Grant Writing For Dummies [NOOK Book]

Overview

An all-in-one guide to locating and securing available grants

As the amount of established granting foundations increases, more money becomes available—but the application process can be long, tedious, and is always highly competitive. Grant Writing For Dummies guides you through the entire grant-winning process and helps you stay current with application protocol and new grant opportunities to find a piece of the available $500 billion in ...

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Grant Writing For Dummies

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Overview

An all-in-one guide to locating and securing available grants

As the amount of established granting foundations increases, more money becomes available—but the application process can be long, tedious, and is always highly competitive. Grant Writing For Dummies guides you through the entire grant-winning process and helps you stay current with application protocol and new grant opportunities to find a piece of the available $500 billion in government grants.

If you're new to the grant writing process or have applied for grants in the past but had difficulties, Grant Writing For Dummies gives you fast and easy access to discover how to separate yourself from the pack and secure your grant in a slow, post-recession economy; advice for NGOs (non-government organizations) and NPOs (non-profit organizations) seeking assistance in the non-domestic grant arena; information on applying online for e-grants; formatting suggestions for a clean and organized e-application; step-by-step instruction for registering with and using Grants.gov, the largest online federal grant database; lists and recommendations for up-to-date grant opportunities via newly created Web sites and databases; strategic advice for grant writers during research, program design, and the application process, in order to keep current with the increasing expectations of granting boards; and more.

  • Interactive CD is packed with sample materials and templates to get you started on your proposals
  • Ready-to-use phrases for every successful proposal
  • Guidance on locating available grants, carefully applying, and ultimately winning grants for both non-profit and for-profit grant seekers

Grant Writing For Dummies provides you with invaluable guidance and the knowledge and know-how to give yourself the best chance to win grants.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470463970
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/23/2009
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 620,214
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Bev Browning, a national grant writer and consultant with nearly two decades of experience, has won $80 million in grants. She is the author of a dozen grant-related publications and teaches online grant writing classes for Education To Go.
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Read an Excerpt

Grant Writing For Dummies


By Beverly A. Browning

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-8416-2


Chapter One

Getting Smart, Getting Money

In This Chapter

* Starting with basic definitions

* Making a plan (and sticking to it)

* Talking and writing like an expert

* Knowing types of funding and formatting

* Aiming for timeliness and following up

Nearly two decades ago, I discovered the magic of grant writing. Never before had I been involved in an occupation where, every day, my job felt like that of a magician. Just imagine: taking a vision, researching it well, identifying a perfect funding match, and then writing an award-winning document. It just all seems too good to be true - write it and money will come. Early on in my grant writing days, I learned by reading and doing; I had no mentors, and resource books like this one weren't plentiful. The common sense I commandeered 20 years ago to figure it out is the common sense I use today.

Over the years, I continued to jump into the "we need funding now" fires and be the behind-the-scenes flame extinguisher for both start-up and established nonprofit organizations. Each time I discovered a special writing approach worked, I took note and mentally recorded my words, approach, research techniques, formatting, and more. At the time, I didn't know why I stored tips and skills like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter. Now I know. Every effort to catalog my experiences,successes, and failures was directed at sharing them with you.

Especially now that I've achieved a 90 to 95 percent success rate, I assure you that you can have great grant writing successes, too. Dozens of grant announcements and contract bidding opportunities are published every day. With this book, you too can get smart - and get the money - almost all the time. And in this chapter, I start you down the right path to grant writing gold with the basics of the process.

What Does It Mean? Defining Grants, Contracts, and More

REMEMBER

A grant or cooperative agreement is a monetary award given by a funder, such as a government agency, a foundation, or a corporation. You may think that the only grants out there are those that pay for college tuition, but you're in for a surprise. Grants pay for all kinds of things. And pursuing grants is one of the most interesting occupations in the world.

REMEMBER

A grant or cooperative agreement application is a written request asking for money from a government agency, a foundation, or a corporation. Most grants go to organizations that have applied to the Internal Revenue Service for nonprofit status and received the IRS's blessing as a 501 (c)(3) organization, although a few grants are given to individuals (see Chapter 7 for details). Since I've been writing grant applications, I've seen a growing number of grant awards made to cities, villages, townships, counties, and even state agencies. While none of these governmental units are IRS 501 (c)(3) designees, they're still nonprofit in structure and can apply for and receive grant awards from the federal government, foundations, and corporations.

