STEP 4. Writing The Application
This article focuses on how to prepare the grant application. In step one, you learned how to prove on paper that your organization had the capacity to partner with the Federal government and become a vendor. In step two, you learned how to research to generate support for your grant application. In step three, we discussed how the case for support should be written to align with the Federal agency's objectives for the community. In step four, we will focus on writing the application.
Deciding where to start on the application after your organization has decided to pursue Federal grants can be a daunting task, but is manageable. Much legwork and time should have already been spent on determining that your organization has met the capacity requirements, generating support, and working on a case statement. Next, after you have downloaded the grant application on Grants.gov, you are probably staring at approximately 100 pages of "Paper Reduction Act" detailed instructions explaining how to apply for the funding your organization needs.
The first step to completing this task is to read, read, read! Reading the application (multiple times) will ensure that over the next few months, you will know the application so well that you will be able to quote the requirements and the location of the content in each section.
After reading the application comes the arduous task of digesting the process, which can be quite formidable. Fortunately, there are several methods that can be useful to break the process of completing the application into smaller, manageable steps. These steps are outlined below. Read More
STEP 3. Writing the Case Statement
A case statement is a concise document that clearly explains what goal your organization seeks to meet, how you plan to meet that goal, and what you can achieve with additional resources. According to expert fundraiser Hank Russo, the "case" is the underlying rational for fundraising. It is the urgent call for a solution to a problem. It makes the argument of why the government should support your project; and what your project will accomplish. Case statements vary in length, depth and scope according to the particular needs being addressed.
When preparing a case statement, remember to focus outward on community needs and the benefits derived rather than inward on institutional desires. A case statement should be more factual than persuasive, and be between four to ten pages. The writing should be brief and succinct with excellent, but simple grammar.
Before you begin, write down several strong, compelling reasons why the organization deserves funding and support, and use these as your key points as your write. Writing your case statement will be much easier if you have prepared the documents described in Step 1 of our series, "Obtaining Large Government Grants." The resources you will need to complete your case statement are your mission statement, goals, objectives, description of your current programs and services, the project budget and financial plan, description of the governance, staff, explanation of current facilities and service delivery, and a plan for evaluation of the programs and services. Read More
The location of the event is one of the primary aspects that can drive the budget of the event. In many ways, where the event is held can impact many other attributes to the budget. Here in Delaware, organizations have access to hundreds of possible locations up and down the state, as well as in the surrounding cities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and DC. The costs of venues in each of these locations vary significantly. As you are planning an event, here is a non-exhaustive list of five things to think about or ask when considering a venue. Read More
Once the new event opportunity has been assessed and decided on, the next series of questions to ask involve budgeting for the event. Fiscal budgeting becomes an important thing to consider and evaluate throughout the planning process. There are many facets to budgeting, including the costs of venue, promotion, and amenities. I plan on elaborating on these things in different ways, but in the meantime, here is a non-exhaustive list of five things to think about when initially considering the financial budget for an event. Read More