These ideas and tips are examples taken from the Course...

What Makes a Grant Proposal Good?
Every successful grant proposal has three elements:
1.A good narrative...where the demographics of the target population are described.
2.A problem...where a demonstrated need is identified for the target population.
3.A well-developed solution...that can be brought about by the applicant receiving the grant.

The Confused Mind Always Says, 'No'.
Make sure your proposal is free of vague language and rambling statements. Successful grant proposals are measurable, concrete and well-developed.

If you Missed a Meeting and Got Elected Grant Writer...
Assemble a good team. You are about to promote a solution to an existing problem in your community, so get some key people involved...parents, teachers, business leaders, politicians, students. This group can help you refine ideas, share resources and develop a solution that reflects the whole community through your grant proposal.

"We don't give a hoot about rules here... We're trying to accomplish something."
--Thomas Edison

It worked wonderfully for Edison, but don't try it here. When you receive the Request for Proposal (RFP)... Read it, then read it again. And again. Experienced grant writers know that several readings are necessary for a complete understanding of what is required. A helpful hint....Proposals are screened by tossing out every one that doesn't follow the required format. If yours doesn't, you've wasted a lot of time...and a good opportunity.

"A Grant is a Goal with a Deadline."
Every grant runs only for a specified time. While your project may be ongoing and not necessarily completed within this time frame, the goals you set must be attainable within the time given by the grant provider.

"Nothing is Ever What it Seems to be."
Most fire departments believe "matching funds" means cash only. That's incorrect. Volunteer labor, in-kind contributions and earned income are three examples often accepted to meet matching funds requirements. These are generally termed "soft matches." Examples of hard matches include cash donations, contributions and money from your own budget.

"If you have something difficult to do, don't expect people to roll stones out of your way." --Dr. Albert Schweitzer
Do your homework. Read the annual report of the corporation or foundation where you are applying. Grasp their philosophy and observe their pattern of awarding grants. Look for specific ways your project advances their mission, and then point these out in your proposal. Ninety percent of your competition won't take time to do this, and you'll have a real advantage.

"Everybody Deserves a Fresh Start." --Bugsy Siegel
Turn failure into success. Resubmit a grant proposal that wasn't approved the first time. Strengthen your proposal's weaker points and then try again. Consider these primary reasons grants are declined...

1."Your fire department's proposals don't match our priorities."
2."Your department isn't located in the geographic area we fund."
3."Your proposal didn't follow the format we require."
4. "Your proposal is vague. It's hard for us to clearly understand what you're trying to propose."
5."The grant you're proposing is not within our funding range."
6."We haven't worked with your fire department before. There's no track record to go by."
7. "Your proposal doesn't seem urgent. Right now, we've got others that will have a bigger impact."
8."The objectives and plan of action for your project appear to exceed your budget and time estimate."
9."We've allocated all the money for this grant cycle."
10."There isn't enough evidence that you'll be able to sustain the project after the grant is completed."

Pennies Make Dollars and Dollars Make the Difference
Always add a clause to your proposal which allows you to move funds from one line-item to another without increasing the overall budget of the proposal. Why? Your proposal's budget is based on estimated costs which can change. This clause gives you flexibility to help stay within your project's overall budget.

Did you write Grandma to thank her?
Well, did you? Unbelievably, many grant recipients forget to thank the funding agency. Be sure you send a personal letter to the head of the funding agency. Copy all of the people there who were involved with the grant selection. Make this simple gesture and you'll be welcomed back.

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