A proposal is usually a more free-flowing grant request. It's you putting down on paper your ideas about your organization and the program you want funded. You can dash off a proposal foolishly, simply writing what pops into your mind at the time. Or you can create a proposal the smart way, using a national or regional template format (see "Putting Together and Writing a Winning Request," later in this chapter for more details).

Whether you're writing a grant application or a grant proposal, both types of funding requests require planning, organization, good research, and writing skills.

REMEMBER

Think of contracts as cousins to grants - similar but clearly different. A contract is a legal instrument reflecting a relationship between the bid-letting agency (government unit or private sector business) and a business. The bid-letting agency is seeking to purchase services or products. The offeror, or business seeking to provide the deliverables, must respond to an RFP (Request For Proposal) or RFQ (Request For Quote) in writing and submit it by a deadline. For-profit businesses apply for and receive contract awards; nonprofit organizations apply for and receive grant or cooperative agreement awards. A grantmaking agency (such as the government, a foundation, or a corporation) can issue an RFP; a business seeking a contractual relationship with another business can issue one as well. An RFP or RFQ is very similar in format to a government grant application.

Get into Gear: Planning for Grants and Contracts

Rule number one is that you don't ask for a grant without thinking first.

You'd be surprised how many nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses lurch from one crisis to another. They never plan ahead in terms of grant seeking or contract bidding. They lack a planning tool to give them direction. What they lack is a funding plan, an internal examination of the organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A funding plan answers questions such as

  • What programs are strong and already have regular funding to keep them going?
  • What new programs need funding?
  • What opportunities exist to find new funding partners?
  • What existing grants will run out before new funding is found?

When you answer these questions, you can begin to look at the multitude of areas where grants are awarded and begin to prioritize the type of funding you need. I write more about funding plans in Chapter 2.

What's the Word I'm Looking For? Knowing Grant Language

Before you jump into the grants fire - I think of it as a fire because the competition is hot - you need to be sure that you can speak and understand the language. The following list presents the terms and phrases that grantmakers use regularly. (In Chapter 3, I cover additional terms in the language of "Grantlish.")

  • Annual campaigns: Money to support annual operating expenses, infrastructure improvements, program expansion, and, in some cases, one-time-only expenses (such as a cooling-system replacement).
  • Building/renovation funds: Money to build a new facility or renovate an existing facility. These projects are often referred to as bricks-and-mortar projects. Building funds are the most difficult to secure; only a small percentage of foundations and corporations award grants for these types of projects.
  • Capital support: Money for equipment, buildings, construction, and endowments. These types of large-scale projects are not quickly funded. It often takes two to three years for total funding to be secured. This type of request is a major undertaking by the applicant organization.
  • Challenge monies: These funds act as leverage to secure additional grants from foundations and corporations. They're awarded by funders and are contingent upon your raising additional grant funds from other funding sources. You must use internal organizational funds to meet the challenge grant requirements.
  • Conferences/seminars: Money to cover the cost of attending, planning, and/or hosting conferences and seminars. Funding may be used to pay for all the conference's expenses, including securing a keynote speaker, travel, printing, advertising, and facility expenses, such as meals.
  • Consulting services: You may want to secure the expertise of a consultant or consulting firm to strengthen some aspect of organizational programming. For example, if you bring in a consultant to do a longrange strategic plan or to conduct training for a board of directors you're paying for consulting services.
  • Continuing support/continuation grant: If you've already received a grant award from a funder, you can turn to that funder again and apply for continuing support. Be aware that many funders only fund an organization one time.
  • Employee matching gifts: Many employers match the monetary donations their employees make to nonprofit organizations, often on a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1. If you have board members employed by large corporations, have them check with their Human Resources departments to see whether their employers have such programs.
  • Endowments: A source of long-term, permanent investment income to ensure the continuing presence and financial stability of your nonprofit organization. If your organization is always operating in crisis-management mode, then one of your goals should be to develop an endowment fund for long-term viability.
  • Fellowships: Money to support graduate and postgraduate students in specific fields. These funds are only awarded to institutions, never to individuals.
  • General/operating expenses: Money for general budget line-item expenses. These funds may be used for salaries, fringe benefits, travel, consultants, utilities, equipment, and other expenses necessary to operate a nonprofit program.
  • Matching funds: Grant funds that are awarded with the requirement that you must find other grant funding that matches or exceeds the initial grant's matching-fund stipulation. Matching funds are a type of leverage grant. To qualify for a matching funds grant award, the grant applicant must come up with matching funds. The funds can be internal (from the grant applicant organization), from a partner agency, or even from another grant funding agency.
  • Program development: Funding to pay for expenses related to organization growth, the expansion of existing programs, or the development of new programs.
  • Research: Money to support medical and educational research. Monies are usually awarded to the institutions that employ the individuals conducting the research.
  • Scholarship funds: Scholarship awards to individuals. Remember that when funds are awarded to an individual, they're considered taxable income.
  • Seed money: Most often, these types of grants are awarded for a pilot program not yet in full-scale operation; hence the term seed money. Seed money gets a program underway, but other grant monies are needed to continue the program in its expansion phase.
  • Technical (consulting) assistance: Money to improve your internal program operations. Often, this type of grant is awarded to hire an individual or firm that can provide the needed technical assistance. Alternatively, the foundation's personnel may provide the technical assistance. For example, a program officer from a foundation may work on-site with the applicant organization to establish an endowment development fund and start a campaign for endowment monies. In some instances, the funding source identifies a third-party technical assistance provider and pays the third party directly to assist the nonprofit organization.

