Grant writing can be an effective strategy in getting instructional projects off the ground and into the classroom. It can also be an art form and full-time profession. Luckily, there are proven strategies to help you in your funding pursuits. This week, we focus on ways to improve your grant writing process.
This Week's Tips
Allow Time for Planning Your Grant (Monday)
Consider that successful grant writing takes time. Prepare for the process by writing a quick summary of your objectives, including who will be involved, how the project will be implemented, and how it will be evaluated. Do some preliminary research to identify a short list of potential granting organizations.
Gain Local Support for Your Grant Project (Tuesday)
Share your summary with your administrator or curriculum coordinator. Once you have their support for the project, ask them to write a letter of support to include in your grant application. The letter should praise your abilities as a teacher, your ability to follow through with ideas, and how the project will benefit the school as a whole.
Define Project Details Before Identifying Funding Opportunities (Wednesday)
Define as many project specifics as possible once you have done your background work and obtained preliminary support for the project. By determining the audience, approach, amount needed, and evaluation methods for the project now, you will have a better chance of finding the right grant when it comes time to look. You can, of course, alter your plan to adhere to a funder's standards when neccessary.
Research Grantmaking Opportunities Carefully (Thursday)
Read the guidelines for each grant opportunity carefully. All organizations have specific rules for making grants. Unfortunately, many applicants fail to read them carefully and thus spend time writing applications that have no chance of being funded. Read guidelines through a first time to pick up a general idea of whether your project is a good fit for the opportunity. Use a second reading to record important information such as deadlines, funding amounts, and exclusions.
Use Grant Officers as Resources (Friday)
Contact the grantmaker with questions Grant officers are accustomed to hearing from applicants and are often willing to answer questions. Often they can help you fine tune your application before it is submitted. They can also be a good reseource if you are turned down. Don't be timid about asking for feedback about why the application was rejected. It may help you improve the project for the next opportunity.