Insight Grants

Grant Opportunity: The Smart from the Start Awards

Smart from the Start Awards are an incredible opportunity for preschool teachers, and the grant competition is now open.

Grant Overview: The Smart from the Start Awards are designed to encourage preschool teachers to create practical, long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity at their preschool. By the end of this school year, Smart from the Start will have awarded almost 50 grants helping families, community members, students, and faculty make life-changing decisions for a healthier lifestyle.

Award Goals: The Smart from the Star Awards are designed to reward preschool teachers who:

  • Identify and improve authentic nutrition and physical activity needs at their preschool.
  • Set an Energy Balance Goal and create an action plan to meet their goal.
  • Encourage involvement from school and community stakeholders.
  • Utilize their creativity.

Deadline: The deadline for applications is Friday, February 27th, 2015 at 8pm EST.

Awards: The Grand Prize is a $20,000 grant for the preschool as well as a prize pack of books. 10 runners up will receive a $2,500 grant and a prize pack of books.

Who is Eligible: Residents who are 21 years of age and older who are employed at an early childhood education center, Head Start Center, or elementary school in the United States that offers a Pre-K program are eligible.

Where Can I Get More Information: Visit the website for complete details on the program and to get started.

In an effort to ensure cost-effective grants support options are available for all programs and all award sizes, Insight always offers editing services at very affordable rates. For information on our grant writing or editing services, please contact us.

Grant Opportunity: Rochester Women’s Giving Circle (Rochester, NY)

The following grant opportunity is specifically for organizations located near Rochester, NY.

The Rochester Women’s Giving Circle (RWGC) is currently accepting proposals for its 2015 grant cycle from organizations that support area women and girls on the journey to economic self-sufficiency. Awards range from $5,000 to $25,000 and applications are due March 2, 2015. The RWGC seeks programs that provide the following: Education and training, Money management and financial literacy skills, Life skills and job-readiness skills, Leadership opportunities for women and girls, Mentoring programs for girls, Innovative programs, Inter-generational programs, and Programs that put women to work.

To access the application and get more details on the program visit the Rochester Area Community Foundation website.

Firefighters Grant Programs Opening Soon: FP&S and SAFER

There are two very important Assistance to Firefighters Grant Programs opening up very soon. The FY 2014 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program (SAFER) application period is scheduled to begin on February 9, 2015 and end on March 6, 2015, and the FY 2014 Fire Prevention and Safety Program (FP& S) application period is scheduled to begin on March 16, 2015 and end on April 17, 2015.

The SAFER Grant Program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations in order to help increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. Awards range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars for projects serving large communities. For a complete breakdown visit the SAFER section of

The FP&S Grant Program supports projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and fire related hazards. Awards range from thousands of dollars up to over one million dollars.  The FP&S Grant Program supports projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and fire related hazards and includes a research grants option. For more information on the program, visit the FP&S section of

Both programs require matching funds.

For these programs we offer three services:

  1. Full grant narrative writing, completion of the online application, and submission of the full application
  2. Grant narrative writing (only)
  3. Grant narrative editing (only

*Both SAFER and FP&S allow applicants to include up to $1,500.00 in grant writing costs in their application budgets for cost reimbursement if an award is made.

If you are looking for help and would like to discuss pricing please contact us by phone at 716-474-0981 or email or fill out our online contact form here.

Grant Tips and Discussion: From Implementation to Evaluation

In recent years I’ve had the privilege of working on various projects for Insight Grants Development. Back in 2006 I was a senior in college and was helping my sister-in-law, Rosalie, double check and prepare budgets for PEP Grant applications. Since that time Rosalie’s company has grown with all kinds of grant related success. From helping clients win tens of millions of dollars in grant funding to providing thorough evaluation services, I’ve seen firsthand Insight standing by the statement on our homepage “Dedicated to Making Positive, Measurable, and Sustainable Changes in Communities Through Grant Programs.” Rosalie has a tremendous team that works to deliver the best possible work and most competitive applications for clients.

Although I don’t have anywhere near the expertise, knowledge, and experience of some of the members of the Insight Team, I wanted to try my hand at sharing some of what I’ve learned while helping Insight. The following commentary is related to implementation and evaluation of a grant.

Grant Tips and Discussion: From Implementation to Evaluation

Winning a grant and knowing you will be able to implement your project is a very exciting time. You’ve put a ton of effort into the application, had challenges and successes along the way, and all of a sudden you receive the notification that your application will be funded. The work doesn’t end here. For your grant project to be truly successful, it is not just about getting funded. It is just as important for you to implement and execute your plan.

The majority of grant funding goes to causes or efforts that improve something. The funding pays for things like equipment, training, or even personnel. The funding is meant to take a problem, a shortcoming, or a need and fill that gap to ultimately solve a problem or advance the greater good in a specific area.

