5 Tips for Government Grant Writing

Republished from www.sagewords.net:

Last week at the GPA* Annual Conference, I attended featured speaker Phil Maestri’s presentation. As Director of Risk Management Services for the US Department of Education he has a significant amount of experience evaluating grant proposals. During his presentation, he shared the top five areas his team uses in evaluating grant proposals.  I captured his tips for you here. Use them next time you submit a government grant proposal.

  1. Clear Objectives– According to Mr. Maestri, too often grant proposals fail to include a CLEAR objective.  Be sure the objective you set is easy to understand and articulate in your next proposal.
  2. Time Frame– Set a clear time frame; 2013 is not a clear time  frame.  Set and communicate clear and specific dates in your proposals.
  3. Logic Models– While logic models can be confusing to understand and even more difficult to articulate, there are a few key aspects grant makers are seeking.  As you compose your grant keep these areas in mind.
    • Define what success looks like.
    • Prove that the activities in your proposal are indeed valuable.
    • Share the expected return on investment.  Define how your proposal is going to make a difference.
  4. Will it Work– Grantors want to know if your proposal will actually work.  In your proposals, point to proven success in your own experience or even in other models.  If the proposal is innovative and existing models are not to be found, share an educated hypothesis that details risks and benefits.
  5. Measure– As with all grant proposals, it is critical to share how you plan to measure the success of the grant.  Share what measures will be used, when success will be evaluated, and how said measures will be shared.

Take-away: Maestri’s, parting advice to grant writer’s is to be clear that the grant you are applying for fulfills your nonprofits mission.  Too often he finds that organizations apply for grants outside of the breadth and scope of the nonprofit.  In those cases, even if awarded the grant may not be a true win.  Writing grants can be extremely complicated, so keep things as simple as possible, be transparent and accountable; and you are sure to find success with your next proposal.

*GPA is the Grant Professionals Association, a nonprofit membership association, builds and supports an international community of grant professionals committed to serving the greater public good by practicing the highest ethical and professional standards. GPA is THE place for grant issues. We provide professional development by way of an Annual Conference and Webinars, professional certification (GPC), Journal and E-Newsletter, local Chapters, member benefits and more! http://www.GrantProfessionals.org.

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