Five Things to Know about Writing Better Grant Proposals

1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE Understand your funding source's interests. Make sure a match exists between grantee and grantmaker.

2. KNOW THE NEED FOR YOUR PROJECT Understand what market exists for your project. Make sure you understand the needs of your target population. Examine what similar organizations are doing locally, regionally, and nationally.

3. KNOW YOUR ABILTIES Understand why your organization is the one to carry out this project. Capture momentum and build your narrative on your strengths. Address weaknesses only when you articulate your intention to strengthen them.

4. KNOW HOW TO EVALUATE RESULTS - Understand how you are going to measure the process and outcomes of your project. Prove to the funder(s) that you are launching a meaningful endeavor and you are serious about its success. Show the funder(s) that their money is being well spent.

5. KNOW YOUR RESOURCES - Understand the talented individuals who are involved with the project and encourage them to share knowledge. Release your hold on the text and encourage everyone to feel a sense of ownership and authorship. Complement human resources with powerful and credible sources of information.


Grant Writing Helpful Hints and Information Sources


Where to Look


The Foundation Center
One of the best sources of information about funding. Call for sources nearest you, 1-800-424-9836.

The Federal Register
The Federal Register provides listings of federal grants currently open for application. Published five times weekly, it is usually available at libraries or regional education centers.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
This is a guide to all of the programs sponsored by the federal government. Available in public libraries, or from the Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 202-512-0132.

The Educational Foundation of America
This foundation is interested in funding grass-roots education projects on an ongoing basis. Those with community-based educational technology proposals should contact the Foundation at 203-226-6498.

Funding Sources Database
Contains over 2,000 sources searchable by key words. Updated each March, listings detail funding preferences, restrictions, and application guidelines. Call 1-800-923-3317.

Federal Information Centers
Located in 21 cities across the United States, these facilities address questions about the federal government's services, programs, and regulations, and will do research to help you find out information. To find the closest Federal Information Center, check your telephone directory under federal government listings.

DIALOG Information Services
An on-line database to access information on foundation grants, 1-800-334-2564.

The Educator's Guide for Developing and Funding Educational Technology Solutions
Written by John Crandler, a developer of the California Model Technology Project and an associate of the Northwest Regional Laboratory. A new guide to preparing funding proposals for educational technology. For more information, contact Educational Support Systems, Hillsborough, CA, 415-433-7046.

Capitol Publications, Inc.
Offers a number of print titles related to grant writing, including Writing Grant Proposals That Win, Corporate Philanthropy Report, Grants for Teachers: A Guide to Federal and Public Funding, and Education Grants Alert. For more information, contact Capitol Publications, Inc., 1101 King St., Box 1453, Alexandria, VA 22313-2053, 1-800-221-0425.

The Cybergrant System
A new online bulletin board that offers information about education news and grant opportunities. There is a subscription fee, but Cybergrant is offering a free trial period. For more information, set your modem to 8-N-1 and dial 703-768-3471.

Bring Business and Community Resources into Your Classroom.
A free how-to booklet on business-education partnerships from the National Education Association, 1201 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, 202-822-7207.

The Catalog of Federal Education Grants
Capital Publications, Inc., 1-800-655-5597.

Chapter 1 Flexibility: A Guide to Opportunities in Local Projects
Compensatory Education Programs Section, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202, 202-759-2000.


Liedtke, Jane A. "Strengthening Support for Technology Education through Grant Writing." The Technology Teacher 51.4 (January 1992): 32-34.

In a day of frequent budget cuts, successful grant writing is necessary to support technology education. Liedtke says we can write grant proposals to . . .

Liedtke also says the we can increase faculty involvement with the following strategies:


Gothberg, Helen M. and Edith H. Ferrell. "New Sources on Grants and Grant Writing." Reference Services Review 21.2 (Summer 1993): 17-30.

The authors provide an overview of grant writing books, grant funding sources indexes, and on-line grant information databases. All of the entries have been written or updated since 1987. Following are some of the interesting book titles they discuss along with the two on-line data bases:


Reeve, Edward M., and Davis V. Ballard. "A Faculty Guide to Writing Grant Proposals." Community Technical and Junior College Journal 63.4 (February/March 1993): 29-31.

Large universities typically generate much of their income through grants proposed by faculty members. In a day of decreasing budgets, community college faculty also must learn to generate funding through successful grant writing.

Ways to find funding sources that match your needs include . . .

Effective proposals, which may be written by an interdisciplinary team, will include . . .