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Leading Proposal Development and Understanding Grants Management. CCNCCE 2012 National Conference. Welcome! . Catherine Crary, M.Ed. Coordinator, Grants Office of the President Rio Salado College Joseph Swaba, Ed.D . Associate Director Grants Development and Management

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leading proposal development and understanding grants management

Leading Proposal Development and Understanding Grants Management


2012 National Conference

  • Catherine Crary, M.Ed.

Coordinator, Grants

Office of the President

Rio Salado College

  • Joseph Swaba, Ed.D.

Associate Director

Grants Development and Management

Maricopa Community Colleges

pre conference session
Pre Conference Session

Identify the elements that comprise a typical grant proposal,

Develop or strengthen the skills necessary to prepare a typical grant proposal,

Understand the funding sources and types of proposals that fund service learning and civic engagement, and

Recognize the basics of grants management and compliance.

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Describe the common elements of a grant proposal.
  • Locate key details in a request for proposals (RFP).
  • Understand service learning can be integrated in many proposals through collaboration.
  • Ability to use concept generator tools to develop a proposal idea.
  • Write an effective goal statement and two grant objectives.
  • Understand the basics for effective grants management.
proposal development step by step
Proposal Development:Step by Step
  • Step One: Determine a need and a solution
  • Step Two: Locate a funding source
  • Step Three: Plan a proposal
  • Step Four: Write a proposal
  • Step Five: Review and submit proposal
a proposal is a document developed in accordance with application instructions that
A PROPOSALis a document developed in accordance with application instructions that:
  • Describes a problem or need
  • Offers a solution (usually as a project)
  • Requests funding to implement the project
proposals come in all sizes
PROPOSALScome in all sizes

small, simple


common elements of a proposal
Common Elements of a PROPOSAL
  • Cover Sheet/Signature Page and Forms
  • Table of Contents
  • Abstract or Summary
  • Narrative*
  • Budget
  • Appendices
  • Introduction
  • Problem Statement/Needs Assessment
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Operational Plan
  • Institutional Commitment
  • Key Personnel
  • Evaluation
  • Other: Program Specific
  • Budget Summary


  • Annual Budget
  • Budget Narrative

May include:

  • Letters of commitment
  • Resumes or bios
  • Management plan
  • Sample curriculum
  • Maps
step one
Step One:

Determine a need and a solution

step one determine a need and a solution
Step One: Determine a need and a solution
  • Proposals which are based on a need are much more competitive.
  • If you have many needs – prioritize them.
  • Proposals must have a solution or proposed outcome.
integrated postsecondary education data system ipeds
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)


The primary source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary institutions in the United States.

retention rates for first time students
Retention Rates for First-Time Students

Maricopa cc 2

Maricopa cc 1

Percentage of Students Who Began Their Studies in Fall 2008 and Returned Fall 2009

community college survey of student engagement ccsse
Community College Survey of Student Engagement (ccSSE)


The Community College Student Report, provides information on student engagement, a key indicator of learning and, therefore, of the quality of community colleges.

noel levitz student satisfaction inventory
Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory


The SSI is a tool to improve the quality of student life and learning. It measures student satisfaction and priorities, showing how satisfied students are as well as what issues are important to them.

national community college benchmark project nccbp
National Community College Benchmark Project (NccBP)


Provides community colleges with opportunities to report outcome and effectiveness data in critical performance areas, receive reports of benchmarks, and compare results with those of other colleges.

institutional research
Institutional Research


  • Provides timely, relevant and critical information to decision makers in support of MccCD'sVision, Mission and Values, and Strategic Directions.
  • Institutional effectiveness monitoring
  • Strategic planning process
  • State and federal reporting
  • Maintenance of longitudinal research
  • data warehouse and analysis systems
potential data sources
Potential Data Sources
  • Institutional Data
  • Local/State/National Data
  • Surveys and Interviews
  • Research Reports
  • Anecdotal Evidence
  • Trends and Projections
concept generator activity
Concept Generator Activity

Now you have the data, let’s generate the concept…

step two
Step Two:

