"Grant writing for people who don't want to, nor"
“Grant writing for people who don’t want to, nor have time to, write a grant” Hosted by Zareena Koch Cindy Costello St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf “I am crazy busy and already have an overloaded schedule. This cannot be a part of MY job!” FACT: Funding will continue to get tighter and tighter in all areas. Funding – locating, retaining and dealing with – is everyone’s job. What is a grant? A pot of money set aside by a funder (Government, Foundation or Corporation) to accomplish a certain outcome. It is stated upfront how much it will cost and evaluation methods to measure success. Where do I find Grant opportunities? There are many places to look – Most larger cities have associations for philanthropy check with them for help – GuideStar.org – Foundationcenter.org – Grants.gov Flatter similar organizations and contact foundations that have given them money in the past. More often, as SLP’s and Audiologists, someone is going to hand you a section of a grant and say “We’re applying for this. Could you please fill out these highlighted sections and return it to me by next Tuesday? Include your thresholds and how much it’s going to cost. Oh, don’t forget to pro-rate your time on the project and be sure you address research available in your field.” I found something interesting – now what? Let your fingers do the walking and make phone contact. This is a good way to introduce yourself, briefly talk about your mission/program, and get tips on things the funders are looking for and what to avoid. Not all funders want facts – some prefer the feel good stories, typically smaller, family foundations but their money spends just as well as money from large foundations. What is in a grant? A good grant consists of several items: -research -why your challenge is important -outcomes -what steps will you take to get there -comprehensive budget -responsibility and timelines -evaluation methods Should we go for it? -All grants are not created equal. Review all portions of the grant including the average award amount, requirements of reporting and timeline. -Even if this isn’t your boat, write your ideas down if this was something that made you think seriously about your project. It’s easier to do so when it’s fresh than when your pressured. Begin with Research Do your homework. Be sure it’s a challenge that is unmet or unsolved in your local community. Why should you get the cash? What makes you different? If you cannot find a similar project (good news for you!) then use the research available to support why you need this project. Keep language simple if you are unsure about your reader. CITE all sources. “Research indicates that children who receive consistent speech therapy before the age of 5 are more likely to experience better fluency than their peers who don’t receive speech therapy. (Smith, 2007)” Continue with Outcomes Write your outcomes as if you were telling someone what you want to see in your population. Include estimated numbers, timeframes and outcomes. “Our goal is for 75 out of 85 participants ages 0-14 to gain fluency in sentence structure within a 6 month period.” Goals include values, are reasonable and provide a timeframe in which they will be reached. If you can’t provide a value with your threshold, then provide as much information as possible. “Our 100 participants ages 0-14 years will demonstrate language fluency consistent with like peers within 6 months.” Once you have your goals, it’s easy to develop your methods. -How will you get to your goal? Write what steps you will take to get there and include WHAT steps, HOW long, WHO is included and WHERE if necessary. “we will deliver speech therapy 3 times a week for 24 weeks at 1 hour per session in their existing classrooms” Budget Provide a budget and a budget narrative so your audience knows what it’s going to cost, how long it will take and what supplies you will need. If you are unclear about pro-rating time or benefits, ask for help from your CFO, controller or supervisor. -It’s much easier to correct a mistake before it is submitted. -Provide realistic numbers. This is not a cash cow. -Include supplies, tools and other items you know will give results. When you justify, explain why you need this. Remember, your audience might be an accountant and doesn’t understand the expense of peanut butter in speech therapy. Staff Time spent Rate of TOTAL cost to project salary ST 1 1.5 hrs/wk for 24 $20.00/ $20.00 X 1.5 hrs X 24 weeks = weeks hr $720.00 ST 2 1 hr/wk for 24 $20.00/ $20.00 X 1 hr X 24 weeks = weeks hr $480.00 ST 30 minutes/wk $40.00/ $40.00 X 0.5 hrs X 25 weeks = super. for 25 weeks wk $500.00 TOTAL $1,700.00 When you write your justification, be sure to include what staff activities is completing. “ST1 will be delivering speech therapy to children ages 0-14 years. ST2 will be delivering to children ages 10-14 years. ST superv will be overseeing the project, reviewing all documentation and preparing the final report.” Supplies needed cost 3 jars of peanut butter 3 X $2.00/jar = $6.00 2 boxes of tongue 2 X $5.00/box = depressors $10.00 TOTAL $16.00 When justifying your expenses, remember your audience. Tell them why you need this, what it will do for your population and why you need so much of it. “Tongue depressors will help children ages 5-14 gain tongue strength and dexterity through exercises 3 times/week.” Responsibility Who is responsible for what in the grant? In what timeframe will they accomplish this in? Provide staff positions, credentials and a timeline so your funder understands what is going to happen when. No one likes surprises when they visit (yes, they will visit). “Our ST1 will be an SLP with 5 years of training. She will specialize in auditory-oral education for young children.” “ST1 will be responsible for all ST with young children in or target schools. She will complete her therapy for 50 % of participants by December and 100% of participants by June.” I’m done! Before putting it in an envelop make sure to: – Ask someone with really good writing skills to read the grant to look for typos and grammatical errors. – Have someone who is familiar with your program read it critically. They should look for unanswered questions and things that don’t flow and make sense – if the foundation readers cannot answer their questions by reading your grant it may automatically go in the no thanks pile. Put that envelop down, we’re not quite ready! Most funders ask for additional materials which may include: Proof that you are a school or 501(c)3 A letter of support from a board member or authorized person Bios of people involved in running the program “Oh my! I’ve been called that they want to make a visit. What should I do?” -Funder visits are common. -Try to find to how many will be in the group. Schedule a tour of your facility, have them meet with all departments that will be delivering program service. Arrange to meet with the head of your organization if that’s appropriate. -Do your homework. Re-familiarize yourself with the project and the outcomes, re-add the budget and try to anticipate any questions they might have. If meeting with other staff, prepare them for what’s coming. -RELAX! It’s probably a good sign if they are coming to see you. They typically don’t visit unless they are interested. Drats, I received the dreaded we’re sorry letter • Keep your spirits up and keep writing grants. Even professional grant writers have a success rate of only 70%. • Call and try to get some information about why you were declined – this will help you in your next effort. • If your program fits their mission and interests, keep applying! Sometimes you have to dance with them a little before there is a payoff. Hurray! I’ve been funded! -Take time to celebrate your success, thank your team. -Place important dates on your calendar now like when mid- year reporting is due, when final reports are to be filed. Your schedule is busy enough without being caught unaware! -Assemble reporting sheets now and meet briefly after the champagne gets warm so everyone knows what they are doing. It’s no fun to be a nag when it comes to reporting time mid-year. -Contact your PR dept or consider a press release if the grant is large enough and if the funder will allow. St. Joseph Institute For the Deaf 1809 Clarkson Rd Chesterfield, MO 63017 www.sjid.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Giving Deaf Children a Voice Since 1837. Your passion helps us grow strong for tomorrow. Thanks for your effort!