How to Win Government Grants in Tough Times: Part 3

Building a Collaborative Grant-seeking Team

Writing a successful grant proposal involves teamwork. To assemble the best team possible, you will need to identify tasks, secure the necessary partnerships, and develop a timeline.

Main PI – Manages and is responsible for the overall project. Develops strategy and timeline. Determines and secures programmatic team members. Writes job descriptions. Creates proposal outline based on the Request for Proposal (RFP). Coordinates writing process with other team members. Guides process and quality assurance. Connects bigger picture with details. Plans fundraising strategy for matching funds. Makes final decision on proposal approach.

  • Programmatic Team – Includes key individuals with specific knowledge who serve as writers and/or provide content for their particular area of expertise (e.g., methodology, supportive services, institutional research data, logic model, evaluation). Provides feedback on proposal drafts.
  • Administrative Team – Accurately completes all forms and obtains required signatures. Has in-depth knowledge of RFP requirements. Develops a checklist of RFP requirements. Sets deadline dates for team tasks. Keeps team on task. Ensures proposal is complete, including supporting documentation. Checks details.
  • Budget Team – Develops budget according to RFP guidelines. Has specific knowledge of fiscal requirements. Works closely with programmatic team. Serves as liaison between the college and other units related to the grant process.
  • Editor – Compiles information (e.g., letters of commitment, biographies and CVs for project personnel). Proofreads for grammatical errors. Ensures clarity and consistency throughout proposal. Provides boilerplate text. Checks formatting and ensures each section meets RFP requirements.
  • Outside Readers – Confirm proposal is written for an education lay person.

A team approach with regular meetings ensures information is communicated immediately to the appropriate team member. The silo approach is ineffective in this competitive market. Remember, the more time the team spends on the front end, the more time will be saved in the long run.

Look for Part 4 of “How to Win Government Grants in Tough Times” in the December issue of the ORB.

Excerpted from The Chronicle of Philanthropy Webinar, August 13, 2013