction, two conditions necessary for a successful team effort.
Individual group members often have divergent viewpoints. Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats is a system fostering collaboration, increased productivity, creativity, and innovation. The concept enables participants in a discussion to move from the traditional argumentative approach to a collaborative process and fosters a more productive dialog. The document provides an overview of the tool and additional resources about it.
The Fist to Five consensus activity is a tool groups can use to reach consensus when making decisions. This link is to a set of instructions for using this tool.
This guide from the Team Handbook might assist team members with having productive meetings.
This tip sheet from EffectiveMeetings.com offers a basic primer on how to conduct effective meetings.
This link to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance website provides information about writing a federal grant proposal. Though oriented towards federal grants, the general content may be useful grant writing orientation information for a grant seeker's project team.
This link is to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Research Integrity. Though intended for scientific research grant seekers may find the misconduct resources useful to assure integrity in writing their grant proposals and executing awarded grants.
Groups have a life-cycle of their own. When a team is formed it goes through a predictable maturation process in order to become an effective unit. This document offers guidance on the stages a team goes through as it members adjust to working together.
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.