The following terms are used by contract bid-letting agencies:

  • Acceptance: When a bid-letting agency or business accepts the deliverables outlined by the offeror in the bidding document.
  • Deliverables: Detailed information about the services or goods the offeror plans to deliver under a contract award.
  • Financial proposal: A document separate from the scope of services proposal that outlines the offeror's cost to provide the needed services or goods.
  • Offeror: The individual or business bidding on the needed services or goods.
  • Responsiveness: When the bid-letting agency examines the offeror's contract bid proposal document to determine if all the areas in the narrative guidelines have been responded to and at what level.
  • Request For Proposal (RFP) or Request For Quote (RFQ): A legally prepared document issued by the bid-letting agency or business requesting a proposal or quote for services or products from qualified vendors.
  • Services proposal: A full, written description by the offeror of what will be provided should a contract be awarded by the bid-letting agency.
  • Terms and conditions: The circumstances for awarding a contract, which are developed by the bid-letting agency. You may be required to provide proof of liability insurance or to submit a list of demographics for all personnel assigned to the contract work.

Connecting Your Needs to a Governmental Source of Funds

Grants, grants, everyone wants a grant! You're constantly hearing about other organizations winning grant awards, but no one tells you how they found the money. Is your organization being left out in the cold - no money, no luck, and no clue? When you realize how easy it is to find and get the money you want, you'll rejoice and sing praises like everyone else.

Conducting a funding search leads you to the money. But before you start your search, you need to know what type of grant money will fund your idea, project, or program.

Federal government funding: Cashing in with your richest uncle

The first place to look for money is with Uncle Sam. You always knew that you had a long-lost relative somewhere with money, right? The money (government funding) originates from the federal, state, and local levels. Using the Internet, you can locate and cash in on the available dollars. In Chapter 4, I give you the complete scoop on using the Internet to find government grants.

TIP

Peruse the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), and then log onto Grants.gov. The CFDA is the encyclopedia of grant and contract funding programs, which means that it doesn't tell you about open grant competitions that you can apply for at a particular time. For that information, go to Grants. gov, which gives you daily funding announcements on money you can apply for now.

Seeking public funds closer to home

Each state receives grant monies from the feds. After taking their fair (or unfair) share, states regrant the money to eligible agencies and organizations in the form of competitive grants or formula grants.

Examples of some state agencies that regrant federal monies are agriculture, commerce, education, health, housing development, natural resources, and transportation. Contact your state legislator at his or her local office or at the state capitol for assistance in identifying grant opportunities within your state, and use the Internet to search for state agencies that award grants and contracts.

The Other Pot of Gold: Looking at Foundation and Corporate Funding

The rainfall of private-sector grant money is continuous. Private-sector funding sources are either foundations or corporations.

Where can you find out more about these no-strings-attached grants? You can locate sources by visiting a Foundation Center Cooperating Collections site (usually at a state university library, community foundation, or other nonprofit information center) or on the Internet. The Foundation Center's Web site address is fdncenter.org. Chapter 6 has details on finding foundation and corporate grants, too.

EDGE

Using technology to find money is a good idea because it's so quick and easy. Throughout this book, you'll see lots of Web site listings.

Discovering private and public foundations

Private foundations get their monies from a single source, such as an individual, a family, or a corporation. Think about all the wealthy individuals who have started their own foundations, like the John Templeton Foundation or the Heinz Foundation. You can find hundreds of private foundations in the Foundation Center's online directory.

