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How to Write a Fundable Program Proposal
This is what the map looks like when you first start. …. But it will get better.
READ THE RFP READ for Eligibility ▪ Are you an individual, 501 c 3, faith-based, community -based, local governing body, IHE, etc. READ for Budget Match – inkind or cash – more on that later Institutional commitment Submission procedures Contact information The GOAL of the program – often found in the legislation cited in the RFP
Project Abstract / Summary Who are you? Why are you applying for funds? – Include verifiable data to support your statement. What do you want to accomplish? How are you going to accomplish what you stated you wanted to accomplish? Why should you be granted and trusted with money? –can statistics or others back you up? How much do you want? When? Be concise – no more than 2 pages usually.
NEEDS Section Bad is good. Shock, amaze, or at least wake up your proposal reviewer with interesting facts (expressed in numbers or with anecdotal statements. ) State what is “too high” or what is “too low”. Example: the percentage of freshmen students who fail four courses is too high. When you state the problem this way, the objectives become obvious. “To decrease the percentage of freshmen students who fail four courses from 42 % to 30 %. ”
NEEDS Section Avoid problem statements that declare the "the lack of " or "the need for" the solution you are proposing for funding. Example: "the problem with our academic programs is a lack of (or need for) student services outside the classroom. We propose an activity to establish those student services. "
NEEDS Section 1) Is the problem really academic services? 2) How would the provision of student services improve academic services?
Needs (Project Description) Give back the RFP Use their headings Where RFP gives the purpose of the solicitation, quote it.
Project Purpose Where do you want to be when grant funding ends? How do you get there? (steps) Congratulations – you’ve just written Goals and Objectives. Make sure each objective addresses each problem identified in your Needs Statement.
Make Objectives that are Measureable Objectives lead to outcomes. Ex. By July 1, 2012, the rate of students who successfully complete (with “C” or better) Intermediate Algebra will increase by 20% compared to 2009 baseline data. Objectives are not methods. Ex. More students will successfully complete college algebra by utilizing specialized tutoring services.
Measureable Objectives Don’t be afraid. Create measureable numbers and percentages. Example (not measureable): Increase successful completion rates for students taking remedial math. Example (measureable) By January 2011, increase the number and percentage of students who take Intermediate Algebra ( last DE math course before college level math course) by a minimum of 10% compared to fall 2009 baseline data.
Strategies (Methods, Plans of Operation) How you reach your objectives. 1. Select first cohort by end of summer 2010 semester. 2. Purchase 50% of computer lab equipment and software by August 2010. 3. Develop pilot curriculum by January 30, 2010 for review by academic advisory committee. 4. Advisory Committee reviews curriculum and makes recommendations by June 30, 2010. 5. Pilot curriculum with fall 2010 cohort.
Strategies 6. Evaluate the pilot, (formatively, summatively, quantitatively, and qualitatively) at least once before semester’s end at end of semester. 7. Modify the curriculum based upon evaluation, during course (formative) and after course (summative). 8. Implement changes based on evaluation findings before end of fall semester and before the next fall cohort. 9. Compare pilot data with successful completion rates for individual and group success, January 2010.
Collaboration – Partner Support EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! We NO longer work in silos (rarely can afford to). Solicit partnership from the partner’s perspective. ◦ How will this project benefit their department or their organization? ◦ Be specific in your request for support from your partner. Time? Money? (What’s the difference? ) More on this in on Day Three.
Budget and Narrative All expenses have to be justified and related to the objectives. Every budget item must be explained, down to how many reams of paper you will buy with THEIR money, and why you need to buy the paper. Make your budget auditable – While you don’t want to pad the budget, you DO want to leave yourself enough room for price increases (cited with reliable cost indexes, etc. )
Budget and Narrative Explain where your numbers come from. Use formulas. Example: 5 students to attend 2 national conferences x $600 plane fair x 150/night hotel x once per year = 5*2*(400+150) -- $5, 500** **This does not include teacher or local transportation…
Evaluation (presentation this afternoon by Krista Schumacher) Pre and Post surveys are only a small part. Formative and Summative Qualitative and Quantitative Progress charted from Baseline Data Explain to your proposal reviewer you know what this evaluation jargon means, and that you know how to use it to effectively evaluate your program.
Submission Electronic—Make sure you have fulfilled all your responsibilities at least two weeks before the deadline. All federal agencies require some proposals to be submitted online. – Including checking for your president’s availability for signature (or, whatever your process is at your institution). Submit early, electronically or not. Deadlines are posted at least 30 days in advance. If you wait until the deadline date, you might miss it.
Submission Convert your proposal to PDF so your tables and charts don’t run off the page. Check off the components of your proposal as they are completed. Make sure your font, margins, type size are within required parameters. Resist the urge to change a major component at the last minute. Your carefully constructed tapestry will fall apart if you pull a thread to change the pattern.
Aspects of Program Proposals (Compared with Research Proposals)
QUESTIONS? Presentations adapted from Dr. Penny Coggins and Dr. Belinda Biscoe.