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Grant Writing Tips

SPB Grant Application Overview

Video has closed captions and a transcript is provided on this page. The slide deck is also provided as a downloadable PDF.

Download SPB Grant Program- Workshop for Retreat Slides

Helpful Resources

The following resources provide helpful information on grant writing, sample proposals, and opportunities that could increase the odds for a successful funding experience.

Video Transcript

Hi my name is Madeline Gregg I’m the director of corporate and Foundation Partnerships in a grant writer here in the division of advancement. I’m also the advisor for the student philanthropy boards grant program. And today I’m just going to be giving a deeper dive on what we’re looking for in the grant proposals.

But before I get into that I do want to mention that we have two workshops each semester where students can get help developing their applications or have questions answered in person. So, the first one will be on February 2nd from 5 to 9 pm at the alumni friends Center in our ballroom. And you can just come and go as you can its very open Office hours type style meeting. The second one will be on February 16th also from 5 to 9 pm at the alumni and Friends Center in our Ballroom. If you’re not able to make it to either of those workshops I would highly encourage you to reach out to me and I’ll have my contact info at the end as well as on our website. Just schedule a time to meet with me and we can go through your proposal and I can answer questions and help you put it together.

So now just to go into the actual proposal and a little bit more about the grant program committee and why we exist. So, the grant program is working to empower students who are leading philanthropic efforts through fundraising and grant writing. And it’s overseen by the members of the student philanthropy board and staff within the division of advancement. So, the staff members on the grant program include Matthew Ewing who is the VP of advancement, Sydney Montgomery who’s the director of student and recent grad programs, and myself.

So, each semester the grant program committee has up to twelve thousand five hundred dollars to be awarded to students or student-led organizations that are leading philanthropic efforts on campus. So, after the initial proposal, the written proposal, the grant committee will narrow the field to the top finalists and those finalists will be invited to come and Pitch their proposals in person with a presentation to the board.

So, I know I mentioned we have 12 500 to award each semester the maximum amount that you can request is twelve thousand five hundred but you’ll need to, you know justify those costs, and I’ll get into that when we talk about the budget.

So, the qualification criteria are that you have to be an organization registered through student involvement or if you’re an individual who’s not affiliated with a student organization on campus you have to receive a sponsorship or endorsement from either an academic department or a fair Department by obtaining at least two signatures one from a chair director and one from a financial or administrative staff member. If you don’t know who to reach out to get signatures please reach out to me and I will help connect you with the right person and those signature lines will be on one of the templates that I’ll discuss here.

Right now, actually. So just a little brief overview of what the application entails we have a cover sheet which is on our website and it’s just a form you filled out with the basic information and the signature lines, if that’s applicable if you’re just an individual not an organization, then we have an executive summary which can be anywhere from half a page to one page a program description, and then a project budget. And if there’s anything on the project budget that you feel like you need to explain a little bit more you can include a brief budget narrative with your proposal.

And then finally if you are student org just proof of registration if it’s applicable to you. Okay so now getting into the executive summary. This is kind of like a thousand-foot overview of who you are and what you do. So, you want to give it a title you want to talk about the background of your organization or the philanthropic initiative that that you’re working on. If you have a mission statement this is a good place to include that. You want to do a brief description of the project and really highlight your statement of need.

So, like what problem are you trying to solve and then clearly identify them out of funding that you’re requesting in a brief project timeline. And if you have phases that would be a good place to put in. Okay now we’re going into the program description so the first thing you want to do is clearly identify your goals and object objectives. I would encourage you to include at least one goal which is what your program hopes to achieve and one to two objectives for each goal.

And that is basically what changes you expect to see as a result of this work or a major Milestone toward achieving your goal and make sure that you tie it back to that statement of need that you identified in the executive summary. One thing I tell people to do with their objectives is to use a Smart acronym, be specific measurable achievable relevant and timely. That’s just a good little tip to keep in mind then further on in the program description you want to talk about what methods you’ll be using to achieve your outcomes.

Well what other level resources will you be leveraging are there other partners involved are you going to work with other people are you applying for other sources of funding. Basically, what’s it going to take to make this happen. Then we want to know how you’re going to measure success that will vary from application application but basically how will you know that this grant funding was used what it was intended for and did you achieve your goal. The next is the timeline and this is more of a deeper dive than what was described in the executive summary. Like here I would include benchmarks you have a year within the award of funds to spend the money so how are you going to do that throughout that year.

The last thing is what will be the lasting impact of this funding. What makes your proposals extraordinary and why should we pick it. Compared why is it the best basically because you’re competing with other individuals and organizations for this funding. The next component is the budget and we have a template for this online so you just fill it out. But it should be a good faith estimate of your anticipated costs and when I’m putting a budget together I think about things like is it necessary is it reasonable is it allowable definitely do your research on what it’s going to cost to launch your project.

Really the only thing that would disqualify or would make it not allowable under the student philanthropy board Grant criteria is if it’s not a philanthropic initiative. We want it to be philanthropic in nature and we want it to have an impact on our community. Other funding requests should go through with the ASBSU funding board so that’s kind of the distinction between those two groups.

And then when you’re putting together the project budget, which like I said we have a template, you’ll have one column for revenue and one for expenses and you can in your narrative if you include one go into more detail on that. Yeah so this is just the general formatting that we’re looking for and we want you to use time stream Roman font includes section headings so executive summary, program or project description. And you can use subheadings if you want to if you want to say Goals if that makes it clearer and more organized I would encourage that and we I would like those to be in bold as well so use those font criteria single space.

And then finally save the final version as one PDF document because I know there’s a lot of different parts to this but have it in the order that we have it on the checklist in one document. Just some general tips and tricks for grant writing use an active voice, spell out your acronyms, be concise, this is a very short Grant so you need to short in terms of the page requirements so it’s definitely important to be concise.

Before I submit Grant applications one thing I try to do is find an objective reviewer, so someone who has no idea about what you’re working on would they be able to read it and understand who you are what you do and what you’re trying to accomplish. Make sure your budget makes sense make sure that your expenses and your Revenue balances.

And if you’re applying to more than one source of funding I would encourage you to make templates like for the executive summary for your project description things like that so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time.

Okay finally how to submit your proposal like I said it should be in one PDF format and then email it to me, that’s my contact information and the deadline is Sunday February 26th by 11 59 PM. So if you have any additional questions or clarifications please email me or call me at this number in this email address. And then finally these are other key dates that we have the deadline like I said is the 26th we’ll notify finalists on March 3rd and then the pitch night or the proposal presentations will be on March 15th.

We’ll award or issue the award announcements on March 17th and then we’re requiring people who were notified that they were awarded funding to accept the funding by March 27th. So, like I said grantees will have one year to spend the funds awarded by the student philanthropy board and there will be a very brief end of Grant report One calendar year after the funding allocation. Basically, just to see what the impact was for this funding and get feedback on the Grant application.

And then like I said we’ll have two workshops so here’s just more detailed information about that anyway we are looking forward to reviewing your proposals and again please do not reach out do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Good luck.