Insight Grants

Take Advantage of Summer

June starts this weekend, and summer is upon us. Some school districts are already off for the summer; others will be finishing up within in the next month. If you have the benefit of summers off, or even if summers typically mean a reduced workload or less stress within your organization, use the summer to your grant-seeking advantage. There are often fewer grant applications open in the summer, so it’s a great time to organize and prepare for the major grant seasons which tend to be fall and spring for our topic areas—with spring typically offering the largest-dollar, most complex opportunities.

Here’s a quick list of some of the things you might do between the barbeques, graduation parties, weddings, beach runs, and vacations this summer.
· Talk with colleagues and administrators to develop a team-supported, concrete project concept for which you will apply for grant funding. While you will likely need to tweak the plan based on each grant you apply to, having a solid idea to start with will keep you focused on the opportunities best suited to your goals.
· Research grant opportunities, and create a list of what you’d like to apply for in the next 12 months. Include estimated application timeframes for planning purposes and web site links so you can check for program updates throughout the year.
· Begin collecting and organizing demographic information and data that illustrates your target population’s need.
· Identify and begin building or expanding relationships with community partners and leaders that could potentially enhance your project.
· Talk with colleagues and administrators to determine who can and will lead actual grant writing efforts. It’s valuable to have a team supporting you, but a single writer is usually your best bet for clarity and consistency. If your organization determines it will contract with a consultant for assistance, be sure to hire someone with successful experience pursuing and winning grant funding for the type of project you have in mind.
· Set up a system for tracking your grant applications.
· Make a list of other key “to dos,” including when in the year those actions should be taken.

Can you think of others? Feel free to share them!

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