How to Use a “Grants Scorecard” to Create Winning Proposals.pdf

TechSoup
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How to Use a “Grants Scorecard” to
Create Winning Proposals
Agenda
• Different components of grant
applications
– What makes them strong/weak?
– Synonymous terms
– How to improve/enhance each
section
• Questions and answers
Organizational Background
Strong Weak
The organization has a
history of success in
operating similar
programs; The
organization is strong and
viable.
The organization has
operated similar programs
with some success; The
organization has adequate
structure.
The organization has
operated similar programs
with no evidence of
success; The organization
has weaknesses.
The organization does not
have a track record of
operating similar
programs; The
organization has
significant weaknesses.
Synonymous Terms
Background
Introduction
Profile of Applicant Organization
Organizational Profile
Organizational History, Mission, and Accomplishments
Organizational Capacity
Organizational Description
Ways to Enhance
Make sure you align with the funder’s areas of
interest when doing your grants research
Example from GrantStation’s US Charitable Database
Ways to Enhance
• Be able to demonstrate the impact you have had in your
programs or initiatives
• Highlight your organizational strengths
• If you are proposing a pilot program, demonstrate that that
you have served the target population and/or community
• Funders usually do not like to fund projects developed with
the attitude, “if we build it, they will come.” They like to see a
track record.
Need/Problem Statement
Strong Weak
The problem/need is
clearly articulated with
data that is local, relevant,
and up-to-date; All
sources of data are cited;
The need is presented in a
compelling manner.
The problem/need is
outlined with data that
sufficiently identifies the
problem; All sources of
data are provided, but
could be more up-to-date
or better connected to the
problem being addressed
in the project.
The problem/need is
described with data, but
not at a local level; Data
sources are out-of-date or
not relevant to the project;
Not all sources are cited.
The problem/need is not
clearly articulated; Data
sources are out-of-date
and not relevant to the
project; Sources are not
cited.
Synonymous Terms
Statement of the Problem
Community Opportunities
Situation Analysis
Needs Assessment
Current Situation
Need for Assistance
Community Challenges
Ways to Enhance
• Local
• Relevant
• Up-to-date
• Sources cited
• Visuals
Use GrantStation’s PathFinder library to find
reputable data sources
Project Design/Approach
Strong Weak
The plan is logical and will
likely have a significant
impact on the
community/ target
population; The plan
appears reasonable,
scalable, and builds on
other relevant work.
The plan is likely to have
an impact on the
community/ target
population; The plan
appears reasonable and
scalable but does not
build on other relevant
work.
The plan is likely to have a
limited impact on the
community/ target
population; The plan is
not scalable nor does it
build on other work.
The plan is unlikely to
have an impact on the
community/ target
population; The plan does
not have a logical
approach or build on
relevant work in the
community.
Synonymous Terms
• Plan of Operation
• Program Description
• Process
• Strategies
• Activities
• Action Plan
• Methodology
• Methods
Partnerships
Strong Weak
The partnerships create a
unified vision;
Collaboration,
information, and resource
sharing are maximized.
The partnerships create a
shared vision; Resources
are shared.
The partnerships create a
limited shared vision or
sharing of resources.
The partnerships are not
identified nor sufficient.
Timeline/Work Plan
Strong Weak
The project can be
completed within the
proposed timeline; The
work plan is well detailed
and developed.
The project can likely be
completed within the
proposed timeline; The
work plan has sufficient
information and details.
It will be challenging to
complete the project
within the timeline; The
work plan has gaps.
It is unlikely that the
project can be completed
within the timeline; The
work plan is nonexistent
or not sufficiently
detailed.
Ways to Enhance
• Create a logical approach that address the root causes of the
problems you are addressing
• Provide sufficient details about how you will do your work
• Demonstrate how the project is “weaved” into the fabric of
the community
• Engage in meaningful partnerships
• Identify what partners are “bringing to the table”
Project Goals and Objectives
Strong Weak
The goals of the project
are clearly described and
visionary; The objectives
are concrete and
measurable; The goals and
objectives will have a
significant impact on the
need/problem statement.
The goals of the project
are visionary; The
objectives are concrete
and measurable; The goals
and objectives will have an
impact on the
need/problem statement.
The goals are not
visionary; The objectives
are not concrete or
measurable; The goals and
objectives will have a
limited impact on the
need/problem statement.
The goals and objectives
are nonexistent or unclear.
Synonymous Terms
• Outcomes and Indicators
• Results
• Impact
• Success
Ways to Enhance
• Establish a system to identify and measure how
your participants will change over time
• Tie your goals and objectives to the problem
statement/need you are addressing
Evaluation
Strong Weak
A practical, useful
evaluation/assessment
plan addressing the
project's impact is
described; Participant
outcomes and planned
activities will both be
measured.
