GRANT WRITING 8
GrantWriting: What are the Best Practices in Grant Writing That Would Helpa First Time Grant Writer?
Grantwriters need tutorials and guidance on the best approachable way toapproach donors. This guidance will save them the time to re-writeproposals as they correct mistakes of which, in the long run, may runout of time and miss the opportunities of a timely convincing ofdonor companies. First-time grant writers are often easilyintimidated by the Request for Proposal (RFP) rules and instructionsthat define the standards of grant-writing. Reading the rules andregulations is, therefore, a vital step in overcoming the fear offailing to impress donors. Planning and preparation before writing,is perhaps, the most important of the steps towards successful grantwriting.
Mostprojects may be impressive in their creativity and imaginative naturebut fail to attract funding due to the lack of prior planning andpreparation. The plan should help the organization to be ready forthe logistics and unexpected circumstances. The writers should,therefore, consider the question that motivates them into finding thebest and most appropriate tricks to writing convincing proposals.Focusing on the best available practices in grant writing isimportant because it will save writers (especially first-timewriters) the agony and frustration of redoing their work. The mostapplicable and useful question to first-time writers is: ‘What arethe best practices in grant writing that would help a first-timegrant writer`. As they focus on tackling the question, they will findan easier time making a plan that is helpful enough to secure themdonations from an intended target company. The question restricts awriter to the most important of the requirements and prioritiesentailed in the process. It is extremely vital as it saves writerswho might spend too much time researching and presenting irrelevantinformation. With a question that limits a writer to the prioritiesof their organization and Target Company, writers can secure fundingand gain confidence in their work.
First-timegrant writers are often easily intimidated by the Request forProposal (RFP) rules and instructions that define the standards ofgrant-writing. Although most projects may be impressive in theircreativity and imaginative nature, but fail to attract funding due tothe lack of prior planning and preparation. The plan should help theorganization to be ready for the logistics and unexpectedcircumstances. The writers should, therefore, consider the questionthat motivates them into finding the best and most appropriate tricksto writing convincing proposals. The importance of asking thisquestion to fresh writers goes beyond getting them to brainstorm. Italso inspires and motivates them to be considerate of the mostimportant factors considered in writing. This restriction isespecially crucial to saving writers who might spend too much timeresearching and presenting irrelevant information.
Murdock(2012) highlights the notion of concentration on creativity alone asinstances of misguided priorities among most writers that cause theproposals to fail. In proposes a more organized approach that willnot only satisfy and convince donors but also pave the way forsystematic grant writing. He explains that preparation is mostimportant to any organization seeking funding. He goes on to expoundon the element of preparation asserting that it entails familiarizingoneself with the priorities, guidelines and restrictions of thetarget foundation. A writer should always strive to determine anddesign their proposal to fit the type of projects the targetFoundation considers for funding.
Theimportance of asking this question to fresh writers goes beyondgetting them to brainstorm. It also inspires and motivates them to beconsiderate of the most important factors considered in writing. Thisrestriction is especially crucial to saving writers who might spendtoo much time researching and presenting irrelevant information. Witha question that limits a writer to the priorities of theirorganization and targeted company, writers can secure funding andgain confidence in their work.
Inhis, journal, Murdock (2010) gives a detailed list of issues thatwriters must consider aligning their proposals with a targetfoundation. For instance, he asserts that consideration of factorssuch as geographical limitations and the budget definitions. Thefinancial request, he notes, should be within the parameters of theintended mission and familiar with the prior practice of the fundingfoundation. It is also extremely important to note the appropriatetiming in considering when to approach a foundation since they mayhave specified rules and timetables.
Andes(2011) attempts to highlight the question by extending and expoundingon it in smaller questions such as who, what, where, why, when andhow of the research question. The important broader question regards‘why good writing is important`. He encourages the writer toconsider issues such as the beneficiaries (the ‘who`), the eventsthat will happen (what), where they will happen, why and when theywill happen. In order to clearly communicate and write a convincingproposal, he insists, one has to be sure of these six issues.
Accordingto Andes (2011), there are hundreds of grant programs availablecompeting for funding. Making a convincing proposal requires athorough conception of the priorities and requirements vividly andaccurately thus the need for breaking the question. While answeringthe questions, a writer can determine if the project suits the grandprogram. Instead of changing the proposal detail, he asserts, such awriter should consider their project irrelevant and move on toanother company.
