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GRANT WRITING. Patricia F. Edmiston , Ph.D., NBCT. What is a Grant?. A Grant is a conditional gift or a conveyance of funds with strings attached. The funding source identifies a benefit it is willing to provide to achieve a particular goal. What keeps us from writing a grant.

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Grant writing


Patricia F. Edmiston, Ph.D., NBCT

What is a grant
What is a Grant?

  • A Grant is a conditional gift or a conveyance of funds with strings attached.

  • The funding source identifies a benefit it is willing to provide to achieve a particular goal.

What keeps us from writing a grant
What keeps us from writing a grant

  • Not enough time

    • Reality – some grants are very short. Start small and work your way up to the larger grants

  • Fear of rejection

    • Reality – not writing the grant means you are automatically rejected

The grant process is never wasted
The grant process is never wasted

  • Can’t get a grant unless you write one

  • Professionally fulfilling

  • Requires you to focus your thoughts

  • Prompts you to look for other sources of funding.

Qualities of effective grant writing
Qualities of Effective Grant Writing

  • Quality of the idea and its appeal to the funding source

  • The ability to communicate clearly and concisely

Keys to success
Keys to Success

  • Innovation and Creativity is important

    • Looking for new solutions to old problems

    • How do you create creativity?

  • Demonstrating a need is important

    • Explain why this need is important

    • What is it you are trying to fix?

Types of funding
Types of Funding

  • Grant - Assistance

    • purpose is to transfer money, property, services, or anything of value to recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose

    • No substantial involvement is anticipated between the sponsor and the recipient

  • Cooperative Agreement - Assistance

    • substantial involvement between sponsor and recipient

Who gives money away
Who Gives Money Away?

National Organizations

State and Local Organizations

  • National Endowment for the Humanities

  • National Science Foundation

  • NEA Foundation

  • NASA

  • NCTM

  • NSTA

  • QSM

  • LATM

  • LSTA

  • LCTE

  • FFA

  • PTSA

Who gives money away1
Who Gives Money Away?


  • Washington-St. Tammany Electric

  • AT & T Foundation

  • Toyota

  • Kellogg Foundation

  • AOL Time Warner

Private Foundations

  • Kelly Cook Foundation

  • Brown Foundation

  • Andrew Mellon Foundation

  • Gates Foundation

Finding a funding source
Finding a Funding Source

In addition to the organizations mentioned previously I have found these websites helpful to finding grant funding.

  • Teacher Tap

  • Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators

  • Grants Alert

The process
The Process

  • Develop the budget from your detailed plan

  • Read the Guidelines again with narrative in mind.

  • Write the grant!

  • A good idea!

  • Read the Guidelines

  • Be specific about what you need/want and why you want/need it

  • Match the idea to the guidelines

  • Plan in detail


  • An idea is something that only

    exists in your mind.

  • Your task is to present the

    idea in a fundable proposal.

  • Take a vague idea and identify

    a specific problem or need associated

    with it.

Focused freewrite
Focused Freewrite

  • Quickly write down:

    • What is it you want?

    • What goal are you trying to accomplish?

    • How will obtaining what you want help you accomplish that goal?

    • How much will it cost?

    • Where will you get the items from?

    • How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the grant in accomplishing your goal?

Questions to ask things to know
Questions to Ask, Things to Know

  • What gaps exist in the knowledge base?

  • What does the literature say about the significance of the problem, at a local, state, regional, national level?

  • Is there evidence that this project will be fundable in the future.

  • What previous work has been done to meet this need? Was it effective?

  • What will be the impact of this study?

  • What significant needs are you trying to meet?

  • What is the current status of the needs?

  • Will this project help meet the need?

  • What really needs to be done?

  • What services will be delivered? To whom? By whom?

  • Is it possible to make some impact on the problem?

You have to play by the rules
You have to Play by the Rules

  • GET the guidelines

  • READ the guidelines

  • FOLLOW the guidelines

Following the guidelines
Following the Guidelines

  • You must follow the guidelines exactly.

  • Respond to all sections.

  • Adhere to any format restrictions.

  • Topics must be covered in order presented in guidelines.

  • Use headings that correspond to the guidelines.

The goal
The Goal

  • Both the goals and objectives should flow logically from the statement of need.

  • Goals convey the ultimate intent of the proposed project, the overarching philosophy, A CONCISE STATEMENT OF THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT.

  • The opening statement of this section should begin with “the goal of this project is to…”

The task you face
The Task You Face

  • Critically important, and often poorly written

  • Convince the funding source that you understand the need and can help them solve the problem

    • Prove the need – This is the “Why”

    • Demonstrate that the problem is an important problem to be solved or need addressed.

    • Explain how your project will address the problem and what gaps will it fill.


  • Objectives discuss who is going to do what, when they will do it, and how it will be measured.

  • Discuss desired end results of the project.

  • They are action oriented and often begin with a verb.

  • Arrange them in priority order.

Goal or objective
Goal or objective?

  • Helping students to understand the real world applications of quadratic equations. (goal).


  • “Students (who) will complete a project involving the launching of straw rockets (what)after studying quadratics in December (when)and will present their findings on the relationship between trajectory angle and distance and height values. (how it is measured).”

Ending a needs statement
Ending a Needs Statement

  • Emphasize the significance of the project

    • what will be the result

    • what impact will it have

    • will the impact continue

  • Always address the priorities of the funding agency

  • Forecast the usefulness and importance of the results

A readable style
A Readable Style

  • Scannability

  • Make sure that all pages are not just solid text

  • Use bulleted items

  • Use headings and subheadings, bold and underline, no italics

  • Look at each introductory sentence of a paragraph, it is the most important part, it is all they may read

  • Put sentences in logical sequence and use action words

  • Use type faces with serifs, like Times, they are easier to read

The budget

The Budget

Do the Math!

How much will this cost
How much will this cost?

  • Provide a list of all items that will be needed to accomplish the goal and objectives of the grant.

  • Items should be divided into two sections those you already have available and those you still need to obtain.

  • If the grant does not cover all of your funding describe how you will make up the shortfall.

The title
The Title

  • The title is important

  • It should covey what the project is about

  • While it should be interesting do not make it too “cutesy”

  • It is often used to assign review groups



Formative evaluation of objectives - how the project will be evaluated as it progresses

Summative evaluation of objectives - how the project will be evaluated when it is finished

D one what do i do now
Done! What do I do now?

  • After you have finished your draft:

    • set it aside for a day

Top 10 reasons why proposals fail
Top 10 Reasons Why Proposals Fail

  • Unrealistic budget

  • Cost greater than benefit it provides

  • Poorly written

  • Not complete

  • Evaluation not concise

  • Deadline not met

  • Guidelines not followed

  • Nothing intriguing

  • Unrealistic goal and/or objectives

  • Did not meet priorities of funding group


  • Have someone else read it

  • Have them tell you what your project is about and any areas of confusion

  • Edit for clarity and conciseness double check the 10 top list

  • No jargon

  • No first person

Grant acceptance
Grant acceptance

  • While not every grant will be accepted the more grants you write the more likely you will receive one.

  • Once you receive a grant the likelihood that you will receive another increases.

  • If accepted write a letter of thanks expressing how excited you are to receive the grant and then again at the conclusion (evaluation) of the grant expressing how well the grant aided in accomplishing your goals and objectives.