Thursday, October 9, 2008

6 steps to getting selected for federal grants

Federal regulations can be Byzantine, but the White House, through its office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, offered a guide called “Developing a Quality Grant Proposal” that offers guidance about selection criteria for a federal grant.

The criteria listed include:
  • Need for the project. Explain how community need ties into the grant program’s purpose. Use recent statistics, compare target areas to region and nation, demonstrate through facts and avoid jargon and rhetoric.
  • Project design. It should meet the stated need, reflect the life of the project, demonstrate a well thought-out plan, detail recruitment of target population, build community partnerships and develop a contingency plan.
  • Project services. These should incorporate proven methods, tailor services to benefit the community, vary methods of meeting the need, emphasize individual services and cite examples of activities.
  • Personnel. Provide detailed job descriptions of both paid staff and volunteers, highlight their qualifications, demonstrate their ability to relate to target populations, address professional development and align salaries with time and effort.
  • Project evaluation. Measure goals and objectives to see if they are ambitious and attainable, what indicators will demonstrate progress and if they are achieved through services. Review project performance monthly or quarterly to see if it meets the needs in the proposal and if it can be used to replicate success. Include staff and participant input.

Budget. It should be for the life of the grant, address matching requirements, seek other support and focus on sustainability.