Locate a funding source

step two find a funding source and the opportunity
Step Two: find a funding source and the opportunity
  • Review funding opportunities available based within your discipline.
  • Talk with colleagues who receive grant funding.
  • Sign up for to receive press release lists, funding opportunities and announcements.
  • Think outside the box … what agencies relate to your need?
  • Talk to a manager or owner about your idea
  • Look around in the neighborhood…local funders
step two find a funding source and the opportunity1
Step Two: find a funding source and the opportunity
  • Once you find the opportunity – read the RFP
  • Determine:
    • What is the purpose or rationale for the funding?
    • Can you apply for this funding? Are you eligible?
    • When is the proposal due?
    • What are the narrative guidelines?
    • How do you submit an application?
    • How much money can you apply for?
    • What are the allowable costs?
    • What are the matching requirements?
    • How will the proposal be reviewed?
  • Is it a match? Then proceed!
think broad
Think Broad….
  • Think beyond a focused service learning grant
  • Collaborate with colleagues
  • Integrate service learning into a component of a larger grant

Title III or Title V

U.S. Department of Education

Promise Neighborhoods

U.S. Department of Education

Youth Service America: MLK Day Lead Organizer Grants

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) - Youth Service America (YSA)

Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

National Science Foundation

Advanced Technological Education

National Science Foundation

Serving Young Adult Ex-Offenders through Training and Service-Learning

U.S. Department of Labor

the application is called
The Application is called…
  • SGA: Solicitation for Grant Application
  • RFP: Request for Proposals
  • RFA: Request for Assistance
  • NOFA: Notice of Funding Availability
the application what to look for
The Application: What to Look for…
  • Purpose or rationale for the funding
  • Eligibility
  • Basic directions for laying out and submitting the proposal
  • Directions for writing the proposal narrative
  • Allowable costs and matching requirements
  • Due date
  • Review Criteria

TheApplication: What to Look for…

So the funding source puts all that important stuff together up front where you can easily find it, right?Nope!!!!

Tip: Use highlighters and

sticky notes to mark the important

information in the RFP so you

can find it again quickly.

rfp activity
RFP Activity

Locating key details on an RFP


TheApplication: Finding the Answers

  • 1. Who is the funding source?
  • Department of Education
  • Fund for the Improvement of
  • Community Colleges
  • CFDA #87.654B
  • 2. What is the purpose of funding?
  • To supports innovative grants and
  • cooperative agreements to improve
  • postsecondary education at the
  • community college level. It supports
  • reforms, innovations, and significant
  • improvements of postsecondary
  • education.
  • Pay close attention to invitational priorities



TheApplication: Finding the Answers

  • 3. How much money can you apply for?
  • Eligible up to $150,000
  • Average award is $100,000
  • 4. When is the proposal due?
  • June 29, 2012
  • No Preliminary proposal or
  • Letter of Intent (LOI)
  • 5. Who is eligible to apply?
  • Institutions of Higher Education,
  • public and private nonprofits, or
  • combinations
  • 6. Is a match required?
  • No. More information will be
  • available in the discussion of
  • budgets.



TheApplication: Finding the Answers

  • 7. What are the formatting requirements?
  • 25 pages double-spaced (except titles,
  • headings, footnotes, quotations,
  • references and captions, charts, tables,
  • figures, and graphs may be single-
  • spaced)
  • Page limit does applies only to narrative,
  • does not include required forms
  • Page is 8.5” X 11” with 1” margins
  • Font that is 12 point or larger or no
  • smaller than 10 pitch (characters per
  • inch); use only Times New Roman,
  • Courier, Courier New, or Arial.
  • 8. Is electronic submission required?
  • Yes, via Grants.gov
  • No later than 4:30 p.m.
  • Washington, D.C. time



TheApplication: Finding the Answers

  • 9. What are the narrative guidelines?
  • Follow the selection criteria listed
  • under Section V. Applicant Review
  • Information
  • 10. What sections are the most weighted?
  • Plan of Operation (30 points)
  • Need for Project (20 points)


bonus information rfp math
Bonus Information: RFP Math

Application Review Information

  • 100 point criteria for application review
  • 25 pages double-spaced narrative
  • Equates to .25 double-space pages per point (25/100)
  • Example:
    • The Need Section = 20 Points

25 x 0.20 = 5 pages

    • First Subsection = 8 points

25 x 0.08 = 2 pages

i have the rfp now what
I have the RFP…Now What?
  • Summaries
  • Checklists
  • Writing outlines
    • Guidelines
    • Reviewer feedback
    • Anecdotal
    • Training
step three
Step Three:

