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Grant Writing. Dr. Linda Mason Coordinator for Grant Writing And External Funding Assistance Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 405-225-9486 The idea….

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grant writing

Grant Writing

Dr. Linda Mason

Coordinator for Grant Writing

And External Funding Assistance

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education


the idea
The idea…
  • “Imagining something may be the first step in making it happen, but it takes the real time and real efforts of real people to learn things, to make things, turn thoughts into deeds or visions into inventions.”
    • Fred “Mister” Rogers in The World According to Mister Rogers: Important things to Remember
what are your ideas

What are your ideas?

Money is no object!!

in grants
In grants…
  • You are writing to persuade people who have money to spend their money on your idea
  • You must sell your idea to the people who have the money
  • Know what they want, what they expect, what they want
  • How can your project make the funder’s agenda look good?
writing holds people back
Writing (holds people back)…
  • If you can think, you can write
  • Whatever you can imagine, you can create
  • If you can’t write it, it hasn’t been thought out well yet
  • Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style”
  • Websites available on writing, on writing grants in particular
system level projects
System level projects
  • Link your project to a work plan
  • Your idea must make sense within our agency’s or system’s priorities
  • Don’t go for money simply because it’s there…there are repercussions!
  • Item on work plan about percentage for Communications support
  • Staff support
leveraging our assets
Leveraging our assets
  • Existing programs or services – where are the gaps?
  • Do your research – look around you
  • Look at us from the outside, see what others are doing
  • What do we need to do that we’re not doing?
    • Example: Services to adult learners
consider the entire institution s role
Consider the entire institution’s role
  • When you receive a grant, many will be involved – purchasing, human resources, fiscal, system research, as well as the unit under which you operate your program
  • Indirect costs are designed to cover the majority of these; however…..
  • If you are unsure --- ask! If you are sure – ask!
the big picture federal discretionary grant programs foundations corporate grants

The Big Picture:Federal Discretionary Grant ProgramsFoundations Corporate Grants

What is out there?

How do we find it?

How do we compete for funding?

federal agencies 26
Federal Agencies (26)
  • U.S. Department of Education (
  • National Science Foundation (
  • U.S. Department of Labor (
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (
  • National Institutes of Health (
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (
  • U.S. Department of Energy (
general tips for federal programs
General tips for federal programs
  • Read the authorizing legislation to understand congressional intent for any program (
  • Read any regulations established by negotiated rulemaking (Federal register, or…)
  • Find out what the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) program goals are for any program you apply to – align your goals with their program goals
  • Use their own language back at them in your proposal (but don’t be obvious about it)
important websites
Important websites
  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education -
  • Training Videos -
  • The Art of Grantsmanship -
  • The EPA Grant Writing Tutorial -

  • The Foundation Center -
  • Writing Winning Proposals, the US Department of Energy -
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals -
helpful books
Helpful books
  • Joseph Barbato and Danielle S. Furlich, Writing for a Good Cause: The Complete Guide to Crafting Proposals and Other Persuasive Pieces for Nonprofits,Simon and Shuster, 2000.
  • David Bauer,The “How To” Grants Manual: Successful Grantseeking Techniques for Obtaining Public and Private Grants, 3rd, Oryx Press, Phoenix, AR, 1995.
  • Alexis Carter Black,Getting Grants: The Complete Manual of Proposal Development and Administration, Self-Counsel Press, Bellingham, WA, 2006.
  • Bev Browning,Grant Writing for Dummies, 2nd., Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, NJ, 2005.
  • Mim Carlson,Winning Grants Step by Step, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1995.
  • Arlen Sue Fox and Ellen Karsh,The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need,Publishers Group West, 2006.
  • Kenneth Henson, Grant Writing in Higher Education: A Step-by-Step Guide,Prentice Hall, 2003.
background and significance or need statement

Background and SignificanceorNeed Statement

Your first impression on funders

data data data
Data, data, data
  • In your initial background (or “need” section, you MUST make your initial case to funders
  • In today’s environment, this means a compelling case for funding backed by good data
  • Use our website; use your campus research and information office; use national sources (National Center for Education Statistics; Postsecondary Education Opportunity, etc.)
data data data16
Data, data, data

1 - 2 - 3

  • 1 – Use statistical data from national or state resource
  • 2 – Use an expert’s statement
  • 3 – Use an anecdote
what makes oklahoma unique in a funder s eyes
What makes Oklahoma Unique in a Funder’s Eyes
  • Some examples
    • Native American population both in K-12 and in higher education
    • Rural, underserved
    • Strong higher education system governance with relationship to private colleges
    • Historical data system with student unit record level data going back to the 70’s
    • Very strong preparation system
    • Brain Gain; EDGE; OneNet
  • Why your idea is worth funding above all others
  • Why your project can inform others in the nation
  • Is there a successful project like yours somewhere else?
  • Do you have preliminary results?
  • Is your project replicable?
  • Look into the future – what would it mean for the people of this state if your project succeeds
proposed project plan
Proposed Project Plan
  • What is your broad goal? (one sentence)
proposed project plan20
Proposed Project Plan
  • What are your objectives?
    • measurable
proposed project plan21
Proposed Project Plan
  • What results do you expect?
    • benchmarks
proposed project plan22
Proposed Project Plan
  • Who will do what?
proposed project plan23
Proposed Project Plan
  • Use charts to make the plan clear
evaluation and sustainability
Evaluation and Sustainability
  • Evaluation should tie directly to your measurable goal(s) and objectives
  • You should be able to measure every one – formatively and summatively
  • Align your program’s goals with the funder’s goals and measure accordingly
    • e.g. GEAR UP
formative evaluation
Formative Evaluation
  • How will you check on your progress during the project?
  • How will you know to make changes for improvement?
summative evaluation
Summative Evaluation
  • How will you report the final results?
  • To whom will you disseminate the information?
  • What is the impact?
  • How did you measure from the inside? How did you measure from the outside?
  • What recommendations do you have for the next step?
  • Your final persuasive section – not all funders require this, but the majority do
  • You have to make some reasonable promise to the funders that this agency will be able to sustain the activities after the end of the project period
  • Sometimes easy, sometimes hard…
  • Flexibility – your institution takes it on, your institution takes it on gradually, another agency supports it in the future
dissemination plan how will you share the results
Dissemination PlanHow will you share the results?
  • State and national conferences
  • Publications, i.e. journal articles, newsletters
  • Web Sites
  • Pod casts, Wikipedia, Blogs, Webinars
  • Interactive Television; Videoconferences (OneNet)
  • Commercial Television Ads or Public Service Announcements
  • News Releases, Newspaper Ads
  • Community Organization Meetings
  • School Classes
  • Speakers’ Bureau
Need help?

Call or contact

Dr. Linda Mason