Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grant Application Tips

View examples of previously written grant applications

In the second column of the LSTA page under the 2016 LSTA Information there are links to lists of previously funded grants in Accessibility and Literacy, 2011-2015 and Digitization and Digital Creation, 2011-2015. Each grant information year lists awards by category, with titles and grant number(s) for viewing an abstract. Visit that year's grant abstracts to review project summaries. If the grant award number begins with a 15, the abstracts for 2015 projects are linked in the third column of the LSTA web page under 2015 LSTA Information. Find the link to the corresponding grant category and grant number. If you would like to request a copy of the grant application, send an email to Terrie Howe stating the year, grant title, and the grant number. For LSTA grant award information prior to 2015, visit the Other LSTA Documents, LSTA Activities Prior to 2015 in column 3 of the LSTA web page.

There are two additional links that I'd like to mention that contain very helpful grant application tips. The FAQ-Grant Applications & Awards is not new but has changed to meet some of IMLS-altered federal requirements. The next link is A Guide to Grantwriting, written by the ArtsBC, a charity and provincial arts service organization with a mandate to support and develop economically diverse communities in British Columbia. The organization's site has nothing to do with LSTA projects. The website, however, contains all elements of the grant writing process.
Image of Light Bulb with the word Tip!
Tip for Grant Writing

If you only have time for a brief check of the site, the last three pages describe the realities of public sector funding. It explains the essential elements of any public grant application including the planning, research, writing the proposal, budget, and questions to consider before submitting the application. Questions include:What do you want the money for?, Who will do what?
When will it be done?

Is a particular audience targeted? If so, with whom will you be collaborating to ensure that this group has a buy-in so that they do, in fact, participate? And, what are the steps you will go through to obtain this buy-in? Remember —just informing them isn’t usually enough!

Can you articulate exactly what will be changed, and for whom, as a result of what you your grant sets out to accomplish?

How will you find out if anything has, in fact, changed? This is “evaluation.” Evaluation has two parts: 1) record-keeping of costs and attendance, and 2) finding out if your project or organization made any difference. People usually do the first; people rarely think through the second. The second part of evaluation is just as important.

Written by:
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team