Decide What Good Thing You Want to Do
Conduct A Series Of Stakeholder Meetings
The lead agency is whoever will handle the money, write checks and assume responsibility for the execution of the project and for the many (repeat many) detailed reports the government will ask for. The lead agency should be be someone everybody trusts. If it’s a collaborative project, the partners should agree on the lead agency and that agency should have a record of trustworthy behavior. This is important because the lead agency can make the collaboration work or screw it up royally. If you’ve ever been a junior partner in a collaborative projects, it’s likely you’ve been burned by a lead agency that cut you out or reduced the amount of money you received. Selection of the lead agency is of primary importance to the success of the project.
A project plan is pretty much the same as a business plan. You’ll need a multi-year budget depending on the Request For Proposal. You’ll need to develop staff lists, qualifications of key project leaders and organizations, certifications, licenses and permits needed to operate. You’ll need to create goals and objectives, strategies and implementation plans. You may even have to create a new organization from scratch if one does not already exist that can handle the project. Write the project plan up in a business plan format. The project plan answers the proverbial 5 W’s: Who is doing the project; What the project is; When the project will take place; Where the project will be conducted; Why the project needs to be conducted. Answer those questions in your project plan and you’ll be ready to write the grant.
Find Federal Funding
Follow the instructions in the RFP closely. If you don’t understand something, call the federal agency’s contact person for help. They love that. Nothing warms the cockles of a bureaucrat’s heart more than to have you sit at their feet, eager to learn from them. Calling for help can keep you on track and help you build rapport with the agency awarding the grant. It may not help you win the grant (the process is pretty strict about the decision being in the hands of impartial reviewers), but it can help make the process easier if you do win the grant.
Collect Support Data
Fill out the application, its appendices and attach the proper documentation and all of the letters of support you have collected. Send the application as soon as you have it completed. Don’t wait for the last minute. It never fails that you need something else or that something gets delayed. Plan to be finished early and you’ll be finished on time.
Success and Failure
What Not to Do