Plan a Proposal

step three plan a proposal
Step Three: Plan a Proposal
  • Start early!! Many months before the deadline. Two weeks before it is due is too late!!
  • When planning your proposal, be sure to keep the agency’s guidelines in mind.
  • Create a writing outline and/or checklist
  • Invite the main partners together to plan.
  • Decide on the main components: who, what, when, where and why.
step three plan a proposal1
Step Three: Plan a Proposal
  • Look at the budget early
  • Review the prior awards – if your project is similar, speak with the PI. [Look at press release, abstracts, possible proposal]
  • Email or call a program officer to discuss your idea with them.
step three plan a proposal2
Step Three: Plan a Proposal

Proposal Formula 2/3 Planning

+ 1/3 Writing

Competitive Application

Grant Writing = Strategic Planning

step four
Step Four:

Develop a Proposal

step four develop a proposal
Step Four: Develop a proposal

Typical proposal components:

  • Cover Sheet/Signature Page
  • Abstract/Summary
  • Description/Narrative
  • References
  • Budget
  • Appendices
cover sheet
Cover Sheet
  • Federal agencies use the SF-424

Abstract/Project Summary

  • The abstract is typically the LAST thing to be written since it typically offers an overview of the proposal from need to outcomes.
  • Most of the time, the information to be included in the abstract is very clearly defined in the solicitation.
  • Abstract formatting is often different from the narrative.
  • Introduction
  • Need (Problem Statement)
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Operational Plan
  • Institutional Commitment
  • Key Personnel
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination
  • Sustainability
refer to your concept generator
Refer to your Concept Generator

Concept Generator

Concept Generator Tool

  • Briefly introduces the applicant to the reviewers. (As appropriate for the application.)
needs statement
Needs Statement

Documents and quantifies the problems…

…but does not include the solution.

need statement strengths
Need Statement — Strengths
  • Programs and Practices
  • Capacity and Infrastructure
  • Successes and Innovation
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Industry Support

What sets your college apart from others?

Standing out in a positive way can enhance success!

need statement strengths1
Need Statement — Strengths
  • Department of Education: Capacity
  • National Science Foundation: Synergy
  • Department of Labor: Strategic Partnerships

Funders value being able to harness the energy of successful programs and practices.

Make the connection between their goals and your proposal.

need statement weaknesses
Need Statement — Weaknesses
  • Where can we improve?
  • What does data suggest about enrollment, persistence, graduation, and transfer?
  • Do our students face any particular barriers to success that we can address through programs, activities, capacity, or services?

In a grant application, an institution’s needs must be data driven.

The closer data is to your college or community, the more compelling it will be!

building a compelling case
Building a Compelling Case
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Strategic Priorities
  • Environmental Factors
  • Current Research
  • Data—Data—Data

The Problem drives the proposal development process.

goals and objectives
Goals and Objectives

Provides the project direction…

…and the project benchmarks.

goal s
  • Concise statement(s) of the project purpose
  • Should match what the source wants to fund
objective s
  • Specific, measurable, outcomes to be achieved by the project
  • Information included in the need section will help to determine if your goal is ambitious yet attainable
smart objectives
SMART Objectives
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Aggressive
  • Realistic
  • Time bound
  • ?as measured by what
goal and objectives activity
Goal and Objectives Activity

Use your proposal idea to craft a goal statement and two objectives

sample goal and objectives
Objective: At least 85% of participants will meet the requirements for becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) after their first semester in the Program as measured by successful completion of licensing examination. SampleGoal and Objectives

Goal: To increase the number of bilingual (English/Spanish)

Registered Nurses

Department of Health and Human Services

Nursing Workforce Diversity

sample goal and objectives1
Objective: 74 % of all participants served by the SSS project will persist from one academic year to the beginning of the next academic year or graduate and/or transfer from a 2-year to a 4-year institution during the academic year as measured by institutional records.SampleGoal and Objectives

Goal: To increase the number of first generation, low-income,

and/or students with disabilities who succeed in

postsecondary education.

