Types of grants

Successful Grant Writing

Prepared by Debora Rice, PhD

Presented by Ivan Page, PhD for Residency

Special Topics

Types of grants

Program support **

Capacity building

Operational support



** Typical for social work grant writers

Discuss the types of typical grants and how they apply to social work organizations

Give examples of each type


Finding Funding

Federal, state, & local government

National, regional, & local foundations



Discuss the options for accessing funding

Government funding is becoming less available, look beyond the government.

How is crowdsourcing becoming a viable option?


Research the funder

Yes, you can do lots of the research online but Pick up the phone! Call the program officer. Build the relationship.

Request guidelines, annual reports, and other pertinent information from the foundation before sending a grant proposal. You may be able to download most of this information from the organization’s Web site but still call the program officer.

Make sure your need fits within their funding priorities, don’t just make it fit

If it is not within the priorities, and don’t send it


Focus on folks you know

Do you know the anyone involved?

Run the names of the trustees and foundation staff by your board. They often run in the same circles, and one phone call can help put your grant proposal on the top of the pile.

A large part of grant making is about relationship! Build the relationship!


Typical Components

Need or Problem Statement

Program Description

Program Objectives &


Budget & Budget Justification

All grants have their own set of instructions – you need to follow them carefully

These are the typical elements of most grants


Need or Problem Statement

Don’t find money then create a program – identify the need first…then search for a funder with similar priorities/interests

Use current statistics to prove the need – tables, charts, maps, etc. Visual are helpful.

Use anecdotes, case examples, client testimonies – paint a picture, tell a story – make your case come alive.

Create a clear link between the problem or need identified and the grant maker’s funding priorities


Example Demonstrating Need

The Office of Immigration and Refugee Services (OIRS) works with immigrant DV/SA victims living throughout the state. Most of New Hampshire’s immigrants live within the state’s two largest cities (Nashua and Manchester), where the primary offices of OIRS are located. However there are growing immigrant concentrations in the Upper Valley (Lebanon and Hanover), the Seacoast Region (Portsmouth and Dover), and Concord. Pertinent demographics2 are as follows:

Foreign-born population Persons below poverty level Language other than English spoken at home
State of NH 5.7% 9.2% 7.9%
Manchester 13.2% 14.3% 19.7%
Nashua 13.4% 10.7% 20.0%
Lebanon 11.4% 11.5% 12.6%
Hanover 12.0% 12.0% 15.6%
Portsmouth 7.4% 7.6% 10.0%
Dover 6.5% 9.3% 7.7%
Concord 6.4% 11.7% 7.5%

An example of providing statistics to demonstrate need.


Program Description

This is where you get to tell your story – describe your program

Describe both the vision and the practical approach of the project or program.

Demonstrate you understand the the subject matter.

Summarize how the project or program will be implemented, be specific where will it happen, what time of day, how will participants get there, etc.

Provide a profile of the clients you will serve (if applicable) and how you intend to connect with them.

Summarize the plan of action and the timeline for the project or program.

Describe how you will staff the project, and who will be involved (including volunteers, consultants, evaluators, and staff).


Program Goals & Objectives

Write SMART goals – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based

Clearly relate objectives to one or more of the goals


Example SMART Goals/Objectives

Goal: To enable at least 45 immigrant DV/SA victims to establish legal presence and permission to work in the U.S., and free themselves from abusive relationships during the 2017 – 2018 fiscal year.


Provide immigration-related legal services for at least 45 DV/SA victims annually;

Give and receive 30 – 45 cross-referrals for immigrant DV/SA cases with collaborating organizations annually;

File immigration petitions (U Visa, VAWA petition, Employment Authorization, Adjustment of Status, etc.) for 100% of eligible clients;

Successfully adjudicate at least 90% of accepted immigration-related DV/SA legal cases


Example Logic Model

Services to Immigrant Women Survivors of DV/SA
Inputs Activities Outputs Outcomes
Initial Intermediate Longer-term
Agency, hospitals, community agencies, & courts identify women who are immigrants and survivors of DV/SA to participate in program Program provides immigration related group sessions staffed by the program manager and 3 immigration attorneys delivered at the community library 2 times per week for 1.5 hours 45 Immigrant women who are survivors of DV/SA attend program Women are knowledgeable of rights and resources available   Women have access to legal representation Women are safe from abusive relationships 90% of accepted immigration cases result in women receiving legal status Women are free to participate fully and safely in home, school, work, and community life.
Agency provides MSW program manager, attorneys, and court-approved educational tools

Program Evaluation

Outcomes-based evaluation looks at impacts/benefits/changes to your clients (as a result of your program’s efforts) during and/or after their participation in your programs.

