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Grants Made Easy: The Narrative

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Title: Grants Made Easy: The Narrative


1
  • Grants Made Easy The Narrative
  • Facilitated by
  • John Bunting
  • Office of Community Resource Development
  • Baltimore City Dept. of Social Services.

Governors Grants Office www.governor.maryland.go
v/grants.html
2
  • The SMART Strategy
  • SMART choosing your Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • S - satisfy the objective of the grantor
  • M meet the requirements of grantor
  • A amount of funding appropriate for your
    program
  • R - regulatory issues to consider
  • T timeline constraints
  • YES Go for it! No Wish for it!

3
  • HOW
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the instructions
  • In the beginning . . . and at the end

4
  • OBSERVE SECTIONS OF A NARRATIVE
  • Turn to Appendix I
  • Department of Labor
  • Employment and Training Administration
  • Workforce Investment Act
  • Preparing Youth Offenders To Enter High Growth
    and
  • High Demand Industries
  • Identify the following Key Dates Summary
    Section
  • Purpose Vision
  • Emphasis Award Information
  • Eligibility Performance Period

5
Look for key indicators revealing what the
grantor is requiring such as words and phases
like vision predominantly disproportionately
priority high-risk especially high risk facto
rs we hope well-designed improving meeting the
demands strategic effort give evidence to wha
t the grantors wants to fund. Its their money
give them what they want.
6
  • Strategic Considerations
  • Resources
  • What resources can your organization or your
    partners bring to the table?
  • Grantors like there to be some dishes available
    that they did not have to make. What about cost
    sharing, existing resources, partnerships with
    stakeholders or organizations with similar
    missions?
  • LIST THEM HERE
  • --------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------
  • ---------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------
  • ---------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------

7
Needs What about capital needs, materials, food
, fees, travel, outreach efforts, telephone and
electronic equipment, postage, and all other
things needed to make the program work?
LIST THEM HERE ----------------------------
---------- ------------------------
--------------- ------------------------------
-------- --------------------------
------------- --------------------------------
------- -----------------------------
---------- -----------------------------------
---- --------------------------------
------- ---------------------------------
----- -------------------------------
-----------
8
  • HOW
  • Telling and selling your story
  • Conveying a concept explaining an idea
  • Convincing others
  • Creating a roadmap from start to finish
  • Convincing strangers to invest in your project
  • MATCH MAKER, MATCH MAKER, MAKE ME A MATCH

9
  • EXERCISE 1 Approximately 45 minutes
  • A WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF Alexander
    Pope
  • You are a grant writing team for the Family
    League of Baltimore and you are pursuing a grant
    to serve juvenile and young adult offenders.
  • A SPOKESPERSON AND A RECORDER NEED TO BE SELECTED
    AT EACH TABLE FOR EACH EXERCISE. THESE ROLES
    WILL CHANGE WITH EACH EXERCISE.
  • RECORDER Takes notes or bullet points that will
    assist the spokesperson give an accurate report
    on the conclusions reached by the team.
  • SPOKESPERSON Gives a report on the teams
    conclusions at the end of the exercise.

10
  • EXERCISE 1 (cont.) 15 min to read answer
    questions.
  • Discuss the DOL SGA and identify the following
  • 1. Whats the problem?
  • 2. How does your agency or program fit with the
    purpose of the funding?
  • 3. What do you need to tell your story?
  • 4. Does the grant fit your project in money,
    time, and agency resources?
  • 5. What are the expected outcomes?
  • 6. Do you have the resources needed to write a
    winning proposal?
  • Spokesperson reports on conclusions. (3 minutes
    each team)

11
  • Communication Strategy
  • Research, research, and more research Know thy
    funder lest ye not be funded. Abell Foundation
    grant experience.
  • Know your audience What level of expertise will
    the grant reviewers likely have. Do not assume
    anything.
  • PREGO Spaghetti Sauce ITS IN THERE
  • Demonstrate your expertise to attain the desired
    outcome.

12
  • Communication Strategy
  • What statement of need and how you propose it
    being addressed if the project is funded
  • Where location, location, location
  • Your surroundings may be familiar to you but the
    reviewer needs a map
  • When a logical timeline projection that
    satisfies the grantor and allows organization to
    take on additional responsibilities
  • Why discussion of tasks to be performed
  • Who description of tasks that will be performed
    by staff
  • How what procedures or systems will be in place
    to determine if your goals have been met

13
  • Agency Program Announcements/Guidelines
  • Exercise 4 (20 min) Targeting the Narrative to
    the Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA)
  • Read the SGA and discuss the Prego theory and
    what the grantor expects for an award to be made.

  • Teams paraphrase what the grantor is
    requesting.
  • Each team will have 3 minutes to report to the
    group your findings.
  • Specifications and Restrictions
  • Federal OMB Circulars have been provided for your
    future reference. (Appendix IV, V, VI)
  • Circulars will be addressed in a future class.

