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Get your Federal Money Retriever® for FREE from GovernmentGrants.org.. It is best of the best for getting federal government grants, government loans, government benefits, apply for home loans and mortgages. Federal Money Retriever® gives you a nice and easy way to access and research all government grants and loans. It keeps automatically up-to-date its huge government grants database which gives you a list of all federal grant making agencies, their phones, mailing addresses, and information of whom to contact. The Federal Money Retriever® Pre-Application Wizard offers a quick and easy way to prepare and print professionally formatted pre-application government grants inquiries. In this grant software for government grants you will find a Guide to Federal Funding and Freedom of Information Act request wizard. You will find our how to prepare your grant application and using the FOIA wizard, you can quickly file a request for an approved government grant proposal from a particular government agency. Get your Federal Money Retriever® now!
How to Apply for Government Grants : Step-by-Step Guide
1. Make a list of all government programs matching your needs as an applicant.
Federal Money Retriever® offers various ways of creating lists of government programs corresponding to the needs of the user. See How to Search and Create Lists of Programs.
Use the Browse by Single Program Section option for the Official Program Report to quickly look up specific sections of the government programs' descriptions.
A review of the Program Objectives and Uses, Restrictions sections can point out which programs might provide funding for an idea. Do not overlook the Related Programs as potential resources.
Keep in mind that both the applicant and the grantor agency should have the same interests, intentions, and needs if a project (or a funding request) is to be considered an acceptable candidate for funding or assistance.
Carefully study the Eligibility Requirements for each government program. You may learn that you will be required to provide services otherwise unintended such as a service to particular client groups, or involvement of specific institutions. This may necessitate the modification of your original concept in order for your project to be eligible for funding.
Check for application deadlines (if any) in the Application and Award Process heading. Deadlines for submitting applications are often not negotiable. They are usually associated with strict timetables for agency review. Some programs have more than one application deadline during the fiscal year.
2. Prepare and mail a pre-application inquiry letter and project info-sheet.
Basic requirements, application forms, information and procedures vary with the government agency making the grant award. It is important to confirm application deadlines, funding availability, and the application process used by the grantor agency before engaging into the time consuming process of developing the final grant applications (proposals).
It is strongly recommended to prepare and mail a Pre-Application.
3. Establish a good contact with program administrators.
Once you receive a response to your pre-application inquiry, get to know some of the grantor agency personnel.
Ask again for suggestions, criticisms, and advice about the proposed project. In many cases, the more agency personnel know about the project, the better the chance of support and of an eventual favorable decision.
A personal visit to the agency's regional office or headquarters is also important. A visit not only establishes face-to-face contact, but also may bring out some essential details about the proposal or help secure literature and references from the agency's library.
If the response to your inquiry is unfavorable and differences cannot be resolved, ask the examining agency (official) to suggest another department or agency which may be interested in your project.
4. Prepare a grant application (proposal).
Federal Money Retriever® software allows you to prepare a request
for samples of awarded grant proposals for given government program.
You can use a recently funded grant proposal as an example of effective
proposal writing and as a source of useful information and guide. A
successful grant proposal is one that is well-prepared, thoughtfully
planned, and concisely packaged.
How To Write a Succesfull Government Grant Proposal
A successful grant proposal is one that is well-prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged.
The potential applicant should become familiar with all of the pertinent program criteria related to the federal program from which assistance is sought. Applicants should remember that the basic requirements, application forms, information and procedures vary with the Federal agency making the grant award. See Pre-Application Wizard.
Individuals without prior grant proposal writing experience may find it useful to attend a grantsmanship workshop. A workshop can amplify the basic information presented here. Applicants interested in additional readings on grantsmanship and proposal development should consult the references listed in Guidelines and Literature and explore other library resources.
Developing Ideas for the Proposal
When developing an idea for a proposal it is important to determine if the idea has been considered in the applicant's locality or State. A careful check should be made with legislators and area government agencies and related public and private agencies which may currently have grant awards or contracts to do similar work. If a similar program already exists, the applicant may need to reconsider submitting the proposed project, particularly if duplication of effort is perceived. If significant differences or improvements in the proposed project's goals can be clearly established, it may be worthwhile to pursue Federal assistance.