An evaluation/assessment
plan is provided but some
components are unclear;
Participant outcomes and
planned activities will both
be measured.
An evaluation/assessment
plan is only partially
provided; Participant
outcomes are not
measured.
The evaluation/assessment
plan is insufficient and
unlikely to provide useful
information on participant
outcomes or planned
activities.
Synonymous Terms
• Formative and Summative Evaluation
• Process and Outcome Evaluation
• Assessment
• Measurement
• Results
Ways to Enhance
• Include how you will measure the changes in your
participants in addition to what you did (measuring
your approach)
• Discuss how you will use the data to make
meaningful changes/decisions about your projects
and programs
Budget/Budget Narrative
Strong Weak
The planned expenditures
are clearly described in
the plan; All costs are
reasonable, covered, and
justified; Excellent use of
resources.
The planned expenditures
logically support and are
necessary for the planned
actions.
The planned expenditures
might support the
planned actions, but
require more detail or
justification.
The planned expenditures
do not logically support
the planned actions; Some
costs are unnecessary.
Ways to Enhance
• Make sure all the items in the budget are discussed
in the approach
• Provide the calculations of how you produced the
budget numbers
• Provide any justifications needed to rationalize
items
Sustainability
Strong Weak
The proposal describes
significant long-term
impact beyond initial
funding; There is a high
likelihood of future
implementation or
impacts of the program.
The proposal does
describe sustainability of
parts of the program.
The proposal provides a
limited or unclear
sustainability plan.
The proposal does not
discuss sustainability of
the project.
Ways to Enhance
• Discuss plans to ensure the program will continue
into the future
• Use organizational strengths to help the funder
understand your commitment to the community
Writing Style
Strong Weak
The writing is free of
grammatical, spelling, or
punctuation errors; The
style of writing facilitates
understanding of the
project; The narrative is
compelling and engaging.
The writing is largely free
of grammatical, spelling, or
punctuation errors; The
style of writing generally
facilitates understanding
of the project; The
narrative is clear.
The writing includes some
grammatical, spelling, or
punctuation errors that
distract the reader; The
style of writing is unclear;
The narrative is confusing
to follow.
The writing contains
numerous grammatical,
spelling, or punctuation
errors; The style of writing
does not facilitate
understanding; The
narrative is incoherent.
Ways to Enhance
• Keep is simple!
• Avoid jargon and excessive acronyms
• Have proofreaders edit your applications
• Engage the hearts and minds of reviewers
• Be interesting!
Questions and Answers
Today and Tomorrow!!!
TechSoup Promotion
GrantStation Membership $99
September 19-20, 2023
Thanks for Participating!
Alice Ruhnke, President
GrantStation
www.grantstation.com
alice@grantstation.com
877.784.7268
info@grantstation.com
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How to Use a “Grants Scorecard” to Create Winning Proposals.pdf

  • 1. How to Use a “Grants Scorecard” to Create Winning Proposals
  • 2. Agenda • Different components of grant applications – What makes them strong/weak? – Synonymous terms – How to improve/enhance each section • Questions and answers
  • 3. Organizational Background Strong Weak The organization has a history of success in operating similar programs; The organization is strong and viable. The organization has operated similar programs with some success; The organization has adequate structure. The organization has operated similar programs with no evidence of success; The organization has weaknesses. The organization does not have a track record of operating similar programs; The organization has significant weaknesses. Synonymous Terms Background Introduction Profile of Applicant Organization Organizational Profile Organizational History, Mission, and Accomplishments Organizational Capacity Organizational Description
  • 4. Ways to Enhance Make sure you align with the funder’s areas of interest when doing your grants research Example from GrantStation’s US Charitable Database
  • 5. Ways to Enhance • Be able to demonstrate the impact you have had in your programs or initiatives • Highlight your organizational strengths • If you are proposing a pilot program, demonstrate that that you have served the target population and/or community • Funders usually do not like to fund projects developed with the attitude, “if we build it, they will come.” They like to see a track record.
