Grant Writing Resources

After writing a couple of small grants successfully, I decided to take a few grant writing courses to learn more about the types of grants available and the resources related to grant writing for a wider variety of contexts. I recently worked with Candace Marcotte and Kyle Shack to develop content for a mini workshop aimed at helping K-12 STEM educators locate funding for classroom tools and projects. The workshop was presented to fellows in the WIPRO MSU Urban STEM program. Below are a few tips and resources we shared with the teachers. Feel free to comment below with feedback on how this list can be expanded: 

  1. Find out the protocol for soliciting funding via your school/district.
  2. Locate Sources: Visit your regional funding library to get a first list of potential foundation, corporate, and government funders.
  3. Network with Potential Partners: 
    1. community members
    2. community groups
    3. service organizations
    4. local businesses
    5. corporations
    6. individuals with resources
    7. VIPs
    8. local politicians
    9. government officials
    10. foundation program directors and program officers
    11. corporate contributions representatives
  4. Language: Read application guidelines carefully, you will learn the language, or buzzwords, that they use to express their mission and programs. The way that you tell a funder that you share the same goals and objectives is to include their key language or buzzwords in your proposal.
  5. Needs Statement: Develop a set of  goals and measurable objectives you wish to achieve with the funding. If you can, construct an elevator pitch that can convey the essence of your needs in 90 seconds or less.
  6. Contact: Make introductory phone calls to verify and clarify the funders' application guidelines (some funders will expect e-mail communications).
  7. What to say:  When speaking with a representative of a funding agency, share:
    1. Your name and your position within the organization.
    2. Your organization's name and mission.
    3. A one-sentence statement about the problem that your organization is working to solve, with one or two relevant statistics.
    4. One or two recent major accomplishments that relate to this problem.
    5. A one-sentence statement about the programs that need support.
    6. At the end of the conversation,  thank you for your time
  8. What to ask:
    1. Is the funder interested in supporting your organization or program?
    2. What programs are they specifically interested in supporting?
    3. Which areas of the proposed program are they most interested in funding?
    4. What is the appropriate amount to request?
    5. What are the next steps to take in requesting support?
  9. Follow Funders Guidelines EXACTLY.
  10. Remember to tell a story when writing the proposed program paragraphs.