For Student-Centered Learning Environments
Grant Writing Basics
HINT: Your needs must MATCH the initiatives of the grantor. What are the most important concerns of TEA, TIF, Federal Government, National Science Foundation, DuPont, Chevron?
4. How did WE determine the needs?
5. What data did WE use?
1. Identify 3 to 5 MAJOR broad goals (student, staff-development, community involvement are the "golden" triangle). Create statements in the format of a generalized NEED.
2. Justify the need by comparing your SOURCE DATA against a STANDARD.
You must RESEARCH the standard. (STaR Chart is one such standard. What are others?)
Need 1: Arp elementary campus needs to increase, update, replace, and improve student reading selections and research materials available in the elementary library. Two hundred and fifty four (254) students, Pre-K through third grade have access to less than two thousand (2,000) titles, many of which are out of compliance. The state recommendation for exemplary library status is twenty (20) titles per student or five thousand eighty (5080) titles. This library is the only source of book lending available in this community and should therefore, be exemplary.
Need 2: Staff development needs are: (1) To implement a systemic change and conceptual framework for lesson design. This framework will allow students to blend reading skills with meaning through vigorous integrated reading, questioning, and writing assignments using language functioning (phonemic awareness, graphemic recognition, and blended skills connections) using a broad background of reading experiences; (2) To appropriately administer and evaluate assessment instruments for continuous monitoring of individual student progress.
Need 3: Forming a strong alliance with parents for the purpose of providing adequate and extended reading time at home is needed to allow students (and parents) to gain basic reading skills.
Write 3 NEEDS CLEARLY. Remember, your needs ARE Curriculum/Student/Data Driven .not hardware driven!
6. What GOALS will accomplish what we need done? (SYSTEMIC CHANGE Vs RESISTANCE)
Goals are BROAD statements about what needs to take place.
Write 3 to 5 Goals (match your need statements).
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Describe precisely, succinctly, and CLEARLY what activities will be done during the project. If allowed, organize your activities under each GOAL. Sometimes the application requires you to explain your activities in a section called PROGRAM DESCRIPTION. Sometimes the application requires you to arrange your activities on a TIMELINE.
7. PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION: What preparations, training, and committee formation need to be done? Have already taken place? This will place your grant over the top!
Example: The campus improvement committee collected & analyzed data during the previous year (describe data) which indicated that and has formally recommended to the school board (date) that the following needs be addressed: (1) (2) (3)
8. What is the TIMELINE of the project? Timelines should answer the following questions.
WHEN, WHERE, WHAT, WHO (participants), BY (Person Responsible), & HOW MUCH ($$) or INDICATOR. Even if the application does not request a timeline. If not restricted, I recommend a brief timeline be placed in an appendix. This allows the grantor to see that you have good planning experience.
9. INVOLVEMENT: Who is the intended TARGET group for the project? Who will benefit? Who will work as a Project TEAM work to make "it" happen? Who are your partners? Who is responsible for what? What roles do they play? Job Descriptions?
Broad-base involvement is usually necessary to demonstrate and is always needed for success. Be sure to site the committee members by NAME, TITLE, POSITION in the grant, PHONE or EMAIL and perhaps include letters of commitment, if not restricted. Use signatures on a letter of support from committee members.
10. EVALUATION: How will you know if what you have done spent time & $$ on, has benefited the intended target group? What criteria will you use to judge or measure success or failure?
11. SUSTAINABILITY: How and who will support the project? How will it continue & be supported after the grant funding period? What will you have in place that will allow this project to continue? What plans have you made for the future -beyond the grant period? How will the district afford to continue this project? What assets does the district have that will allow this project to continue (personnel, alternative funding, community support, expertise, business partnerships, higher education partnerships.)
12 BUDGET: How much will it cost? Follow the application this is CRITICAL!
HINTS: If you are allowed (or not restricted) create a LINE by LINE justification for each item and expenditure that you are requesting. I have always been granted MORE, when I justify line by line. Each item should have a direct connection to a NEED. If the connection is not obvious, then state the connection. Expenditures should be stated as non-specific (generic) as possible. For example, request "scan converter" not "Aver Key" which is a name brand or "multimedia Pentium III computer system" not a model or name brand. Keep your budget reasonable by determining so many $$ per student. (DO THE MATH--$254,000 into 350 students plus 75 parents plus 17 teachers = $245,000 divided by 442 participants = $554 per participant. Is the project competitive, is it quality, and will it be worth it to the grantor?)
COMPLIANCEfollow the RFP--- no matter how wonderful the ideas, it will be thrown out
CLARITYkeep it simple you dont know who your readers will be or what their backgrounds are
CREATIVITY Innovation see MASTERY levels grantors like to pay for successGrant Resources Return to Inservice Index