Project Year One Major Activities Timeline

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Train staff, write

Purchase and install

Screen potential

Enroll participants

Begin administering

Track participant

Evaluate one month

Review response to

Analyze results from

Adjust hours of

Administer revised

Evaluate seven month

Project Organization Chart

Judging from this brief statement, what do you think are Ford's hot buttons? Ford wants to see projects that have partners—specifically from health, education, community activism groups, and small business. If your project does not combine most of those elements, it has little chance for funding.

Let's look at another example from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation under its Youth and Higher Education funding category.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has a long history of supporting the education and development of young people. From 2001 through 2008, key Youth and Education programs will focus on improving learning for young people—especially those most vulnerable to poor achievement—so children can enter school ready to learn, more adolescents are able to achieve, and young adults are prepared for meaningful work or further education.

The Kellogg Foundation will employ a number of approaches in addressing this theme. One major approach will develop a more seamless educational pipeline, especially engaging post-secondary education institutions with communities to achieve mutually beneficial goals. Other programs will support partnerships among families, communities, and institutions — including schools and state agencies—so that they will work together for children.

What would you have to have in your project to attract Kellogg as a funder? First, your postsecondary institution would have to show that it has heavily involved the community in designing and supporting its programs. Second, your institution should involved families of at-risk children, community partnerships and other institutions including K-12 schools and state agencies, all partnering in some way to support the most vulnerable children in the community. Without partnerships, your project would have little chance of funding.

We will look at one more example. This is from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation under its funding category Pathways Out of Poverty.

When Charles Stewart Mott established the Foundation that bears his name, it was with the belief that:

• an individual's well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of the community;

• individuals are essentially in an informal partnership with their community; and

• by working together, individuals can make a difference in our society and our world.

Those beliefs are perhaps no more readily apparent than in our grant-making to address poverty in the United States. We have consistently supported efforts to help ordinary citizens come together to strengthen their communities, grow through their participation in educational opportunities and attain economic self-sufficiency by engaging more fully in our economy.

Increasingly, we have come to see community organizing, education, and economic opportunity as critical to moving low-income Americans toward greater prosperity. In fact, those three areas have become the pillars for the Foundation's grantmaking plan for addressing poverty in the United States.

A project that brings people in poverty together to impact supports services, with the support of community organizations, would be an attractive project to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. One would not have to combine community organizing, education, and economic opportunity, all three, in a project to be successful, but one will have to, at least, center the project on one of the three.

Before you develop a proposal, follow these three steps:

1. Develop a good project profile (remember a project solves a problem).

2. Find funders that, on the surface, look like they have the same interest in solving the problem that interests you.

3. Research those funders thoroughly to insure you have a match.

Meet Any Special Considerations Listed

Some funders have special considerations for grant projects. These considerations can be that grantees serve people that are in poverty, that projects come from certain states or regions of the country, are limited to special organizations, are limited to parts of the country having a special designation, and are limited to certain types of partnerships. You do not want to go to the trouble of writing and submitting a proposal if you do not meet all of the requirements.

Let's look at a few examples. First, from the U.S. Department of Education.

CFDA#: 84.359A and 84.359B

Program Name: Early Reading First Program

Closing Date: July 15, 2002 (preapplication); October 11, 2002 (application)

Program Description: The purpose of the Early Reading First Program is to create preschool centers of excellence by improving the instruction and classroom environment of early childhood programs that are located in urban or rural high-poverty communities and that serve primarily children from low-income families.

Your school would have to serve primarily children from low-income families to fit this funder.

The next example is from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Drug Courts

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub.L. 103-322, § 50001, [42 U.S.C. § 3796ii]

States (including Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia), state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments may apply for funding. Preference will be given to jurisdictions that are also Empowerment Zones or Economic Communities.

Your organization should be in an Empowerment Zone or have an Economic Communities designation to have a good chance for funding.

The third example is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Department of Health and Human Services

Administration on Aging

Program Announcement No. AoA-02-09

Agency: Administration on Aging, HHS.

Action: Announcement of availability of funds and request for applications. Eligibility for grant awards and other requirements: For both competitions under this Announcement eligibility is limited to State Agencies on Aging. Grantees are required to provide a 25% non-federal match.

You need to be a state agency on aging to have a chance for funding. Moreover, if you are a state agency on aging, you will have to come up with 25% of the budget from nonfederal funds.

It is very important to read everything the funder publishes to be sure your project and your organization match the funder's preferences and requirements.

Special Budget Requests

If you have a large budget item, be sure that you connect it securely to the project in the project description. Do not let the funder simply find it in the budget and wonder how it fits. Suppose one of your requests is a lease arrangement for buses for transportation. Show how transportation is a critical part of your project in the project description.

If you have an unusual request—some budget item for which the purpose is not obvious, carefully connect it to a goal in the project description. Do not assume the reason for your budget item is intuitive. What if you have a budget item for a tent? It would be good to inform the reader that in the Pacific Northwest it rains a lot, and it is necessary for your outdoor concert series to be prepared for all eventualities.

Be Clear on Technical Issues

Some projects have a technical bent or component. It is important that you clearly explain the technicalities, so that any reader can understand what you are trying to do. You cannot assume that the readers are all going to be well-versed in your area of expertise. Sometimes it only takes one reader giving your proposal a poor score for you to lose an award. As we said before, assume ignorance, not stupidity. Illustrate your technical issue with charts or other graphics when there is space. Otherwise have a colleague in another area of expertise read your description and see if the colleague can understand it.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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