Discussion 1: Project Ideas

A grant can be a powerful tool for achieving what might otherwise be impossible, or at least very difficult, to accomplish. What are some project ideas you have in mind for addressing a specific problem or need? If you were to apply for a grant, what would you pursue? What might your organization pursue?
With project ideas in mind, read the literature and familiarize yourself with evidence-based practices associated with the problems you are seeking to address. Determine what is currently being done to solve or mitigate these problems. This step is extremely important in determining how or if to proceed with your own project idea.

For this Discussion, critically think through your project ideas and concepts, as well as the literature, and select one to further develop for your grant proposal. Use the Process Development Template, located in this week’s Learning Resources, to organize your ideas regarding the purpose of the project and the research you have conducted.

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Note: Use the Process Development Template as an iterative and cumulative worksheet for keeping notes and ideas about the different elements that will be addressed in your grant proposal. While this document will not be submitted for grading, it will inform assignments that are submitted. You are encouraged to use this template as both a guide for, and record of, the work you are doing.
For your first Discussion, review this module’s Learning Resource.

Part A:
Describe your previous grant-writing experiences and explain what are, in your opinion, the most challenging aspects of grant writing. If you have not had previous grant-writing experience, what are some challenges you might anticipate and why? Describe the work you are currently involved in for which you might pursue funding.

Part B:
Post your project idea, explaining the needs it will meet. Explain why this project might be attractive to potential funders, and distinguish it from others that have addressed the same problem.

You have determined a project idea and are ready to begin the research to find the RFP that is the best match for your project.
There are many viable approaches to searching for and locating project funding, but the most effective are those that utilize appropriate technologies. With the specifics of your project in mind, look for RFPs using the state, federal, and foundation grants databases/search engines listed in this week’s Learning Resources. This is an important step, so take your time in identifying grant providers that issue grant awards that align to your organization’s specific cause or need. Bookmark these websites and keep notes in the Process Development Template. Each website offers a wealth of varied information for grant seekers that can greatly enhance your developing understanding of grantsmanship.

When reviewing RFPs, look specifically for the following information:

Who is eligible to apply?
How many awards/grants are being given?
What is the dollar amount of the grant/award?
What are the collaboration/partnership requirements?
What is the length of the grant period?
For private funders, who is on their board and does the applicant have any existing relationships with anyone?
Keep in mind:

RFPs that refer to online applications may tend to be less complicated.
RFPs for multi-year projects will be more complicated than those for a 1-year period.
Note: For purposes of this course, please adhere to the following parameters:

• You may use RFPs from federal agencies.

• You may use RFPs for a research project.

• Do not worry about submission dates that appear on the RFP.

As you examine various sites, document where you searched and the keywords you used. Keep in mind that if you do not find an appropriate and applicable RFP (there isn’t always a funder for every project), you may need to adjust your project or your project plan. Assess your project honestly to determine whether you need to explore another course of action.

For this Discussion, analyze your search results for state, federal, and foundation grants, and select the RFPs that best match your project.
Post a link (URL) for each of the three RFPs that best align to your project. Include a summary that provides a rationale for each of your choices. The rationale should address the alignment of the RFP to your project idea as well as alignment of the funder itself. Why is this a good match?

Be sure to support your analysis and conclusions with citations and references in APA format from the Learning Resources and your own research.

References:
Gitlin, L. N., & Lyons, K. J. (2014). Successful grant writing: Strategies for health and human service professionals (4th ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Chapter 1, “Why Write a Grant?” pp. 1–15
Chapter 2, “Becoming Familiar With Funding Sources,” pp. 27–49
Chapter 3, “Developing Your Ideas for Funding,” pp. 51–62
Chapter 4, “Infrastructure to Support Grantsmanship,” pp. 63–75
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