Public foundations, on the other hand, are supported primarily through donations from the general public. That's a no-brainer, right? They also receive a great deal of their funding from foundation and corporate grants. Again, the Foundation Center's Web site can give you loads of information on these types of foundations. There are lots of public foundations focused on the arts, environment, and faith-based initiatives. Remember, there's no difference in public or private foundations when it comes to grant seeking or grantmaking.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Grant Writing For Dummies by Beverly A. Browning Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Part I: Setting the Stage with Grant Basics.

Chapter 1: Getting Smart, Getting Money.

Chapter 2: Raising Your Hit Rate with a Fantastic Funding Plan.

Chapter 3: Talk the Talk: Using the Right Terms in Requests.

Part II: Meeting the Main Players in the World of Grants.

Chapter 4: Getting the Goods on Government Grants.

Chapter 5: Wading through Federal Grant Application Kits.

Chapter 6: Digging Up Grant Treasures from Foundations and Corporations.

Chapter 7: All Alone: Finding Grants for Individuals.

Chapter 8: Exploring the World of International Funds.

Part III: Playing by the Rules of the Grants Game.

Chapter 9: Preparing for Review Criteria of Government Grants and Contracts.

Chapter 10: Writing to Meet Review Criteria of Government Grants and Contracts.

Chapter 11: Working with Words That Win Funds.

Part IV: Assembling Your Grant Application with Ease.

Chapter 12: Fashioning the Small Stuff: Cover Letters, Abstracts, and More.

Chapter 13: Shining the Spotlight on Your Organization.

Chapter 14: Communicating Your Need for Funds.

Chapter 15: Demonstrating Accountability: Program Design and Evaluation.

Chapter 16: Smart Selection: Profiling Personnel, Resources, and Equity.

Chapter 17: Money Matters: Presenting the Budget.

Part V: Crossing the Finish Line with Your Grant Application.

Chapter 18: The Clock’s Ticking: Checking Everything before the Launch.

Chapter 19: The Waiting Game: Cleaning Up and Following Up.

Chapter 20: Win or Lose: Playing the Next Card the Right Way.

Chapter 21: Asking for Goods or Services with Effective Letters.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 22: Ten Tips for Organizing Your Writing.

Chapter 23: Ten Ways to Personalize Your Request.

Chapter 24: Ten Tips for Handling a Rejection Notice.

Appendix: A Complete Example of a Grant Application Narrative.

Index.

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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This is Where to Start When You Don't Know Much About Grants But Need to Learn

    Beverly Browning, Ph.D., brings her expertise as a successful grant writing consultant to this book, written for everyone who is interested in grant writing or who wants to improve his or her own success ratio in writing grant proposals that are funded. Her writing style is concise, informative, and easy to understand. Read this book carefully because she has much to teach her readers!

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    A reviewer

    Grant Writing for Dummies by Beverly A. Browning has been a great starting point for me or anyone who is looking to write a grant for funding or for a home-based business for a grant writing. I am so impressed with Grant Writing for Dummies that I will be signing up for Bev's online grant writing classes for How to Become a Grant Writing Consultant & in Advanced Grant Proposal Writing. My hopes and dreams are to become a future Grant Writing Consultant.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Guide to Grant Writing

    I am a professional proposal and grant writer. I work on a contract basis writing and managing proposals and grants for my clients.

    This is a "must-have" book for everyone who needs to know more about the business of grant writing. this book is very well organized and does not mince words about what you need to do in order to write a grant which will receive an award.

    I cover grant writing in my book but not as focused and as well as the author.

    Buy it today!You will be glad you did.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2005

    good book!

    If your looking for a grant or some financing from the Govt this is a good starting point but if it was that easy everybody would do it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004

    Great Book for a Neophyte

    I'd never won a grant before reading this book, but now I'm confident I can find the funds I need. Ms. Browning uses plain English to explain a daunting, technical field so that even a rookie at the grant writing game can get a leg up. She turned a nebulous intimidating subject into something I really believe I can get into.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    A valuable resource for any grant writed

    I thought reading about how to write a good grant would be boring, but it's acually really interesting. I've already written a few grants, so a lot of the information is familiar, but the tips and insight are invaulable. The writing is easy to understand, and with each section independent of the rest of the book, it's easy to find and reference the information you need the most, and skip over the chapters that don't apply. I'm really glad I bought this book and I'm excited about working on my next grant.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    I am very proud of this book!

    I am very proud of this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    great service

    ordering was uncomplicated and easy. book was delivered promptly,
    without fail.

    phyl

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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