Monday, October 5

Free Grants for Children &Youth Programs

8 Tips for Getting an Effective Grant

So you want to apply for a grant for a child, youth, family or senior project you have thought of for you or for your organization, but you’ve heard it’s difficult or impossible to apply. By following the set of simple steps -- the main "rules" around obtaining a grant, it is much quicker, easier, and far more effective to get it done – and get the grant you need to do what you do best or for your program.

So let's look at what you want and how to really get some free grant money for you and your organization. But the benefits of applying for a grant are worth it in many ways.

Step 1: Getting Started
The first step in getting funded is to get organized! Begin your search or establish a team of voluteers to look at a few potential funders -- like the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation and others. There are also funds available through your state or county programs, but in this time of troubling financial issues – this may be more difficult to obtain and could be a much smaller grant.

Step 2: Writing the Proposal
Before examining each section of the proposal, here is some general advice:
● Write clearly, concisely, and honestly;
● Use direct and easy to understand style;
● Avoid jargon. If necessary, be sure to define terms;
● Be specific! Provide the reader with examples and details without extending the content unnecessarily;

Cover Letter
Sometimes the grant application process will allow you to write a cover letter. It's better to have the chairperson, or someone with high authority within the organization, to sign the cover letter. Besides giving a brief description of the project and the proposal contacts, it should convey the organizations commitment to the project. Don't try to “beg” or be “pretentiousness”. Most often it does not work!

Statement of Need
This section identifies and provides background on the problem that the project intends to address. Defining the problems requires extensive research about the community and the targeted population. A critical analysis of the literature about the project should be provided and referenced. Kiritz warns against characterizing the problem as lack of what the project offers. For Example, if a project includes tutoring elementary school students, the problem should not be labeled as “failing school performance due to the lack of after school tutoring.” Narrow down the problem to one that has realistic solutions. For example, “world hunger” is too large a scope; so instead focus on “providing breakfast for preschoolers in an economically depressed town.” Once defined, the problem should be described by focusing on the particular situation the project deals with, while relating it to other associated conditions. Not only does this approach give a more complete understanding of the problem, but also widens the door for different kinds of funding. Explain why the project should be funded now. What conditions make now the best time to achieve success? And don't be afraid to show the originality of the project.

The Purpose
The purpose forms the heart of the proposal as it states the goals, objectives, and expected results of the project. Share your Goals and your objectives.

As a guideline, a project usually has only one or two goals and several objectives. If the proposal contains a long list of goals, either some of the goals are actually objectives, or the project needs to be more clearly defined as to its ultimate purpose. The following is an example of the goals and objectives for a tutoring program:

When writing the proposal for a foundation, the results the project plans to achieve should be emphasized. Remember that the proposal must prove that supporting the proposed project is an effective use of the foundation’s money. So be sure to clearly define the outcomes.

The Procedure
How to you hope to achieve the goals and objectives. Explain the process and why you think it is important. You must convince the prospective funder that the applicant organization takes action and can achieve the expected outcomes.

The evaluation section describes how you will evaluate the project to be sure it has achieved its goals and objectives. Foundations and other funding organizations want to ensure that their money is well spent on successful program. .

The Budget
The budget is the last section of the proposal. Even though some foundations may only ask for the total budget amount in their guidelines, all foundations expect the applicant organization to be well versed on every aspect of the budget. The prospective funder wants to see that the applicant organization knows how to manage its money well, and this concern is conveyed through the budget.

So you've done it. That's what it takes. We will be posting new funding organizations on this blog as we go along, so check back often to see what may be available.
Don't be afraid to apply for much needed grants. Especially when it comes to children's programs. Everyone agrees they are well deserved.

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.