Developing a proofreading strategy can greatly improve the quality of your federal grant application. Here are some tips from grant-making offices across the government that you can use for developing this strategy.
1. Enlist content proofreaders early in the process.
“Request that your colleagues or mentors review a first draft of your specific aims early in the process,” advises NIH.
Consider asking your early proofreaders to focus on macro issues, such as the organization of narrative sections or the logical flow within your application narrative. Even if your proposal is not completely ready, you can still have your designated proofreaders review some sections of the proposal. An Office of Justice Programs resource concurs, stating that early proofreading will allow for “sufficient time to deal with missing information,” as well as other common issues.
Continue reading Tips for Proofreading Your Next Grant Application
Need statements, program narratives, and discussions of impact aren’t the only parts of a federal grant application that require the touch of a good writer. The budget narrative – sometimes called the budget justification or budget detail – can also benefit from a skilled wordsmith.
Here, though, the burden carried by the writer weighs heaviest in the areas of precision, thoroughness and organization – and less so in the areas of color and creativity.
What follows are budget narrative writing tips that have been curated from a wide range of federal agency resources.
Continue reading Grant Writing: How to Build Credibility with Your Budget Narrative
Let’s say that your organization is applying for a federal grant that will support a wildlife reserve restoration project.
You craft a need statement that (1) aligns with the grant-making agency’s funding opportunity announcement; (2) communicates your organization’s experience with restoration projects; and (3) includes several concise – but compelling – anecdotes illustrating the need for restoration.
Now, you and your writing team need to outline the impact that your proposed project will have on the wildlife reserve. Once again, you’ll want to make sure the impact your team projects aligns with agency goals. You will also need to balance specificity with realism.
Below, we continue our grant writing series with tips for defining and projecting the impact of a proposed project. The following tips have been adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources & Services Administration’s grant writing guide, titled “Tips for Writing and Submitting Good Grant Proposals”.
Tip: Think like a reviewer when you are discussing the impact of your proposed project.
In a previous series post, we discussed the role of peer review panels, as well as the criteria they use to evaluate applications. Such panels provide their evaluations to the federal grant-making agency’s staff.
Continue reading Grant Writing: 3 Tips for Discussing Impact in Federal Grant Applications
In this space, we have previously shared tips about the pre-writing phase of completing a federal grant application – for example, the importance of reading (and re-reading) the grant announcement, and the importance of understanding the criteria by which your application will be evaluated.
In this post, we dip our toes into the grant writing process itself and share some tips about crafting a need statement. These tips are adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources & Services Administration’s grant writing guide, titled “Tips for Writing and Submitting Good Grant Proposals”. Along with each tip, we also include an excerpt from an award-winning federal grant proposal that can be viewed in full on the website of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. (IMLS has an excellent collection of proposals that are worthy of review – especially for new federal grant applicants.)
Continue reading Grant Writing: 3 Tips for Crafting Need Statements in Federal Grant Proposals
When you receive a federal grant, you are receiving taxpayer dollars with the expectation you will successfully implement a public-serving project. Such projects can range from publishing scientific research results to creating apprenticeship opportunities for underrepresented populations to providing foreign aid and democratic development.
To ensure you (i.e., the award recipient) are using the funds ethically and efficiently, the federal government establishes grant reporting requirements. After you submit these reports, the grant-making agency then has staff who carefully review them to maintain transparency and to prevent fraud and abuse.
Continue reading Prepare for Reporting Requirements – Grant Writing Basics
When preparing your federal grant application, you would do well to put yourself – and your team – in the shoes of the people who will be evaluating it. In this post, we will look specifically at grant opportunities that are evaluated (at least in part) with the aid of a peer review panel (Note: Not all are evaluated in this way).
What Is a Peer Review?
Continue reading Peer Review Panels and the Federal Grant Application Evaluations Process
Whether you are writing an email, blog post, or lengthy proposal, you need to consider the question, “Who is my audience?” In the grants world, your audience will usually be the agency awarding funds and the people reviewing your application.
The process of learning about a grant-making agency is closely related to evaluating mission alignment, so this next installment of the Grant Writing Basics series assumes that (1) your organization’s mission aligns with that of the grant-making agency and that (2) you are actively preparing to write a grant application.
Why Is It Important to Understand Your Audience?
Continue reading Grant Writing Basics: Understand the Funder before Writing
As with many projects in life, it is best to begin your planning and writing as early as you can. When applying for federal grants, the OMB Uniform Guidance sets forth a 30 to 60 day range for federal funding opportunities to be open:
“(b) The Federal awarding agency must generally make all funding opportunities available for application for at least 60 calendar days. The Federal awarding agency may make a determination to have a less than 60 calendar day availability period but no funding opportunity should be available for less than 30 calendar days unless exigent circumstances require as determined by the Federal awarding agency head or delegate.” §200.203(b)
A reasonable follow-up question to this is what to do if you would like to begin working on a grant application more than two months in advance.
Continue reading Grant Writing Basics: How to Start Working on Future Funding Opportunities
It is easy to be intimidated when you first encounter a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on Grants.gov.
There are the four tabs of content. The technical language culled from industry and government programs. Application forms, some of which may require file attachments. And, of course, there is the shiver-inducing closing date.
Continue reading Demystifying Funding Opportunity Announcements on Grants.gov—Grant Writing Basics
Applying for a federal grant can be a lot of work involving many moving parts. On top of strategizing, conducting meetings, and writing a compelling proposal, there are other little-but-necessary tasks on the path to successfully submitting your application that you should do well before the closing date.
Here are 3 tips to avoid some of those last minute problems:
Continue reading Grant Writing Basics: 3 Tips to Avoid Last Minute Problems