Insight Grants

Be Sure Your 2011 PEP Application is a 2011 Application!

The PEP grant application/RFP for 2011 is very similar to the application for 2010, however, some changes have been made since the last competition. Note that all RFP changes—large or small—are important! Be sure you submit an application that is developed and assembled based on the newest PEP RFP to ensure you are in a position to score as many points as possible. You can obtain a copy of the official RFP at


The most notable changes this year are the deadline, submission mode, and Selection Criteria.

  • The 2011 PEP deadline is May 13, 2011. If you assume the deadline is the same as 2010 (July 19), you’ll miss the application period by more than two months.
  • In 2011, applicants must submit their grants using rather than as required last year. Register your organization now for a account, or update your existing account to ensure a smooth and timely submission.
  • Among the Selection Criteria, one criterion from 2010 has been removed (the criterion referencing target population previously placed in section B2), and two new criteria have been added. Below are the Selection Criteria for 2011 PEP according to pages 33-35 of the RFP. Criteria B2 and C2 are new this year. See the RFP for notes on what should be included to respond to each criterion.


Selection Criteria

(A) Need for the Project.

(1) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses. (10 Points)

(B) Quality of the Project Design. (40 Points)

(1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. (10 Points)

(2) The extent to which performance feedback and continuous improvement are integral to the design of the proposed project. (10 points)

(3) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance. (10 Points)

(4) The extent to which the proposed project will be coordinated with similar or related efforts, and with other appropriate community, State, and Federal resources. (10 Points)

(C) Quality of the Management Plan. (30 Points)

(1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (15 Points)

(2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. (15 Points)

(D) Quality of the Project Evaluation. (20 Points)

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project. (10 Points)

(2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. (10 Points)



Carol M. White PEP is now open!

PEP is now open! The official grant deadline is 5/13/2011.


The Federal Register posting is at:


The full RFP will be posted to later today or in the next few days.


Best of luck to all!


2011 Carol M. White PEP Grant Competition

The announcement for the 2011 Carol M. White PEP grant competition is finally in queue for tomorrow’s Federal Register. That means the grant competition is scheduled to open tomorrow. Applications are listed as due 45 days from the date of that posting, so the deadline should be May 11 or 12.


Are you applying? If you are interested in applying with Insight’s assistance, email today. We have just a few slots remaining. We have a terrific record of success with this program. In 2010 alone, we had 11 PEP grant winners. As there were only 77 winners across the nation, this means one in seven 2010 PEP winners was an Insight client.


Whether you work with Insight or on your own, very best of luck with your application this year!!


See the blog tomorrow for the official grant deadline and more information.


Communication with Foundations

Grant writing consultants with experience mostly in government grants, or those who have worked for a grant firm or within an organization, often have questions when they begin to communicate with foundations.

While there aren’t necessarily “rules” for the following situations,  here is how Insight generally handles them:

When contacting a grant-making foundation, do you e-mail from your own e-mail address or use an applicant organization member’s address? Do you identify yourself as helping to write the grant, or as a member of the organization, or simply wait to see if you are asked to identify yourself when you contact the foundation?

This depends on the reason for contacting the grant-making foundation. If we are just looking for information to determine whether our client is eligible – what the rules are for applying, where priorities currently lie, etc., we just use our own email addresses, and then pass on what we learn to the client as the information is relevant. If the grant-making foundation needs to be contacted to build a relationship, we usually encourage the applicant to make contact with the foundation because we are consultants and may very well not be in the picture in the future to continue the relationship (though we may advise our client of text to include in the email or phone conversation,  to help them obtain all of the information necessary). Whenever possible, applicant organizations should build their own relationships with their existing and potential funders. That said, in the occasional case the client is not able to do that at the time contact needs to begin, we send emails to the grant-making foundations from our accounts with our client contacts included, so the two entities can be connected and begin building a relationship moving forward.

Can you ask a foundation for examples of Letter of Intent/Grant Applications from previous successful applicants?

You can, but I’m not sure whether you’d get them. It probably depends on the foundation. A better bet may be to obtain a list of some awardees and try to reach out to them directly. Always bear in mind that one organization’s winning application can be another organization’s losing application. Applications must be specific to the applicant in order to be effective. This sometimes means significant presentation differences.

Should the Letter of Intent/Grant be submitted as work of a member of the applicant organization?

I’m not sure it matters. We submit things for our clients all the time and we never say either way who did the work. If you are a consultant rather than a member of the organization and you submit something via email for your client, just be sure you make it clear in your email who at the applicant organization can be contacted with questions, and how (email, phone number). The foundation won’t care who did the writing on the Letter of Intent or application. They just want to receive a well-developed, applicant-specific application and to know who to get in touch with, should they need to.

Insight Grants