Grant Writing for Beginners: Part 3
3/15/2008 By: Dr. Douglas Brooks
from Technology & Learning
Creating a grant writing guide will help an application stand out.
School districts face numerous obstacles when writing grant applications. You may consider starting your own grant writing guide as a way to increase your chances of success with any funding agency.
Review the target foundation's Web site.
Start your grant writing guide by opening a new Word document and copying and pasting the thematic categories of the foundation's RFP into your guide as a writing tip.
Sample writing tip: The grants-to-educators section of the site says requests must fit within one of the following six thematic categories, which are in priority order: 1) improving learning in mathematics, science, or technology; 2) improving language literacy; 3) improving learning in the arts; 4) supporting the recruitment, retention, and development of teachers; 5) strengthening teachers' and administrators' leadership skills; and 6) providing other services to students.
If your need does not fit one of these categories, you need not apply for funding.
Create an objectives and plan-of-action section in your grant writing guide.
Copy and paste the objectives and plan-of-action sections into your guide. Highlight the operative vocabulary.
Sample writing tip: If you're focusing on educator leadership and skills, your section will look like the following:
- Project's goals and objectives contribute to student achievement.
- Project directly links to teacher and/or student behaviors and achievements.
- Proposal identifies target population and explains how project will address relevant achievement gaps.
- The number of students/teachers affected by the project is appropriate.
- Project has a clear element of originality relative to the organization or the field of education.
- Project reflects creative or innovative use of practices, tools, personnel, and other resources.
Create a section where you can start to write draft text.
Creating space to write draft text gives you the advantage of continuously seeing the goals of the foundation and the specifics of the funding for which you apply. Advantages include:
- You are always reminded of what the foundation is willing to fund.
- You have constant access to the professional language embedded in the application and section of the narrative.
- When you or your team edit the application, you can review whether or not you have addressed the requirements of that section of the application.
Repeat this process for all sections of the application. With all this information on the grant writing guide, it becomes much easier to write each section consistent with the requirements of the funding agency. Editing is improved as you compare sections of the narrative, and the overall application for funding reflects the language and requirements of the funding agency. Your chance for receiving funding is improved because you have used the RFP to help you write a successful application.
Dr. Douglas Brooks is a School of Education, Health and Society at Miami University professor. He teaches courses in grant writing and is currently partnered with SpectrumK12.com.
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