Thebest option for grant writers seeking relevance lies in their focuson workable structures. They should be honest to avoid changinggreedy and selfish reasons for applying for such grants. Rae explainsthat since a successful proposal may take time and struggles toobtain, these organizations may find it hard to use or supply thefunds they get.
Thissection presents the methodology that this proposal intends toutilize to carry out the study. It further describes the type andsources of data, the target group of respondents, the samplingmethods and the techniques that I will use to select the sample size.It also describes how data will be collected and analyzed.
Theresearch design is regarded as the outline, plan or scheme used togenerate answers to the research problem. It is the plan andstructure the proposed study will use in the investigation. Thedescriptive research design is the most appropriate choice of studybecause descriptive research usually seeks to establish the factorsrelated to certain occurrences, outcomes, conditions or types ofbehavior. It is an investigation scientific method in which data isgathered and analyzed to describe the present conditions, terms orrelationships regarding a problem
Thetarget group as defined generally by Kothari (2005) is a universalsequence of the study of all the members of a real or hypotheticalsequence of individuals, events or objects to which a researcherwishes to generalize the result. The target population of the studywill be 10 successful writers and three different companies that givegrants.
Komboand Tromp (2009), describes primary data as first-hand informationcollected, compiled and published for some purpose. This data will becollected from the respondents by the researcher in the form ofquestionnaires that will be distributed to them to fill. Since itwill be collected from original sources for specified purposes, itwill involve the collection of data by the researcher from ownobservations and experiences.
Kothari(2005) refers to secondary data as information already collected bysomeone and for some purpose and are available for the present study.This data will be originally collected for a different purpose and ata different time. Secondary data including academic journals,textbooks, policy briefs and magazines will also be very useful forthis study.
Theresearcher will seek authority from the appropriate departmentalsections of the organization to circulate the questionnaires. Toensure the reliability and validity of the data the researcher willconduct a prior test of the questionnaires on three volunteers.However, these responses will not be included in the final study.
Questionnairesare the most appropriate technique in the study since they save timeand can be hand-delivered and collected within three days. The typesof questions entailed will include both open-ended and closedquestionnaires. Closed-ended questions will be used to ensure thatthe answers given are direct and address the questionnaires. Thestudy will phrase the questionnaires clearly to make clear dimensionsalong which the respondents correctly analyze. Open-ended questionson the other hand, space will be provided for relevant explanation bythe respondents, thus giving them the freedom to express theirfeelings. This method was considered effective in the study in thatit created confidentiality. The availability of the researcher willnot be necessary as the questionnaires will be self-administered.
Dataanalysis procedure encompasses the process of packaging the gatheredinformation and putting it in order and structuring its maincomponents in a manner that the findings are easily and effectivelyprocessed. After the fieldwork (data collection), prior to analysis,all the questionnaires will be adequately checked for reliability aswell as verification. Editing, coding, and tabulation will also becarried out.
Sincethe inquiry involves a sensitive issue (of financial aid), the studyis likely to receive suspicion from especially successful writers whomight have reason to believe that the study is mischievous or withsecret government investigators. They may hide some of theirinformation and hinder the research from obtaining accurate data.
Theproblem with questionnaires is that some people ignore and neversubmit their answers. While others lose them, others may be too busyor simply choose to ignore to participate. Although the researcherdoes not expect 100% responses from the questionnaires, the clarityand brevity of the questions will be assured to obtain accurate data.
Ithas been determined that asking this question to fresh writers ismore important than getting them to explore the available options. Itwill also motivate them to be considerate of the most importantfactors considered in writing. This restriction is especially crucialto saving writers who might spend too much time researching andpresenting irrelevant information.
Andes,J. (2011). Fundamentalsof Grant Writing. Journalof the Regional Development Australia Initiative
Kombo,K. D & Tromp, D.L.A. (2009). Projectand Thesis Writing, PaulinePublications, Makuyu
KothariC. R. (2004). ResearchMethodology.New Delhi: New Age International (p) Ltd.
Murdock,M. J. (2010). Great Grant Writing. Journalof the Murdock M.J Charitable Trust,1-7.