Grant "Mythbusters"

It’s Easy To Get A Grant – it’s “free money.”

Applying for a grant requires a serious time-commitment to fully understand the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), its requirements, and your organization’s capacity, structure, and resources essential to fulfill the purpose of the grant. Sensitivity to review criteria is essential, as well as other requirements of the grant to be considered favorably during evaluation. CTI grant writers will take the time to research, develop your proposal, write the application, and meet the submission requirements specified in the FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement).

Anyone Can Get A Federal Grant.

Not everyone is eligible for grants. Most grants are awarded to: Non-profits like charities, schools and community organizations, State & local government agencies, Federally-recognized tribes, and public safety agencies like hospitals, police and fire departments.

Anyone Can Get A Foundational Grant.

Incorrect, for example Public School Districts are not eligible to file for a Foundational Grant with the acceptation of support groups such as a PTA/PTO.

Writing A Grant Is Quick Fix To Our Money Problems.

Grants I’m afraid… are not a quick fix, however they are an excellent way to compensate your budget for specific projects on a continual basis.  Unfortunately, many nonprofit schools give up after their first grant is rejected.   The only way to be successful in grants is to see it like a sports event:  when your basketball team competes, not every shot scores.  By developing a successful team of your staff and our certified grant writer, you’ll find that more shots put points in the budget than you ever expected.

It shouldn’t take much time to do a grant proposal. All you have to do is fill out special forms and/or type up a “standard” proposal.

The criteria for all applications are different, as are the agencies that offer them. The reality is that the work that precedes proposal writing can take up more time than the actual writing. In general, on average, writing a foundational grant proposal may take about 20 hours, but some proposals such as a state or federal will take much longer.   Traditionally, a government grant will have triple or quadruple the specifications (pages) that a foundational grant commonly has.

In addition, people can underestimate additional time taken to do more than simple filling out grant proposal forms. Much of the preparatory work that leads to putting together a grant proposal can include reading hundreds of pages on the history of funding agencies, their funding history, and the nonprofits that they have funded in the past. In some cases, it can include reviewing several Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). FOAs are the documents that the 26 Federal grant making agencies use to announce funding. All grant proposals are very carefully evaluated by your CTI certified grant writer.

A Grant Will Take Care Of Our Entire Project Costs.

Any grant rarely cover all the costs of a project.. Grants often provide only a portion of the funds needed for a given project, and in some cases require matching funds at specified levels. Granting agencies want assurance that funded projects have the potential to become self-sufficient once they are off the ground, and that they will be sustainable when the grant period is over.

Grants are Like Other Fundraisers.

Yes, grant writing is similar to other fundraising projects in that part of your goal is to be remembered by the funding program.  If the foundation takes a personal interest in your project, your chances of approval certainly improve.  It is crucial that during the process, you build relationships with funders and/or individual donors. Don't hesitate to call a foundation’s program officer, introduce yourself and share your vison.   Feel free to ask if there is another funding source they may be aware of.  There may even be similar grants available down the road.

The Tough Economy Has Caused Foundations To Cut Back On Funding, So What's The Point?

Foundation grants do see a rise and drop, depending on the economy. But don't be discouraged, CTI’s unique way of finding available grants will guarantee opportunities depending on your project. Remember, that certain foundations only meet once a year to determine offered funding decisions. CTI can inform you at any time of what project grants are available.

We need operational support and foundations don't provide that.

There has been a shift from programmatic funding toward funding operating costs, which is healthier for organizations. Some organizations have built up program after program in order to get grants and then have trouble supporting the overhead. Fortunately, more and more foundations are now including funding for operational support.

We don't know how to search for funders and the databases are expensive.

Some schools already have a certain grant or organization they are interested in submitting from but traditionally they have no idea what grants might be current and available to their school.  Not to worry, part of our services will be to identify several opportunities for your school based on your project and program.

It’s Just Too Complicated To Write A Grant Proposal.

There are guidelines that must be followed, deadline dates and required documentation to support your core idea/objective, budget and supporting data that has to be supplied with any submission.   By answering our questions, we’ll give your school the advantage while reducing the stress and frustration generated by time invested and confusion which can make a person wonder if it’s really worth it.

We Don't Have Anyone On Staff To Write Proposals And Professional Grant Writers Are Too Expensive.

Many schools do take on this task themselves some with training others without.  Possibly you have experience in this area.  A few questions related to staff filing would be, how quickly do I need someone to file, how much will training cost, especially if it includes travel/lodging, will my staff even have time to properly file as well as, what is their expected longevity with the school?

If you do feel that you need a professional, don't hire it is going to be an instant solution. If someone promises that, beware. If your organization has never applied for foundation funding, look for a grant writer who will work with you on educating your staff and transitioning your organization to doing it in-house. Typically, professional grant writers charge $50-$150 an hour while others charge a flat fee for an entire project.

Once A Grant Proposal Is Approved, The Process Is Over; It Does Not Come With Terms And Conditions/Responsibilities.

In fact, getting the grant proposal approved is only the beginning. Most grants require that organizations submit carefully-prepared, detailed progress reports on the programs that were funded. An awardee’s job is to meet the goals of the application and show that the project is sustainable after the end of the funding. An organization is charged with managing a promise – to use the money according to the plan presented in the approved application. In many instances, single- or program-specific independent audits are required. Awardees are responsible for following reporting procedures to demonstrate programmatic progress. Awardees that do not meet the terms and conditions of their award can lose money and possibly future awards. Site visits may also be required to evaluate the organization’s progress. Finally, the organization may be required to provide evidence that the program that was funded had a positive, measurable impact on the target population. Failure to demonstrate progress may result in discontinuation of the award.

The Federal Grant Application Review Process Is Simplistic And Caters To Organizations That “Know The Drill.”

The federal government goes to a great deal of time and trouble to ensure a fair and equitable grant review process so that the best applications are funded.  Generally, the federal government uses external reviewers who have expertise in the particular field related to the grant project.  The applicants are ranked and finally selected by a program official who may take other factors into consideration as required by statute, such as populations being served, and/or geographic distribution of awards.