Community support for most proposals is essential. Once proposal summary is developed, look for individuals or groups representing academic, political, professional, and lay organizations which may be willing to support the proposal in writing. The type and caliber of community support is critical in the initial and subsequent review phases. Numerous letters of support can be persuasive to a grantor agency. Do not overlook support from local government agencies and public officials. Letters of endorsement detailing exact areas of project sanction and commitment are often requested as part of a proposal to a Federal agency. Several months may be required to develop letters of endorsement since something of value (e.g., buildings, staff, services) is sometimes negotiated between the parties involved.
Many agencies require, in writing, affiliation agreements (a mutual agreement to share services between agencies) and building space commitments prior to either grant approval or award. A useful method of generating community support may be to hold meetings with the top decision makers in the community who would be concerned with the subject matter of the proposal. The forum for discussion may include a query into the merits of the proposal, development of a contract of support for the proposal, to generate data in support of the proposal, or development of a strategy to create proposal support from a large number of community groups.
Getting Organized to Write the Proposal
Throughout the proposal writing stage keep a notebook handy to write down ideas. Periodically, try to connect ideas by reviewing the notebook. Never throw away written ideas during the grant writing stage. Maintain a file labeled "Ideas" or by some other convenient title and review the ideas from time to time. The file should be easily accessible. The gathering of documents such as articles of incorporation, tax exemption certificates, and bylaws should be completed, if possible, before the writing begins.
At some point, perhaps after the first or second draft is completed, seek out a neutral third party to review the proposal working draft for continuity, clarity and reasoning. Ask for constructive criticism at this point, rather than wait for the Federal grantor agency to volunteer this information during the review cycle. For example, has the writer made unsupported assumptions or used jargon or excessive language in the proposal?
Most proposals are made to institutions rather than individuals. Often signatures of chief administrative officials are required. Check to make sure they are included in the proposal where appropriate.
Proposals should be typed, collated, copied, and packaged correctly and neatly (according to agency instructions, if any). Each package should be inspected to ensure uniformity from cover to cover. Binding may require either clamps or hard covers. Check with the Federal agency to determine its preference. A neat, organized, and attractive proposal package can leave a positive impression with the reader about the proposal contents.
A cover letter should always accompany a proposal. Standard U.S. Postal Service requirements apply unless otherwise indicated by the Federal agency. Make sure there is enough time for the proposals to reach their destinations. Otherwise, special arrangements may be necessary. Always coordinate such arrangements with the Federal grantor agency project office (the agency which will ultimately have the responsibility for the project), the grant office (the agency which will coordinate the grant review), and the contract office (the agency responsible for disbursement and grant award notices), if necessary.
There are 8 basic components to creating a solid government grant proposal package:
The Proposal Summary: Outline of Project Goals
The proposal summary outlines the proposed project and should appear at the beginning of the proposal. It could be in the form of a cover letter or a separate page, but should definitely be brief -- no longer than two or three paragraphs. The summary would be most useful if it were prepared after the proposal has been developed in order to encompass all the key summary points necessary to communicate the objectives of the project. It is this document that becomes the cornerstone of your proposal, and the initial impression it gives will be critical to the success of your venture. In many cases, the summary will be the first part of the proposal package seen by agency officials and very possibly could be the only part of the package that is carefully reviewed before the decision is made to consider the project any further.
The applicant must select a fundable project which can be supported in view of the local need. Alternatives, in the absence of Federal support, should be pointed out. The influence of the project both during and after the project period should be explained. The consequences of the project as a result of funding should be highlighted.
Introduction: Presenting a Credible Applicant or Organization
The applicant should gather data about its organization from all available sources. Most proposals require a description of an applicant's organization to describe its past and present operations. Some features to consider are:
The Problem Statement: Stating the Purpose at Hand
The problem statement (or needs assessment) is a key element of a proposal that makes a clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed. The best way to collect information about the problem is to conduct and document both a formal and informal needs assessment for a program in the target or service area. The information provided should be both factual and directly related to the problem addressed by the proposal. Areas to document are:
The remaining alternatives available when funding has been exhausted. Explain what will happen to the project and the impending implications.Most importantly, the specific manner through which problems might be solved. Review the resources needed, considering how they will be used and to what end.
