Let’s work together to ensure our relationship is a productive one. Below is a list of ways you can partner with us in order to get the highest return on your investment.
1. Understanding the Grant Writing Process
The process depends on a cooperative effort between district personnel, grant writer, and other partners. School districts that have been the most successful over the years were highly involved in program development and proposal writing. Their strategies include:
- Gather/develop information to document need (anecdotal evidence, surveys, statistics, etc.) in a timely fashion.
- Work as a team to formulate a creative, programmatic response to that need—one that fits within grant guidelines.
- Cultivate and nurture relationships with appropriate local partners.
- Be realistic about the process. Even successful grant writers can have a success rate of just 30 percent, depending on the clients and the programs. Grant submission is often a multi-year, multi-submission process. Many projects are not funded the first time around and may require revision and resubmission.
- Be realistic about the budget. Grants are not budget relief; they can actually result in more long-term expenses, as the district must assume the cost of the project after grant funding expires.
- Demonstrate flexibility in applying for grants. Sometimes more legwork and planning are needed before a district is ready to apply for a grant. Rather than submit a lukewarm proposal for the sake of submission, it may be best to conduct more extensive planning and wait for the next funding cycle. The more effort put into developing the best program possible, the better the chance of funding. Of course, sometimes lightning strikes and the hasty proposal is funded. But if a district isn’t ready to implement the program as written, this could mean trouble.
2. Assemble a Grant Writing Task Force
An enthusiastic Grant Writing Task Force comprised of key stakeholders can be very helpful. Depending on the program, this team could include:
- District Administrator, principals and other members of the administrative team
- Counselors, School Psychologist
- Staff Development Director
- Technology Coordinator
- AODA and Health Services Coordinators
- Director of Curriculum/Instruction
- Gifted and Talented Coordinator
- School Board Members
- Director of Pupil Services
- Agency and business representatives
3. Appoint One Contact Person from the Task Force
One individual should be designated the Grant Contact Person. This individual will be the main channel of communication between the grant writing office and the client. The Contact Person will be responsible for:
- Understanding the application guidelines
- Cultivating and maintaining relationships with community agencies who will be involved in grant projects
- Collecting signatures of key figures (if required)
- Communicating with the grant writer
- Proofreading and commenting on proposal drafts
- Delegating responsibilities such as research, data gathering and needs assessments
- Coordinating the delegation of planning activities among task force members and monitoring their progress and completion.
4. Brainstorming on Potential Grant Projects
Much of grant writing is brainstorming to form a creative solution to a need. This is the joint responsibility of the organization’s Grant Writing Task Force and the CESA 6 grant writer. We will do our best to offer our expertise in program development and grant writing, but we must rely on the knowledge that only you can provide concerning programming and educational issues. Though we have extensive experience working with schools and education providers, we are not experts on programs, strategies, and policy. Our strength lies in integrating your educational expertise into program development and proposal writing.
Grant writing works best if it is based on collaboration, communication, and sincere enthusiasm for effecting change. We need your help to secure funding for your district...and funding is often dependent on the quantity and quality of effort put into planning, program development, and creative problem solving. By working together we can create educational solutions to identified problems.