Outcomes evaluation can examine these changes in the short-term, intermediate term and long-term

This is where you document how you will establish the proof the your program is making a difference.

Think carefully about how you design the evaluation plan – if there is a local college or university nearby, see if there are folks there who could assist with the evaluation or analysis to give a third party perspective.


Example Outcome Evaluation Plan

The program is successful when victims are awarded legal status, are safe from abusive relationships, and are free to participate fully in school, work, and life in their communities.

Methods for evaluating success, progress, and areas in need of improvement:

1. Intake records

2. Referral records

3. Casework files

4. Adjudication results

5. End of service client surveys

6. Reports/data from collaborative partners.

Budget & Budget Justification

Costs should tie directly to the activity

Strive to show community support through in-kind contributions of time, services, space, supplies, etc. Discuss what in-kind means

Don’t forget to show evaluation costs

Include administrative costs, if possible

For the budget justification, go through each line of the budget and write one or two sentences to clarify how you determined the cost for each line item. Show your calculations. Don’t assume! Give details.

If you are buying things like computers, etc. show how you have searched for the best deal.


Example budget

A. Personnel $39,100 $45,938
B. Fringe Benefits $7,800 $7,845
C. Travel $600 $750
D. Equipment $0 $0
E. Supplies $1,400 $1,510
F. Construction $0 $0
G. Consultants/Contracts $200 $200
H. Other $5,400 $9,272
Total Direct Costs $54,500 $65,515
I. Indirect Costs $5,500 $6,501
Total Project Costs $60,000 $72,016

Budget Category Amount Federal Match

“Indirect costs” is a line used for overheard and is typically a percentage of the entire budget. Some grants will allow this and others won’t – be sure to check.


Example budget narrative

C. Travel –

Purpose of Travel, Location, Item Computation

Client-Related Travel to Client homes, Immigration Court, USCIS offices, records/investigation

Avg. 60 miles/client x 45 clients x $0.50/mile = $1,350

Follow directions precisely

Check the address before you send the grant

Don’t wait until the last minute

Don’t use Express Mail to send your application

Don’t send “fluff”


After the Award

If you are awarded a grant, be sure to send a thank you and progress reports.

If the local newspaper, etc. do a story on your program or a video about it, send a copy to the funder saying thank you again!

Keep in touch with your funding sources – if you build a solid relationship, you may have other opportunities


After the Rejection

Recycle your rejected proposal

A rejected proposal does not always mean the idea was rejected

Call the program officer to obtain reviewer comments, if possible – they won’t always share these but if the don’t give the actual comments, they may share global issues that can help you strengthen your proposal for next time.

Rewrite, revise, resubmit


Favorite Resources

Grantstation www.grantstation.com

Offers nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies the opportunity to identify potential funding sources for their programs or projects as well as resources to mentor these organizations through the grantseeking process.

Techsoup www.techsoup.org

Offers nonprofit organizations transformative technology solutions and skills

Grants.gov www.grants.gov

Federal government website where agencies post discretionary funding opportunities, along with resources to help grantees apply for them


Additional Resources

Grant Proposal Writing Tips www.cpb.org/grants/grantwriting.html

Resource published by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that provides guideposts for the grant- writing process.

Grantwriting Basics www.gse.harvard.edu/~hgseosr/toolbox.html

Ten tips for writing a successful proposal, along with additional resources for grant writers.

Grant Writing Tips www.seanet.com/~sylvie/grants.htm

Grant-planning questions, basic elements of good proposals, and links to grant resources from an experienced grant writer.

Additional Resources, contd.

Grant Writing Tip Sheets http://grants.nih.gov/grants/grant_tips.htm

General grant-writing tutorials as well as specific information about applying for National Institutes of Health grants.

Non-profit Guides www.npguides.org

Grant-writing tools for nonprofits, including tips, sample proposals, and links.

Grant example reference

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Assistance Application for Funding 2017

Catholic Charities New Hampshire; Office of Immigration and Refugee Services

Retrieved from: Grantstation on August 2, 2017, https://grantstation.com/writing-proposals/award-winning-proposals