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Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase is an online resource aiding education professionals in their pursuit of public and private grants to support local programs. Its five elements contain information and resources that assist the grant seeker with developing their project, writing the grant proposal and managing the grant upon its award.

Element 1: Assess Organizational Needs and Basis for Desired Funding

Purpose: Writing a successful grant application begins with understanding the reason for seeking grant funding from a governmental agency or private foundation. If the grant seeker is a school, the organizational assessment undertaken for improvement planning may provide useful reasons for the desired funding.

The grant seekers organizational assessment must address the subject area the funding organization has an interest in supporting. In regards to a governmental grant proposal, the assessment must address the request for proposal's focus.

Element 1 outlines the tasks involved in creating an organizational assessment.

Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of Your Organization

    •    Task 1: Get Organized for Data Collection
    •    Task 2: Collect Student Achievement Data
    •    Task 3: Analyze Curriculum and Instruction
    •    Task 4: Review Professional Learning Activities
    •    Task 5: Assess Family and Community Involvement
    •    Task 6: Study School Context and Organization
    •    Task 7: Summarize Snapshot Findings

Activity 2: Identify Broad Areas in Need of Improvement

    •    Task 1: Student Achievement
    •    Task 2: Curriculum and Instruction
    •    Task 3: Professional Learning Activities
    •    Task 4: Family and Community Involvement
    •    Task 5: School Context and Organization


Element 2: Outline the Project Ideas

Purpose: Developing innovative grant ideas that fulfill organizational needs is essential in a successful grant application. The successful grant application will be one that effectively matches the grant seeker's project ideas with the grant funder's interests or programmatic focus!

Activity 1: Create a Project Team

    •    Task 1: Organize a Project Team
    •    Task 2: Orient the Project Team

Activity 2: Conceptualize Project

    •    Task 1: Review Organizational Needs and Assessment Output
    •    Task 2: Brainstorm Project Ideas
    •    Task 3: Identify Grant Sources
    •    Task 4: Select and Prioritize Project Ideas to Meet Funding Requirements

Element 3: Organize for Action

Purpose: Prior to writing the grant application, the project lead should pre-plan how the application will be developed, a timeline for completing it, and an internal review process for the application. Element 3 outlines the steps in creating a road map for the application process.

Activity 1: Understand the Grant Requirements

    •    Task 1: Establish Contact with Funding Source
    •    Task 2: Match Project Ideas with Grant Funders' Interests and/or Requirements

Activity 2: Plan to Act

    •    Task 1: Establish Project Timeline
    •    Task 2: Identify Internal Resources
    •    Task 3: Identify Potential Project Partners
    •    Task 4: Develop Internal Review Process

Element 4: Develop and Submit the Grant Proposal

Purpose: The grant proposal brings life to the project idea. It is the vehicle the grant seeker uses to sell their idea to the prospective funding sources. Element 4 outlines the steps to develop and submit a successful grant application. Once the application has been submitted, follow-up with the funder is essential.

Activity 1: Develop the Project Plan

    •    Task 1: Identify Needs
    •    Task 2: Conceptualize Project
    •    Task 3: Determine Project Design
    •    Task 4: Establish Goals, Objectives, Activities and Timelines
    •    Task 5: Define Role for Collaborators
    •    Task 6: Develop Project Budget
    •    Task 7: Design Project Evaluation

Activity 2: Commit the Proposal to Paper

    •    Task 1: Review Proposal Requirements and Elements
    •    Task 2: Write the Proposal Abstract
    •    Task 3: Write the Need/Problem Statement
    •    Task 4: Write the Goals and Objectives
    •    Task 5: Write the Evaluation Plan

Activity 3: Review and Finalize the Proposal

    •    Task 1: Review with Project Team
    •    Task 2: Conduct Internal Review
    •    Task 3: Resolve Questions with Funding Sources
    •    Task 4: Submit Proposal to Funding Source

Element 5: Implement the Grant

Purpose: Upon receiving the grant award it is necessary to have a process in place for administering and managing the grant. Element 5 outlines the steps involved with implementing the project and fulfilling the grant's administrative requirements.

Activity 1: Administer and Manage the Grant

    •    Task 1: Understand the Grantor's Requirements
    •    Task 2: Establish Financial Controls
    •    Task 3: Track Project Schedules
    •    Task 4: Report on Grantee's Progress

Activity 2: Accomplish Change

    •    Task 1: Understand the Change Process
    •    Task 2: Build a Trusting Environment

Activity 3: Evaluate Project Outcomes

    •    Task 1: Understand the Grantor's Requirements
    •    Task 2: Execute Evaluation Plan
    •    Task 3: Report Results to Constituent Groups

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.