There is a considerable body of literature on the exact assessment techniques to be used. Any local, regional, or State government planning office, or local university offering course work in planning and evaluation techniques should be able to provide excellent background references. Types of data that may be collected include: historical, geographic, quantitative, factual, statistical, and philosophical information, as well as studies completed by colleges, and literature searches from public or university libraries. Local colleges or universities which have a department or section related to the proposal topic may help determine if there is interest in developing a student or faculty project to conduct a needs assessment. It may be helpful to include examples of the findings for highlighting in the proposal.
Project Objectives: Goals and Desired Outcome
Program objectives refer to specific activities in a proposal. It is necessary to identify all objectives related to the goals to be reached, and the methods to be employed to achieve the stated objectives. Consider quantities or things measurable and refer to a problem statement and the outcome of proposed activities when developing a well-stated objective. The figures used should be verifiable. Remember, if the proposal is funded, the stated objectives will probably be used to evaluate program progress, so be realistic. There is literature available to help identify and write program objectives.
Program Methods and Program Design: A Plan of Action
The program design refers to how the project is expected to work and solve the stated problem. Sketch out the following:
The activities to occur along with the related resources and staff needed to operate the project (inputs).
A flow chart of the organizational features of the project. Describe how the parts interrelate, where personnel will be needed, and what they are expected to do. Identify the kinds of facilities, transportation, and support services required (throughputs).
Explain what will be achieved through 1 and 2 above (outputs); i.e., plan for measurable results. Project staff may be required to produce evidence of program performance through an examination of stated objectives during either a site visit by the Federal grantor agency and or grant reviews which may involve peer review committees.
It may be useful to devise a diagram of the program design. For example, draw a three column block. Each column is headed by one of the parts (inputs, throughputs and outputs), and on the left (next to the first column) specific program features should be identified (i.e., implementation, staffing, procurement, and systems development). In the grid, specify something about the program design, for example, assume the first column is labeled inputs and the first row is labeled staff. On the grid one might specify under inputs five nurses to operate a child care unit. The throughput might be to maintain charts, counsel the children, and set up a daily routine; outputs might be to discharge 25 healthy children per week. This type of procedure will help to conceptualize both the scope and detail of the project.
Wherever possible, justify in the narrative the course of action taken. The most economical method should be used that does not compromise or sacrifice project quality. The financial expenses associated with performance of the project will later become points of negotiation with the Federal program staff. If everything is not carefully justified in writing in the proposal, after negotiation with the Federal grantor agencies, the approved project may resemble less of the original concept. Carefully consider the pressures of the proposed implementation, that is, the time and money needed to acquire each part of the plan. A Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) chart could be useful and supportive in justifying some proposals.
Highlight the innovative features of the proposal which could be considered distinct from other proposals under consideration.
Whenever possible, use appendices to provide details, supplementary data, references, and information requiring in-depth analysis. These types of data, although supportive of the proposal, if included in the body of the design, could detract from its readability. Appendices provide the proposal reader with immediate access to details if and when clarification of an idea, sequence or conclusion is required. Time tables, work plans, schedules, activities, methodologies, legal papers, personal vitae, letters of support, and endorsements are examples of appendices.
Evaluation: Product and Process Analysis
The evaluation component is two-fold: (1) product evaluation; and (2) process evaluation. Product evaluation addresses results that can be attributed to the project, as well as the extent to which the project has satisfied its desired objectives. Process evaluation addresses how the project was conducted, in terms of consistency with the stated plan of action and the effectiveness of the various activities within the plan.
Most Federal agencies now require some form of program evaluation among grantees. The requirements of the proposed project should be explored carefully. Evaluations may be conducted by an internal staff member, an evaluation firm or both. The applicant should state the amount of time needed to evaluate, how the feedback will be distributed among the proposed staff, and a schedule for review and comment for this type of communication. Evaluation designs may start at the beginning, middle or end of a project, but the applicant should specify a start-up time. It is practical to submit an evaluation design at the start of a project for two reasons:
Convincing evaluations require the collection of appropriate data before and during program operations; and,
If the evaluation design cannot be prepared at the outset then a critical review of the program design may be advisable.
