[0:02] Grant writing can be a great way to invigorate your program and bring in some new ideas. So as a novice writer, how do you tackle the grant writing process?
[0:29] As an educator who has successfully helped secure over $1 million of grant funding over the years for physical education programming, I often get asked about how one can get into the grant writing process and find funding for their program. While there’s no magic formula really nor is there a simple answer, reflecting upon how I approached the grant writing process now personally, it can be summarized as a three-phase process.
Phase 1 – Plan and Prepare
[0:52] So the first phases plan and prepare this phase really helps me identify and dial in what it is that I want and what funding I’m going to be going after. This all starts with my why? What’s your mission? What is it that you’re really trying to achieve? And once I know what it is I’m trying to achieve and what my objectives are, then I can make sure to find the right grant that fits me, and then I can start to plan for that. So what is it that I really need and what is it that I’m really trying to accomplish? I have to be really specific with that.
[1:21] Once you have that all outlined and you found a grant that best meets your needs, then it’s time to build your team and that’s getting support from your administration and from the district level and that’s asking some folks around you to maybe help with proof reading applications and double-checking things and also making sure that there is any district-level paperwork that needs to be approved first, prior to final submission of the grant application. Then that needs to be taking care of simultaneously and not forgotten about and left for the last minute.
Phase 2 – Pursue and Persuade
[1:54] This leads you into phase to pursue and persuade. Once you found that right fit and you’ve built your team, it’s time to fully pursue the grant and to persuade these people that you are the right candidate for this funding opportunity. Call up the organization, check-in with them to see if there’s any questions that you might have that they can answer. Maybe double-checking with them and running by them your idea or being sure to research out past winners and that what your idea envision is aligns with their vision for the program funding. You have to be really passionate about what it is that you’re trying to accomplish and you have to persuade them. So do you have any data? Do you have any statistics to share with them? Any personal stories?
[2:38] Then also as you’re planning all this out, know your timeline and work backward from there. When do you have to have a draft ready for people so that they have time to proofread it for you? How are you going to make this happen? Are you going to put things on your calendar? Are you going to have a shared calendar? Are you going to have reminders? Is this a reoccurring grant cycle so that you can reapply again in the future? It’s really important as you pursue this grant, you have to be very persuasive as well.
[3:06] Included in this part I like to mention with folks is the importance of a sustainability plan that helps persuade folks that you’re the right candidate for this because people who are funding these grants don’t want a one and done usually. They want to see something continue on long term, they want to see their dollars be stretched and want to see great things come to fruition, so be sure to have a sustainability plan in place and mention that in your grant application. What is your plan once funding is exhausted? Are there any recurring costs and is your district going to be able to support you in that once that funding ends?
Phase 3 – Persevere and Proceed
[3:45] Lastly, is phase three persevere and proceed? We’re always trying to move forward and so it’s really important that whether or not you received the grant that you persevere and you proceed with finding other funding opportunities, you want to make sure to keep track of your progress and there’s a lot that you can learn from a “no”. If you get any feedback from your grant scoring rubric, it’s really important to take that information into account so that you can make changes for your next application.
[4:16] So that’s it for today everybody. Those are the three phases of grant writing that will help any novice writer gear up for their grant writing journey.
- Phase one was to prepare and plan. Make sure you have a plan of attack, an outline and you’ve built your team and you know what it is exactly that you’re looking for and you have your why at the center as your focus.
- Phase two was to pursue and persuade. You want to make sure you’re pursuing the right grants that you are the right fit for those grants and be persuasive. Have your data and statistics and your personal stories intertwined into that.
- Phase three was to persevere and proceed. You always want to keep moving forward no matter your success or failure, make sure you learn from it. Just to emphasize one more time, grant writing can really be a great way to bring in new ideas and to help inspire positive growth and change for any program. Thanks for listening. Thanks for teaching and I wish you all a wonderful day.