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Competitive Public Funding Proposals
Receiving a state or federal grant award can feel like hitting the jackpot. The funding commitment is often multi-year, and the dollar amounts are usually substantial. But the application process can be complicated, requiring a great deal of detailed information submitted in a prescribed format.
General tips to help prepare a proposal:
- Determine eligibility. Carefully review criteria. Some states provide a list of schools that meet specific criteria. No matter how compelling your case, if you're not eligible, you won't win the grant.
- Obtain grant materials. Download an application or request an application package. The application will provide instructions, forms, and precise details you must follow.
- Note deadlines. Deadlines on government grants are firm. An application received even one minute past the deadline will not be accepted.
- Submit at least 2-3 days before it's due. Allow time to revise, sign, print, and photocopy. If sending via overnight delivery, know the carrier's deadline. If submitting electronically, allow time for transmission problems (such as multiple applicants trying to access the site). If you hand deliver the application, get a receipt with delivery date and time.
- Utilize team approach. Team members can contribute to the proposal, gather relevant data and brainstorm. Assign one member to compile input and write.
- Follow instructions. Government grant applications provide detailed instructions on page limits, margins, fonts, attachments, etc. Assign someone to ensure revisions that change pagination are reflected in the table of contents, and to look for other “oops” that could disqualify the application or result in a lower score.
- Adhere to criteria or rubrics. Criteria will tell you exactly how grant reviewers score the applications. Refer to these resources often to make sure all items are fully addressed.
- Complete each section. Organize proposal according to instructions, using each section as an outline heading. Be careful not to misrepresent data or project.
- Review and revise. Ask someone unfamiliar with the project to review your application.
Competitive Public Funding Grant Opportunities
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