Even if the evaluation design has to be revised as the project progresses, it is much easier and cheaper to modify a good design. If the problem is not well defined and carefully analyzed for cause and effect relationships then a good evaluation design may be difficult to achieve. Sometimes a pilot study is needed to begin the identification of facts and relationships. Often a thorough literature search may be sufficient.
Evaluation requires both coordination and agreement among program decision makers (if known). Above all, the Federal grantor agency's requirements should be highlighted in the evaluation design. Also, Federal grantor agencies may require specific evaluation techniques such as designated data formats (an existing information collection system) or they may offer financial inducements for voluntary participation in a national evaluation study. The applicant should ask specifically about these points. Also, consult the Criteria For Selecting Proposals section of the program description to determine the exact evaluation methods to be required for the program if funded.
Future Funding: Long-Term Project Planning
Describe a plan for continuation beyond the grant period, and/or the availability of other resources necessary to implement the grant. Discuss maintenance and future program funding if program is for construction activity. Account for other needed expenditures if program includes purchase of equipment.
The Proposal Budget: Planning the Budget
Funding levels in Federal assistance programs change yearly. It is useful to review the appropriations over the past several years to try to project future funding levels (see Financial Information section of the program description).
However, it is safer to never anticipate that the income from the grant will be the sole support for the project. This consideration should be given to the overall budget requirements, and in particular, to budget line items most subject to inflationary pressures. Restraint is important in determining inflationary cost projections (avoid padding budget line items), but attempt to anticipate possible future increases.
Some vulnerable budget areas are: utilities, rental of buildings and equipment, salary increases, food, telephones, insurance, and transportation. Budget adjustments are sometimes made after the grant award, but this can be a lengthy process. Be certain that implementation, continuation and phase-down costs can be met. Consider costs associated with leases, evaluation systems, hard/soft match requirements, audits, development, implementation and maintenance of information and accounting systems, and other long-term financial commitments.
A well-prepared budget justifies all expenses and is consistent with the proposal narrative. Some areas in need of an evaluation for consistency are: (1) the salaries in the proposal in relation to those of the applicant organization should be similar; (2) if new staff persons are being hired, additional space and equipment should be considered, as necessary; (3) if the budget calls for an equipment purchase, it should be the type allowed by the grantor agency; (4) if additional space is rented, the increase in insurance should be supported; (5) if an indirect cost rate applies to the proposal, the division between direct and indirect costs should not be in conflict, and the aggregate budget totals should refer directly to the approved formula; and (6) if matching costs are required, the contributions to the matching fund should be taken out of the budget unless otherwise specified in the application instructions.
It is very important to become familiar with Government-wide circular requirements. The applicant should thoroughly review the appropriate circulars since they are essential in determining items such as cost principles and conforming with Government guidelines for Federal domestic assistance.
The Federal RegisterThe Federal Register, published daily, is the medium for making available to the public Federal agency regulations and other legal documents of the Executive Branch. These documents cover a wide range of government activities. Here, government requirements are published which involve environmental protection, consumer product safety, food and drug standards, occupational health and safety, and many more areas of concern to the public.
Perhaps more importantly, the Federal Register includes proposed changes in regulated areas. Each proposed change published carries an invitation for any citizen or group to participate in the consideration of the proposed regulation through the submission of written data, views, or arguments, and sometimes by oral presentations. Through the publication of proposed rules and notices of public meetings, citizens are given the opportunity to be informed about and participate in the workings of their government. The Federal Register is also a vehicle for the announcement of newly authorized and/or funded programs.
The Federal Register Index is based on a consolidation of entries appearing in the issues of the Federal Register together with broad references. It is published monthly and is cumulated for 12 months.
Additional Federal Register resources include:
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Superintendent of Documents
Additional Government Grants Information can be obtaing from the following Government Agencies and Departments
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of Transportation
Department of Veterans Affairs
Federal Independent Agencies:
Appalachian Regional Commission
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Government Grants, Government Loans, Government Assistance
Alcohol National Research Service Awards for Research Training - $11,420,000
Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs - $34,886,000 grants
Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships - $16,000,000 grants, traineeships
1890 Land Grant Institutions Rural Entrepreneurial Outreach Program
- $1,800,000 grants
Hawaiian Institutions Assisting Communities - $3,968,000 grants