Frustrations of the Profession

Robin Wenger is a grant writer for the City of Elkhart, Indiana. As a veteran writer, Wenger recently shared a list of frustrations – his top ten, to be exact– describing the challenges of grant writing. In introducing the list, Wenger begins with this statement: “I have been equally frustrated by the feds [federal agencies] […]

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The Benefits of an Advisory Council

Advisory councils benefit clients, grantees, and federal agencies and play an important role in helping an applicant to win and implement a federal grant. How federal agencies view advisory councils Advisory councils have two important roles in federal grant programs. First, membership on the council can include representatives of the client service population thus assuring […]

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Expand Opportunities to Apply for Federal Grants

Federal grant eligibility is open to individuals, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, educational institutions, public housing, for-profit organizations, and others. Each grant announcement specifically addresses applicant eligibility since it varies by federal grant program. There are two ways an organization, referred to Agency A below, can expand its opportunities to apply for grants when […]

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Grantsmanship: A Five-Step Fund Raising Program

Fundraisers have broadened Wikipedia’s definition of grantsmanship from “the art of acquiring peer-reviewed research funding” to include all types of grants. Grantsmanship is generally defined as “the art of acquiring grants.” Often the term “grant writing” describes an organization’s fund raising program when, in actuality, grant writing is but a single step in the grantsmanship […]

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Letters of Intent

Foundation and government agencies use letters of intent (LOI) differently. The letter of intent tells a government agency the organization plans to submit an application. Foundations, however, view a letter of intent as a summary of the proposed project. The purpose of a letter of intent to a government agency is to give the agency […]

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The Role of Politics in Federal Grants

The federal grant application process is not immune from politics. Even though the emphasis in preparing a federal grant application is on scoring maximum points during the review process, politics can and does have a say in the process for awarding funds. Applicants are advised to involve their congressional representatives early on by contacting his/her […]

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Go for the Extra Points!

Grant writers preparing proposals to grant makers using a point system to review and score applications can take this lesson from the sport of football: The extra points a team earns after scoring a goal can make or break the game. In the end, it all comes down to points. Governmental agencies and foundations employing […]

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Tis the Season for Year-End Grant Requests

As the end of the calendar year approaches, it is time for fundraisers to implement annual appeal campaigns to solicit year-end contributions. “Tis the season” also for grant writers to revisit prospect lists to identify grant makers, especially foundations and corporations, open to making year-end grants. Procedurally, the business of grant making slows during the […]

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Audit Findings and Grant Reviews

Why do foundations ask to see an audit report? What are they looking for in the report? What can an organization do when it does not have an audit report to send? It is standard procedure for foundations to request a copy of an organization’s most recent annual audit report as part of the grant […]

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Components of a Winning Federal Grant

The components of a successful federal grant are identified by the “three P’s:” 1. Project 2. Project Director 3. Program Officer 1.Project ​Hands down, the most important factor for the success of a federal grant proposal is the proposed project. Reviewers will determine how closely the proposed project aligns with the request for proposal (RFP) […]

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