U.S. Department of Education

TRIO: Student Support Services

operational plan
Operational Plan

The plan of activities to be implemented to

achieve the goals and objectives.

operational plan1
Operational Plan
  • Gives rationale for selection of activities
  • Describes target population and recruitment processes
  • Describes sequence of activities
operational plan2
Operational Plan
  • Describes staffing and administration of program
  • May include flow charts or graphics showing program model
  • May include a timeline of who, what, and when
institutional commitment
Institutional Commitment
  • Administration, faculty, staff engagement
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Policies and Practices
  • Alignment with mission, goals, strategic plan
key personnel
Key Personnel
  • Includes descriptions of key personnel and describes their qualifications and duties
  • May request you include resumes for key positions and job descriptions in the appendices
key personnel1
Key Personnel

Generally includes an organizational chart showing

reporting lines of all program staff (may need to create

new one for purposes of the grant)

key personnel2
Key Personnel

May include a recruitment/hiring plan and desired


  • Comprehensive plan for determining the degree to which objectives are met
    • Includes success indicators
    • Describes how data will be collected and analyzed
    • Explains any testing instruments, surveys or questionnaires to be used
    • Describes evaluation reports to be produced annually and at the end of the project period
  • A typical evaluation is qualitative and quantitative, summative and formative.
  • Usually done externally, but can be completed internally Can be done internally or externally.
  • Description of activities that will occur to share the results of your project with a broad audience.
  • Description of the proposal elements which will remain after grant funds end.
  • Funder agencies don’t expect your grant to be retained at the level it was funded, but they expect elements/ components to remain.

Identify and describe 4 strategies to sustain a program.

  • Clearly delineate allowable costs to be paid by grant funds
  • Is detailed in all aspects, showing clearly how amounts were calculated
  • Contains no unexplained amounts for contingency or miscellaneous expenses
  • Is reasonable and sufficient to perform the tasks outlined in the Operational Plan
budget categories
Budget Categories
  • Personnel
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Travel
  • Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Contractual
  • Construction
  • Other
  • Indirect Costs
budget what do i include
Clearly define allowable costs to be paid by the grant and costs to be provided by your institution or other sources

Be detailed and show clearly how amounts are calculated

Detail salaries and benefits separately

Identify all consultants

Allowable indirect costs

Make sure it is reasonable and sufficient to perform the tasks outlined in narrative

Budget - What Do I Include?
budget the 3 r s
Budget - The 3 “R”s

Read the guidelines and pay close attention to allowable expenses

Review the proposal and budget to make sure they match

Remember - budget needs to support objectives!

institutional review board
Institutional Review Board
  • History
  • Background
  • Requirement
  • Process
  • DHHS or CITI Training
step five
Step Five :

Review and Submit Proposal

step five review and submit
Step Five: review and submit
  • Have others review the proposal.
    • Two individuals review the proposal: one familiar with the topic as well as someone who is not familiar with the topic.
  • Ask questions after the review: What will the proposal do? Why is this important to fund? What will the outcomes be? How will you determine it a success?
step five review and submit1
Step Five: review and submit
  • Make sure it is not a poorly planned proposal with circular reasoning.
  • Example:
    • A Community College needs a science lab
      • Need: a science lab
      • Objective: to create a science lab
      • Method: to build a science lab
      • Evaluation: was the science lab built?
  • Spell cheek does not cache ill errors.
  • Start early…revise often.
  • Use the same titles/headings as the funding agency.
  • Try to get an example of a funded proposal.
  • Try to have two people read your final draft: One who is familiar to the project and one who is not.
helpful hint 1
Helpful Hint #1

Always read and follow the instructions!!!

helpful hint 2
Helpful Hint #2

Make sure that your goal and proposed project coincide with what the funding source wants.

helpful hint 3
Helpful Hint #3

Always have a plan “a,” a plan “b,” and a plan “c.”

If something can go wrong it will.

Such as:

  • Budget doesn’t add up, exceeds

the maximum, and/or doesn’t

agree with the narrative.

  • Proposal requires letters of

commitment – you don’t have any.

  • Technical difficulties with grants.gov
helpful hint 4
Helpful Hint #4

Check and recheck the deadline information carefully.

If it is submitted electronically, does it have to be submitted 5pm EST or MST?

Electronic Submissions: Agencies suggest submitting 48-72 hours before deadline.

helpful hint 5
Helpful Hint #5

Do not miss the deadline. If you are one minute late the proposal will not be reviewed and will be deemed ineligible.

Funding agencies are not sympathetic to problems occurring during submission.

helpful hint 6
Helpful Hint #6
  • If the proposal is not funded on the first try, get reviewer comments, speak with a program officer, revise, and resubmit for the next competition.
  • Your chances of getting funded are usually improved on the second try, after implementing the suggestions from the program officers.
helpful hint 7
Helpful Hint #7

Think like a reviewer.