Nearly all grant programs require evaluation reports in order to establish a detailed analysis of the project. Projects may have outcomes, measures, or goals that the awardee needs to report on so that the funder can see what worked, what didn’t, and the best use of funds going forward. Often times these reports can shape future funding opportunities. For example, an organization that was lacking proper equipment to successfully serve the public might get the funding to purchase that equipment. The funder wants to see how it was used and what effect it had for the grantee in fulfilling its purpose or need for funding. If a school is given grant funding for nutrition education and fitness equipment, the funder needs to see the impact of the project and the funding. To show this, awardees will measure data based on where they started the project and progressing throughout the project as new equipment, curriculum, and initiatives are taken.

Grant funders also look favorably on projects and initiatives that are sustainable after the grant funding runs out. If equipment can be used for years to come, training and education provides life-long value, or long-term problems are solved by the funding, the funder is getting better value for and having larger influences with their resources. The lifetime value of a grant can be very high when sustainable measures are put into place. As a funder, this is exactly what you would want your resources to do. Resources that turn into important changes, valuable resources, and long term benefits are resources well spent.

From the time you start working on your project through implementation it’s important to have your organization and key stakeholders “buy in” to your project. To accomplish this, it is best to communicate clearly with all participants. These participants need to know what is going to happen, why it is happening, what is expected of them, and how the plan is going to be implemented. Most importantly, these participants need to know the bigger picture of the project. Educate them about what issues are being solved and what the long term goals of the project are.

It is unfortunate but in many organizations there will be participants who are not as excited about the project as you. Some people simply do not like change or anything coming their way that resembles extra work. Don’t let these participants get you down. If they are in the way of a project you and your funder knows will provide positive outcomes then in the big picture they are not important and are just another challenge to overcome in the way of successful implementation.

As your hard work pays off and your project progresses, just as important as making sure everyone knows the details and purpose of the project at the beginning, keep them updated along the way. And if you are having successes, highlight and celebrate them. If you’ve fixed a problem, are making solid progress, or in general are seeing marked improvements, then show off this positivity. Let your community know more about your project and what it has done. Show your funder through reporting and other information that their funding is being put to good use, and give them exact data on what it has done.


January 2015 PEP Grant Program Update and Additonal Grant Opportunities

The 2015 federal budget was finalized in mid-December. The US Department of Education’s (ED) Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP grant program) was allocated $47 Million. In communications we recently had with the PEP Program Manager, Carlette KyserPegram, we learned that the amount appropriated by Congress for 2015 was NOT enough to make new PEP grants in 2015. So ED will not be holding a PEP competition in 2015 and does not expect to make any new PEP grant awards in 2015. Continuation awards for existing PEP grant winners are scheduled to be funded for 2015. It is far too soon to say what this means for PEP in 2016 and the future, but for this year, those who planned on applying for PEP will not be able to do so.

Although this is disappointing news, we would encourage potential applicants to consider other programs.

General Mills and the American Dietetic Association partner to offer the foundation-funded Champions for Healthy Kids grants which are specifically for nutrition and physical activity programs. These are smaller grants of $20,000 each. The application period has already opened, and applications are due 1/23/2015. You need to have a registered dietitian on board prior to application (that person will actually be the official applicant on behalf of your organization), although how the RD participates in your project is completely up to you, and he/she can be paid with grant funds for his/her role if needed. General Mills likes to see a wide reach, so if you go for that one, think about what you could do with $20,000 that includes at least one physical activity piece and one nutrition piece (with an RD serving at least as an advisor if not playing a more direct role) that would reach all of your kids and maybe even others. This grant focuses on ages 2-20, but you can have a secondary reach to families if you want to, as long as ages 2-18 are the primary audience. Champions grants are sometimes given to school-based programs operating during and around the school day but are most often given to programs operating at other times—programs that require support because they are clearly outside of the typical school budget.

AstraZeneca’s Connections for Cardiovascular Health is a foundation-funded grant program. AZ will accept applications February 2-26, 2015. This year, grants will range from $150,000-$180,000 for one year. One exciting element of the AZ grant is that, at least to this point, there hasn’t been an age range restriction. So you could focus solely on your kids, parents and community members, both, the elderly, or another population all together. Similar to General Mills Champions grants, though, AstraZeneca tends to be less of a fit for most PE class- and school-day-focused projects and more of a fit for out-of-school time and community-focused projects.

If you have out-of-school time aims and/or aims that touch parents, staff, and/or community members, General Mills or AstraZeneca grants may be options for you this year. Both grants are highly competitive, so definitely think of creative project activities you might propose to be as competitive as possible if you want to apply.

As additional news and opportunities surface throughout the year, we’ll be posting about them. As always, if you’d like to talk with us about a potential project or application and would like to inquire about our grant writing, editing, or evaluation services, please contact us.


Insight Grants