  • 6. Need/Problem Statement Strong Weak The problem/need is clearly articulated with data that is local, relevant, and up-to-date; All sources of data are cited; The need is presented in a compelling manner. The problem/need is outlined with data that sufficiently identifies the problem; All sources of data are provided, but could be more up-to-date or better connected to the problem being addressed in the project. The problem/need is described with data, but not at a local level; Data sources are out-of-date or not relevant to the project; Not all sources are cited. The problem/need is not clearly articulated; Data sources are out-of-date and not relevant to the project; Sources are not cited. Synonymous Terms Statement of the Problem Community Opportunities Situation Analysis Needs Assessment Current Situation Need for Assistance Community Challenges
  • 7. Ways to Enhance • Local • Relevant • Up-to-date • Sources cited • Visuals Use GrantStation’s PathFinder library to find reputable data sources
  • 8. Project Design/Approach Strong Weak The plan is logical and will likely have a significant impact on the community/ target population; The plan appears reasonable, scalable, and builds on other relevant work. The plan is likely to have an impact on the community/ target population; The plan appears reasonable and scalable but does not build on other relevant work. The plan is likely to have a limited impact on the community/ target population; The plan is not scalable nor does it build on other work. The plan is unlikely to have an impact on the community/ target population; The plan does not have a logical approach or build on relevant work in the community. Synonymous Terms • Plan of Operation • Program Description • Process • Strategies • Activities • Action Plan • Methodology • Methods
  • 9. Partnerships Strong Weak The partnerships create a unified vision; Collaboration, information, and resource sharing are maximized. The partnerships create a shared vision; Resources are shared. The partnerships create a limited shared vision or sharing of resources. The partnerships are not identified nor sufficient.
  • 10. Timeline/Work Plan Strong Weak The project can be completed within the proposed timeline; The work plan is well detailed and developed. The project can likely be completed within the proposed timeline; The work plan has sufficient information and details. It will be challenging to complete the project within the timeline; The work plan has gaps. It is unlikely that the project can be completed within the timeline; The work plan is nonexistent or not sufficiently detailed.
  • 11. Ways to Enhance • Create a logical approach that address the root causes of the problems you are addressing • Provide sufficient details about how you will do your work • Demonstrate how the project is “weaved” into the fabric of the community • Engage in meaningful partnerships • Identify what partners are “bringing to the table”
  • 12. Project Goals and Objectives Strong Weak The goals of the project are clearly described and visionary; The objectives are concrete and measurable; The goals and objectives will have a significant impact on the need/problem statement. The goals of the project are visionary; The objectives are concrete and measurable; The goals and objectives will have an impact on the need/problem statement. The goals are not visionary; The objectives are not concrete or measurable; The goals and objectives will have a limited impact on the need/problem statement. The goals and objectives are nonexistent or unclear. Synonymous Terms • Outcomes and Indicators • Results • Impact • Success
  • 13. Ways to Enhance • Establish a system to identify and measure how your participants will change over time • Tie your goals and objectives to the problem statement/need you are addressing
  • 14. Evaluation Strong Weak A practical, useful evaluation/assessment plan addressing the project's impact is described; Participant outcomes and planned activities will both be measured. An evaluation/assessment plan is provided but some components are unclear; Participant outcomes and planned activities will both be measured. An evaluation/assessment plan is only partially provided; Participant outcomes are not measured. The evaluation/assessment plan is insufficient and unlikely to provide useful information on participant outcomes or planned activities. Synonymous Terms • Formative and Summative Evaluation • Process and Outcome Evaluation • Assessment • Measurement • Results
  • 15. Ways to Enhance • Include how you will measure the changes in your participants in addition to what you did (measuring your approach) • Discuss how you will use the data to make meaningful changes/decisions about your projects and programs
  • 16. Budget/Budget Narrative Strong Weak The planned expenditures are clearly described in the plan; All costs are reasonable, covered, and justified; Excellent use of resources. The planned expenditures logically support and are necessary for the planned actions. The planned expenditures might support the planned actions, but require more detail or justification. The planned expenditures do not logically support the planned actions; Some costs are unnecessary.
  • 17. Ways to Enhance • Make sure all the items in the budget are discussed in the approach • Provide the calculations of how you produced the budget numbers • Provide any justifications needed to rationalize items
  • 18. Sustainability Strong Weak The proposal describes significant long-term impact beyond initial funding; There is a high likelihood of future implementation or impacts of the program. The proposal does describe sustainability of parts of the program. The proposal provides a limited or unclear sustainability plan. The proposal does not discuss sustainability of the project.
  • 19. Ways to Enhance • Discuss plans to ensure the program will continue into the future • Use organizational strengths to help the funder understand your commitment to the community
  • 20. Writing Style Strong Weak The writing is free of grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors; The style of writing facilitates understanding of the project; The narrative is compelling and engaging. The writing is largely free of grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors; The style of writing generally facilitates understanding of the project; The narrative is clear. The writing includes some grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors that distract the reader; The style of writing is unclear; The narrative is confusing to follow. The writing contains numerous grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors; The style of writing does not facilitate understanding; The narrative is incoherent.
  • 21. Ways to Enhance • Keep is simple! • Avoid jargon and excessive acronyms • Have proofreaders edit your applications • Engage the hearts and minds of reviewers • Be interesting!
  • 22. Questions and Answers Today and Tomorrow!!! TechSoup Promotion GrantStation Membership $99 September 19-20, 2023
  • 23. Thanks for Participating! Alice Ruhnke, President GrantStation www.grantstation.com alice@grantstation.com 877.784.7268 info@grantstation.com