If you’re a grant seeker, you know the satisfaction of shipping off your masterpiece. Your hard work and late hours have paid off: You have pulled this project together, often under incredible pressure and at the expense of other commitments. Try to enjoy the moment.
As euphoric as you may feel, you may also be thinking, How will I ever wait for the results? What will I do if my proposal is rejected? Or, equally as daunting, What will I do if it is funded? Whether you’re successful or not, your real work is about to begin.
Before you do anything else, recognize your team by writing each of them a thankyou note. No matter the outcome of the proposal, let them know that their support, time, and energies were appreciated.
THE GRANT WRAP-UP: GET ORGANIZED
Taking the time to organize your grant-writing space while the process is fresh in your mind will assist you as you prepare to implement or resubmit your proposal. As you write, file your documents in file folders that follow the major sections of the proposal. If you have printed drafts with handwritten comments that you want to archive, label each with a cover page that includes the draft’s date and version number, then scan them, back them up, and toss the paper documents. Organize your electronic files into folders using a method similar to that used for your hard copies, and make sure to back them up onto a CD. Create several copies of your final draft, the request for proposal, and the electronic files.
WE WISH TO THANK YOU FOR APPLYING
A letter will eventually arrive. Whether it is good news or bad, you have won. You have challenged your community to look critically at your needs, constructed a plan for evaluating what you will do, and set up mechanisms to ensure your success. You may now have a new problem: You may actually have to do what you said you would do!
PREPARING TO IMPLEMENT AND SHARE YOUR SUCCESS
Whether or not your proposal is funded, remember that you will continue to reap surprising benefits by sharing your vision with a wider audience. Most educators are not marketing specialists, so call on colleagues or consult with a professional to write press releases, prepare a Web site, and supply articles for local newsletters.
IF YOU ARE A GO
First, thank your funders. They are your ultimate partners, and you want to nourish a great relationship. Look at your project timelines and get started. Plan a celebration. Celebrating your achievement builds community and launches your project toward a successful implementation. Begin documenting all your grant activities.
IF YOU ARE A NO-GO
Read the grant reviewers’ comments and study the scoring rubrics, or speak with a reviewer to discuss how to improve your proposal. What might you do differently next time? Where else might you submit it?
Gary A. Carnow (aka “The Grant Guru”) is the chief technology officer for the Pasadena (Calif.) Unified School District. Dr. Carnow has been responsible for gathering more than $75 million in outside funding for the public agencies he has worked with. Read the complete article at techlearning.com.