14
  • Communication Strategy
  • What looks good reads good
  • All gray makes for a very dull day
  • White spaces add visual impact
  • Keep those hemlines consistent with the
    designers instructions
  • Professionalism shows at a glance

15
  • Communication Strategy
  • Clear Language
  • The octogenarian traversed the thoroughfare
  • What was said?
  • Use common sense approach
  • Technical language should be kept to a minimum
  • Assume your reader knows little or nothing
    about the program you are describing
  • If you can say it in a 100 words, chances are you
    can say it in 50 or less.
  • Brevity is the soul of wit

16
  • Communication Strategy
  • FONTS
  • A font is a font is a font but does not smell as
    sweet by any other name . . . or type . . . or
    size . . . or boldness . . . or slant.
  • Refer to application instructions for any
    required font size and type. (Extra Credit
    Assignment What is the required font size for
    CDFA 17.261? YELL IT OUT!)
  • A change in font size or style should be an
    indicator that something different is happening
    or something needs to be highlighted or you want
    to call attention to something. Mixing fonts is
    like mixing beer and wine there better be a good
    reason for that hangover, especially when it does
    not work.

17
  • Communication Strategy
  • Use only what is allowed. To tab or not to
    tab that is the question.
  • Never, never, never, never, never, never, never
    STAPLE
  • Sows ears do not make good purses so dont even
    try!

18
  • Communication Strategy
  • A picture is worth a thousand words
  • Less is more
  • Getting around restrictions such as section
    length or proposal length does not work
  • Be still my heart, my brain gets to shift
  • MAKE SURE YOUR GRAPHICS RELATE TO YOUR NARRATIVE
    AND THAT THEY SUPPORT YOUR NARRATIVE

19
  • Communication Strategy
  • Supplements check to see what is required and
    follow the instructions rigorously.
  • Table of Contents with accurate page numbers
  • Introduction Is it allowed? This may be your
    abstract.
  • Appendix Not the answer to your prayers.
    Provide what is required, nothing more and
    nothing less
  • What does CFDA 17.262 say about the above?
    Each team will have few minutes to determine the
    answer.

20
  • Communication Strategy
  • Heres where the rubber meets the road.
  • Internal Consistency
  • Is the voice consistent?
  • Objective case only. Are personal pronouns
    ever used? If so, dont.
  • Do the headings denote accurately what is being
    discussed?
  • Is sentence structure consistent?
  • Is there a comfortable rhythm to the document
    or are we in choppy waters?
  • Do the numbers and facts presented support each
    other?
  • Does the flow make sense and is it compatible
    with the instructions?
  • Are the sections of the narrative proportioned
    appropriately and does the narrative present the
    material with proper emphasis?
  • SPELL CHECK! SPELL CHECK! SPELL CHECK!
  • GRAMMAR CHECK! GRAMMAR CHECK!

21
  • Checks Balances
  • Backing up your words with and
    sense
  • Program description must match up to budget
    numbers
  • Budget allocations for staff must match to the
    allocation
  • What does the grant announcement say about budget
    proposals?
  • What form is to be used? Is there a budget
    narrative required?

22
  • Exercise 5 (approximately 90 min.)
  • Each team will construct a proposal to the DOL
    grant using the following headings (limit each
    section to 3-5 sentences)
  • A. Needs Statement Whats the problem?
  • B. Objectives What would fix the problem?
  • C. Activities Description What needs to be
    done?
  • D. Methodology How are you going to do it?
  • E. Schedule What is the timeline?
  • F. Staffing and Personnel Who is needed to do
    what?

23
Potential Land Mines Follow the Directions Cri
teria of Understanding Can anyone read your nar
rative and understand your proposal well enough
to explain it to someone else Too much vs. too li
ttle - Find the right balance
What does anyone funding your proposal really ne
ed to know and what information have you included
that gets in the readers way Assume ye not least
ye be denied Have an independent reviewer read
your proposal for content and understanding
not a member of your staff or anyone thoroughly
familiar with your program
24
  • Checks Balances
  • So let it be written, so let it be done
    (budgeted)
  • Rule of thumb If it costs more, devote more
    discussion to it.
  • Refer to Section III. 2 for grant for cost
    sharing instructions.
  • How does the grant allow for leveraging costs
    and is there an advantage for doing so?
  • Clarity and Brevity
  • What did I just say?
  • Could I be any clearer?
  • Can I express it more succinctly?
  • Try it out in Topeka before bringing it to New
    York

25
  • Other Issues
  • Have you packaged the document properly?
  • Are the required copies being sent?
  • Will the grantor accept the delivery system
    being used?
  • Will the package reach the destination on
    time?
  • How can I verify when I sent the package?
  • Refer to page 21115 of the grant announcement.
    What forms, narrative, content, page
    requirements, timetables, and other submission
    requirements are outlined in the announcement?

26
  • Checks Balances
  • Who should critique the draft?
  • Someone who did not write it.
  • Possible reviewers Program manager, staff not on
    the grant team, a friend or neighbor with a good
    command of English, a colleague down the hall who
    has not been involved in the grant writing
    process, someone you trust to be objective,
    truthful, and critical.

27
  • Communication Strategy
  • Checks Balances
  • Allow time to make corrections or adjustment.
  • Be sure your narrative ties to the budget!
  • If you seek advice, take advantage of what is
    learned to make your proposal stronger and more
    likely to be funded.
  • Avoid word-smithing.
  • Dont take it personally. There is no room for
    egos, temperament, or thin skin in this
    universe.
  • Remember what was good can be better and you
    can make your better best.
  • Finally, relax. When it is done, it is done

28
  • and so are we!
  • Wrap up
  • Questions
  • Comments
  • Observations
  • Therapy
  • Please take time to complete the course
    evaluation before you leave.
  • THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION
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