SUCCESSFUL GRANT WRITING—STEP 3: DETERMINE THE GRANT REQUIREMENTS

SUCCESSFUL GRANT WRITING—YOUR GUIDE
STEP 3: DETERMINE THE GRANT REQUIREMENTS

By Steve Meyer
Steve Meyer Consulting LLC

I’m back after a hiatus of two months due to a hand injury that made keyboarding extremely difficult. Where I left off at in my 10 Steps to Grant Application Success was Step 2: Find a grant that is applicable to your program. Now we’re ready for Step 3: Determine the Grant Requirements.

Every grant proposal will have certain components and data that is either required in the grant application or is a critical element for success in the grant narrative. One of the biggest reasons a grant is not funded is because the proposal does not contain all of the right information or it fails to provide all of the critical components.

The first thing we need to do here is distinguish between what I mean by grant application and grant narrative requirements. Grant application components are the items required for what I refer to as “the fill in the blank part.” In this portion you will be asked to provide considerable information about your organization. The necessary information will differ with different grant funding sources, but some are pretty standard. This normally includes such things (to name a few) as the organization’s mission statement, its board of directors, financial information such as annual operating budget and project budget, geographical area and population served. To prepare for this part, the thing to keep in mind is that a grant evaluator should be able to understand your organization’s function and purpose in just a brief review of the information you provide. Any question left unanswered will likely be grounds for dismissal of the grant application. Any question that is not answered in a thorough and precise manner weakens the grant application.

Other necessary information for a grant proposal is components for development of a compelling, convincing and competitive narrative. Some of this information will come from elements already used in the grant application. The remainder is project driven. The project you are seeking funding for needs to be clearly defined and based on an identified and justified need. Historical data, census data, projected project impact data etc. will be necessary in the narrative. In many grants you will have a limited amount of space or characters to develop your narrative. The narrative may be developed in response to a single question, or it may be developed in response to several questions or project description requirements.

A critical component for non-profit organizations applying for corporate or foundations grants is providing verification of IRS 501c3 status. If you don’t have the necessary letter of verification from the IRS, check into this and either get a copy of the letter before you start the grant or find out if you do indeed have 501c3 status. You may need the assistance of an attorney to do this. I have consulted with a number of organizations that were operating under the assumption that they were a non-profit entity only to discover that they legally were not and could not apply for non-profit related grants.

Recent requirements for any entity applying for a federal grant are registration with DUNS and SAM. DUNS registration in my experience is best handled by calling 866-705-5711. SAM (System for Award Management) registration information is found at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. SAM registration will take some time. This is a successor to CCR (Central Contractor Registration). If you have previously registered with CCR you must migrate that information over to SAM. Information on how to accomplish this found at the SAM website.

You need to have all of the information for the grant narrative and application at our fingertips before you start the grant proposal.

Step 3 of the grant development process is often a time when the potential grantee first determines that they need help. Help may be found from another person or organization that has successfully completed an application or a professional grant consultant.

Steve Meyer is a grant writing and emergency management consultant. You can find out more about his services at his website http://www.stevemeyerconsulting.com.

TWO GRANTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR FIRE/EMS DEPARTMENTS

TWO GRANTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR FIRE/EMS DEPARTMENTS
By Steve Meyer
Steve Meyer Consulting LLC

There are two grants currently available to assist fire and EMS departments: the Lowes Charitable Foundation Grant and the Firefighters Charitable Foundation Grant. Both of these are small grants, but may come in handy for a small need or to fund a portion of a larger need. Brief details about both grants are below. More can be found out at the websites provided.

LOWE’S CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is dedicated to improving the communities we serve through support of public education, community improvement projects and home safety initiatives.

Founded in 1957, the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) has a long and proud history of contributing to grassroots community projects. LCEF awards millions annually to diverse organizations across the United States.
The three grant programs that Lowes has that appear most favorable to fire and EMS activities are Lowes Community Partner Grants, Hometown Grants and Small Grants.
Full details on the grants can be found at http://responsibility.lowes.com/community-relations/

FIREFIGHTERS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The Firefighters Charitable Foundation continues to provide assistance to those in need. Grants are given to assist local fire/disaster victims, fire prevention education, volunteer fire department equipment purchase, and community safety programs.
There are four types of grants:
• AED (Automatic External Defibrillator
• Fire Department Equipment
• Community Smoke Detector Program
• Juvenile Fire Setter Program
Detailed information about this program can be found at http://www.ffcf.org/grants.html.

I am available to assist ant fire or EMS department with applications for these grants or to provide more information. Contact me at gfdchief@netins.net. Find out more about my grant and emergency management consulting services at http://www.stevemeyerconsulting.com. See my blog postings about grant writing at https://stevemeyerblog20131.wordpress.com/.

Are You Grant-Ready?

SUCCESSFUL GRANT WRITING—YOUR GUIDE

PART 3: Are You Grant-Ready?

By Steve Meyer, Steve Meyer Consulting LLC

In the majority of situations, developing a grant proposal is not as easy as filling out a form. If you have chosen to work with a grant consultant it is not as simple as contacting the consultant and telling them you want $_____ for _____ project. With either situation before you even begin the grant application process you need to be Grant Ready.

Your ultimate aim in being Grant-Ready is to have all of the information necessary to describe your organization and project in sufficient detail that you leave the grant reviewer with no questions about what you are doing, what you need in order to accomplish your objectives and what the benefit is going to be. Couple this with a convincing narrative and you’ve set the stage for thumbs up to funding your proposal.

In a nutshell grant-readiness entails providing detailed information about your organization and its project and backing your project proposal up with statistics and data that provide credibility to your project and its outcomes. The variables and data sources that this is contingent upon will change somewhat with different venues but there are some common denominators in the information you need to have available for all grants, including:

• Project description
• Organizational profile and mission statement
• Historical documents and statistical data relative to your project
• Articles, research reports and white papers relative to your project
• Annual reports of your organization
• Project budget
• Census Data
• Analytical data relative to your project
• Projected outcomes

If you are working with a grant consultant it may not be necessary that you have all of this information assembled. At the very least, though, you need to provide the consultant with the resources or contacts they need to pull all of this vital information together. The better the information you can provide, the easier it will be for your consultant to develop a competitive proposal. Either you or someone affiliated with the project will have to be a go-to person that the consultant can rely on to help them find answers and information vital to an award winning proposal.

The all important piece of the puzzle for being Grant Ready if you are tapping into a charitable foundation grant is having 501c3 status established for your sponsoring organization or cause.

Be prepared to spend some time becoming Grant Ready. The time you spend becoming Grant Ready is directly proportional to your chances for funding success.

Bottom line: if you aren’t Grant Ready it will be a wild scramble assimilating the necessary information before the grant application deadline. And, if you aren’t Grant Ready you are in a position of presenting a grant proposal that is fearfully inadequate.

Steve Meyer is a grant writing and emergency management consultant. You can find out more about his services at his website http://www.stevemeyerconsulting.com.