Grant Writing

Overview
 
Grant securing includes project development, proposal development, application submission and follow-up.  The Grants Office is available to work with CCPS staff members on the following aspects of grant securing:
  • development of grant applications for new and existing projects/programs,
  • development of grant-fundable projects/programs,
  • facilitation of proposal development teams,
  • act as head writer, and
  • evaluation of grant requirements to ensure the organization's ability to comply prior to making application.
When developing a project and writing a proposal with a team, team members can write different sections of the proposal individually. However, when the final narrative is assembled, one person should serve a head writer to ensure that the style is consistent.
Click here for some helpful links.

 
Project Development and Proposal Writing
 

Project development and proposal writing adds details and supporting information to an idea/concept. It includes identification of specific goals and objectives consistent with needs and formulation of alternative methods or strategies that can address those needs. There are several basic components required in the development of a project/proposal:

  • Needs
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • Methods
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination
  • Budget

When developing new projects or programs for your area, you may not follow formal processes to identify all the above, but most funding agencies want to see that your thought process was logical and well-founded. You are answering the un-asked questions:

  • What made you think you needed this?
  • What makes you think it will solve your problem?
There are basically five functions of a proposal: written representation of the program, a request, a persuasion, a promise, and a plan. Proposal development puts the fully-developed project into a written proposal including needs, objectives, methods, evaluation, dissemination, budget, and future funding. Using the information gathered while developing your project, arrange it to suit the Request for Proposal (RFP) guidelines.
 
If you are using this information as a companion to a Request for Proposal (RFP), and you find contradictory information, use the information contained in the RFP. This contains general guidelines and accepted practices and EVERY RFP will have variations on this general theme. 
 
Application Preparation and Submission
 
Application preparation and submission involves writing the proposal, acquiring the appropriate approvals and signatures, putting the package together, photocopying, mailing the application and the correct number of copies, contact with the State single point of contact (if necessary), and follow up.
 
All applications must go through Central Office for approval. Follow-up on applications submitted includes sending a thank you letter, whether or not you were funded, and requesting reviewer comments.
 
Post-award procedures that occur just after award but prior to implementation of the project are included in grant seeking. Examples of those activities are budget negotiation with the funding agency, assigning special project numbers and revenue codes, and announcing the award.
  
Organizing for receipt of a grant award includes preparing and submitting the Budget Adjustment Form, forwarding ALL forms (or copies) to the Grants Office, and processing the grant agreement and assurances. It is essential for the Office to have these documents in-house prior to expenditure of any funds.
 
The following forms are available:
 
Summary and Sign-Off (completed by the Grants Analyst)
 CCPS Budget Adjustment
 MSDE Budget Amendment
 

Links

Below of some things that may be helpful in finding and writing grants.

Grants.gov.  Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 federal grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.   Most federal agencies require the use of Grants.gov to apply for funding.

U. S. Department of Education (ED).  This site provides federal grant information including the guide to ED programs, forecast of funding opportunities and funding announcements.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has an Office of Grant Management and Resource Development that posts some discretionary and formula grants.  Access to the divisions and departments is also available on the site.

The Foundation Center has several good resources on-line.  The Proposal Writing Short Course is a good place to start.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has an on-line Technical Assistance Manual. The Developing Competitive SAMHSA Grant Applications manual was created to help grantees acquire the skills and resources needed to plan, write, and prepare a competitive grant application for SAMHSA funding, but has a lot of good, general information that applies to all types of grant seeking.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a Guide for Proposal Writing that offers general guidelines. As with the above manual, some of the NSF guide's information is specific to their programs, but the majority of the information is helpful.