  • Is there a need?
  • Does the project propose a good idea?
  • Who and how many people will the project impact?
  • Does the college have resources and capability to complete the project?
  • Is the budget appropriate?
  • Does the project have a solid evaluation plan?

Remember – the evaluator may be asking these questions after reading for 8 hours.

helpful hint 8
Helpful Hint #8
  • Be creative first…critique later
budget tips
Budget Tips

Begin budget process early in the proposal development stage

Don’t exceed maximum allowed budget

Be realistic when determining what it costs to perform objectives

Read through the narrative and make sure all costs are included in the budget.

budget tips1
Budget Tips

Follow all agency guidelines

Be sure costs are realistic and best estimates or quotes

Remember…budgets are for future spending periods, make sure to account for inflation

Do not include any unexplained amounts

(e.g. miscellaneous supplies)

grants management and compliance
Grants Management and Compliance

Your grant was funded…now what?


Read and understand all guidelines and regulations (pre and post award)

  • Know what are allowable and non-allowable costs
  • Keep all of your records
  • Grant management begins PRIOR to applying for a grant
  • Follow all internal guidelines/procedures
  • Being realistic of what it takes to manage grant (small, large, HUGE, and individual vs. consortia)

Grants Management — The Basics


Proper college procedures for seeking funding should be followed, whether for public or private funding.

    • These include:
      • Submission of Pre-approval forms
      • Submission of Required forms by funder
      • Appropriate signatures for applying and accepting awards
      • Memorandums of Understanding and/or Letters of Commitment

Grants Management — The Basics


Create a quick reference guide with:

    • Award details (dates, amounts, contact information)
    • Grants terms and conditions
    • Project Director information or Key Personnel
    • Reporting requirements
    • Record keeping requirements
    • Recognizing the funding source
    • Scholarship criteria
    • Institutional Research Board
    • Prior Approval
    • Other

Grants Management — The Basics

grant application and award
Grant Application and Award
  • The grant award is based on the proposed application—if not it needs to be re-negotiated and new outcomes and budget need to be updated, prior to acceptance of award. Otherwise, funder will expect original outcomes for a lesser amount of award.
grants management
Grants Management
  • All parties (internal and external) involved in grant need to receive training on objectives and outcomes for the proposal; timelines and programmatic and budget reporting process.
  • All parties involved in grant are qualified to participate in grant including passing necessary clearances (epls.gov, fingerprinting, background checks, etc.)
  • It is important to develop a strong and open relationship with program officer from funding source
what gets pis and pds in trouble
What gets PIs and PDs in Trouble?
  • Not meeting programmatic and fiscal reporting deadlines…
  • Not meeting goals, objectives, and outcomes…
  • Not adhering to IRB rules…
  • Replacing principal investigator without pre-approval by funder
  • Not keeping up with changes in the regulations
what gets pis and pds in trouble1
What gets PIs and PDs in Trouble?
  • Over spending budget
  • Under spending budget
  • Matching grant with unallowable funds
  • Supplanting and co-mingling funds
  • Embezzlement
possible consequences
Possible Consequences…
  • Suspended from doing business with funder
  • Debarred from doing business from funder
  • Repayment of Grant Funds
  • Go to PRISON
review of pre conference session
Review of Pre Conference Session

Identify the elements that comprise a typical grant proposal,

Develop or strengthen the skills necessary to prepare a typical grant proposal,

Understand the funding sources and types of proposals that fund service learning and civic engagement, and

Recognize the basics of grants management and compliance.

review of learning objectives
Review of Learning Objectives
  • Describe the common elements of a grant proposal.
  • Locate key details in a request for proposals (RFP).
  • Understand service learning can be integrated in

many proposals through collaboration.

  • Ability to use concept generator tools to develop a

proposal idea.

  • Write an effective goal statement and two grant


  • Understand the basics for effective grants


wrap up
  • Now you have the tools to lead proposal development and can have meaningful conversation's about grants management.
next steps
Next Steps…
  • Sign up for grant announcements
  • Complete the Concept Generator
  • Explore funding opportunities
  • Touch base with your college grants department
  • Sign up to review grant proposals with the federal agencies
contact information
Contact Information

Catherine Crary, M.Ed.

Joseph Swaba, Ed.D.

Coordinator, Grants

Office of the President

Rio Salado College



Associate Director

Grants Development & Management

Maricopa Community Colleges