FUNDED Articles

By Grants Office, LLC on Friday, March 16, 2012

Show me the money! As far as a grant funder is considered, it is probably more appropriate to say “show me how you are going to spend the money”. For the applicant, it is the piece of the proposal that is likely to keep you up at night. After all, the reason you are seeking grant funding the first place is because you are most likely facing a funding deficit for an important project. It is only natural that you may be preoccupied with budgetary needs while you are still developing the project and the accompanying proposal narrative.

By Grants Office, LLC on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Despite the persistently slow economy and ongoing budget cuts at every level, the U.S. Federal Government awarded nearly $600 billion in grants in 2011, which represents a 20% increase over the approximately $500 billion in grants awarded in 2009. On average, only about three to five percent of grant proposals submitted to the federal government are awarded funding. With more budget cuts on the horizon, the already tough competition for federal grant dollars is poised to become even more fierce. That means that now more than ever, only the 'best of the best' proposals will get funded. The loss of just a single scoring point can make the difference between success and failure. I regularly work as a peer reviewer for a number of federal funding agencies so I see firsthand what sets winning grant proposals apart from the others. I would like to share with you several common pitfalls that I frequently run across that ruin an otherwise solid proposal's chances of getting funded.

By Grants Office, LLC on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 to consolidate the DOJ's existing Tribal-specific grant programs into one combined application package. Thus, the overall program is comprised of several individual programs or "Purpose Areas." CTAS is intended to foster a comprehensive approach to public safety and victimization issues by encouraging tribal governments to collaborate efforts and plan a community-wide strategy for addressing a variety of law enforcement and justice issues.
The 2012 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation was announced on January 18, with a deadline of April 18, 2012. Over $100 million is available through this program, providing funds to support tribal public safety and justice initiatives such as community policing and tribal youth programs.

By Grants Office, LLC on Sunday, January 15, 2012

Anyone who's been involved with the grants process knows its one thing to find the right grant and another thing to actually submit an application. Once you go through the trials and tribulations of putting the application together, you have may have looked over the application hundreds of times, or you may not have had much time to look it over at all. In this economic state, organizations are downsizing and people are being asked to take on more and more tasks. This can hurt the quality of an application when the submitter doesn't have enough time to properly proofread the application before it is time to submit.

By Grants Office, LLC on Sunday, January 15, 2012

As would-be applicants to the Health Care Innovation Challenge across the country are learning, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services' monstrous $1 billion program aimed at innovating health care and payment models in an effort to save money is no walk in the park.
By December 19, 2011, CMS had received well over 10,000 letters of intent for the program. While a significant percentage of these LOIs will probably not result in full proposal submissions, interest in the program has been unsurprisingly overwhelming. With the January 27 deadline looming, project developers, writers, and other grants professionals are knee-deep in the murky program requirements, which call for a tightly-knit forty-page narrative and a complex total cost of care savings plan, among other elements.

By Grants Office, LLC on Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grant funding, like any other competition, inevitably results in winners and losers - and unfortunately, the latter tend to outnumber the former. Take for instance, the Investing in Innovation program available from the U.S. Department of Education. This year's competition brought out over 500 applicants for just under $150 million in total funding. It is likely fewer than 30 of these applications will receive funding - making it just as unlikely to receive grant funding as it is to get into Harvard.

By Grants Office, LLC on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From one of the more memorable movie scenes of the past 20 years, you may recall a phone conversation between Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr. that portrays the amusing contract negotiation of an agent and one of the professional sports figures he manages. A repeated and emphatic shouting of “Show me the money!” helped endear Jerry McGuire to movie viewers and helped Cruise’s character succeed in achieving his intended task—the movie scene ends with Cruise receiving a simply stated, “Congratulations, you’re still my agent,” from his star-in-the-making. It’s not necessarily the aggressiveness of the message itself but rather its impassioned delivery that may best carry over to grant applications.

By Grants Office, LLC on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The USDA's Distance Learning and Telemedicine (or DLT) program is one of the most popular annual federal grant programs. Highly competitive, the DLT program makes awards ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 for organizations that provide education or healthcare telecommunications services to rural populations. DLT also has one of the more complex application packages, and requires applicants to provide population tables, maps, and poverty rates for each proposed service area (end-users), as well as hub sites from which services will be delivered.

By Grants Office, LLC on Saturday, January 15, 2011

As the new calendar and fiscal year 2011 begins, many grant programs are being reminded that they are only as valuable as the actual projects they support. Those consistently lacking results often find their government appropriations dwindle, if not dry up entirely. With everyone positioning their stake for a finite, albeit ever-growing level of federal funding, many grantmaking agencies demonstrate their value by leveraging investments in various projects that represent not only immediate community benefits but also the greatest potential for a long-term return on investment. Grantseekers therefore have an opportunity in the new year to strike while the iron is hot. Savvy applicants will likely consider one of the following project components in their FY2011 applications.

By Grants Office, LLC on Saturday, January 15, 2011

A big federal agency just released a new grant that is accompanied by a guidance document filled with 150 pages of content. The guidance document contains all the granular details on the grant program, including instructions for development of the proposal and submission. The guidance document may be referred to by several names, including request for proposals (RFP), request for applications (RFA), and Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA). Based on a quick review of the information, you are considering developing a proposal under this recently released grant program. Considering the size of the guidance document, one would assume that the items and services eligible for purchase with the grant funding are clearly delineated.

By Grants Office, LLC on Monday, November 15, 2010

Even after a priority funding opportunity is identified and an organization is beginning down the grantwriting road, there are still pitfalls and roadblocks on what seems like a simple linear path. Employing a grantwriter that is not on organizational staff and might not be familiar with the intricacies of the project is a method of grantwriting that can present its own unique challenges to the grantseeking process. Grantwriting engagements involve both give and take—there is a necessary level of exchange of information and expectations from both the client and the grantwriter. Successful engagements often involve executive and editing support from those outside of the immediate grantwriting and client staff, and the grant development phase can become an arduous process for everyone if expectations are not clear. Collaborative involvement between a client and a professional grantwriter can result in the development of a superior proposal, and many common pitfalls of such an engagement can be avoided if all involved parties understand and commit to their roles in the grantwriting process.

By Grants Office, LLC on Friday, October 15, 2010

As many organizations and agencies can attest, nothing quite compares to the disappointment of an unfunded grant application, particularly one that an organization has put its full weight behind with planning, implementation, and drive. It's tempting to take that application, throw it in the trash, and move on. However, successful, tenacious grantseeking often involves taking those applications that were not successful and learning from them.

By Grants Office, LLC on Thursday, July 15, 2010

The grants world is full of any number of variables that must be defined. To which grant program should I apply? How much time do I have for proposal development? Is there a need for collaboration? Will my project fit into the eligible expenses of the grant program?

These are a few of the many grant questions for which grant answers are necessary. By developing a familiarity with the funding opportunities and an understanding of how the system works, you will quickly begin to address some of these gaps.

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