Grant Writing Information
Don Woodhouse is the Grant Acquisitions Coordinator at Lock Haven. He is available to assist anyone in the process of writing a grant, at any stage in the process. He is especially interested in helping people from the beginning of the process, including working on the grant concept and identifying grant funders. Don can be reached in Room 202 of the Courthouse Annex or by email at email@example.com. Because he does not work solely at LHU, please contact him by phone (603-562-6322) to make an appointment.
A grant is in essence an organization’s recognition that your research or program interest also matches their research or program interests. They show this match by granting you funds to fulfill your interest. The grant proposal, then, is the mechanism through which you show the grant giving organization that your interest matches their interest.
Although there are several steps in writing, obtaining, and using a grant, the primary issues are to identify a grant giving organization and to develop a clear proposal that follows the format required by that grant giving organization.
Although your final proposal will need to be in the format required by the particular funding agency, you will need to have a general idea of what you wish to do before identifying potential funders. Don Woodhouse suggests writing a “concise concept” paper – a 2-3 page discussion of the problem you are seeking to address, the estimated cost of your idea, and who the stakeholders in your problem are. By identifying people who have a stake in your problem of interest, you can begin to identify potential funders.
One of the most difficult aspects of grant writing, particularly in difficult economic times, is to identify a potential funder (grant giving organization). Many funders have very specific eligibility criteria, including the regions in which they are willing to give funds. There are, however, a large number of funders to investigate. Some of these funders can be found at our website, on the Links Page. Don Woodhouse is also willing to help you identify potential funders through the use of several foundation subscription databases. Once you have identified a list of potential funders, you should narrow that list down to the most promising funders, based on their history of past fundings. Basically, you need to determine if they have funded interests similar to yours, and in the same expense range, in the past. The organizations’ IRS 990s give information on what and how much they have funded in the past years.
When you are working on your final grant proposal, it is vital that you follow all requirements of the funding organization. This includes dealing with the issue of indirect costs and whether or not the funding organization allows them to be included in the grant budget. Throughout the development of the grant budget, you will most likely work with the Grants Accountant (Glenda Feidler) to insure the budget both follows funding guidelines and LHU monetary specifics. For example, at LHU, indirect costs are currently 44% of salary costs.
It is very likely that your first grant proposal will be rejected. This may be due to a lack of fit or to concerns over the idea itself. Many people need to revise and resubmit a grant multiple times before it is accepted. If, however, your grant is deemed to have a lack of fit to the organization, talk to the funders about other potential funders they may recommend.
At Lock Haven, you should contact the Grant Acquisitions Coordinator (Don Woodhouse) very early in the process. You should work with the Coordinator to develop a clear, accurate, and appropriate proposal, which will include a project summary and budget. The proposal should receive program approval, as evidenced by signatures from your department chair, dean, and provost. It should then receive budgetary approval, as evidenced by signatures for the Vice President for Finance, Administration, and Technology.