Friday, June 25, 2010

Additional Attachments to help Support your Grant Proposal

Every organization has documents that showcase and support what they do.  This can range from a mission statement to a chart and graph showing the impact they have on the community.  These documents can sometimes be helpful with putting together a grant application, as some grants do allow for additional information that supports your proposal to be included in the application packet.  Please note not all grant applications allow for these additional attachments so it is important that you check in the program guidance/required content for your grant program.  If they do (and only if they do) then additional information can be an asset to help supporting the content of your proposal.  (If they do not then additional information may hurt your application.)

Now you may be thinking what kind of additional attachments/information are you referring to?  Think about the following list of items that you or your organization have on hand in terms of adding credit and notoriety to your proposal. 

Organizational Chart
Collaboration Chart (list of partners)
Timeline, Maps, Flow Charts
Charts and Graphs
Logic Models
Job Descriptions/Resumes/Prof. Biography
Memorandum of Understanding
Letters of Support
Operating Budget, Audits, Monthly Financial Statements

Again, only include these items if the grant proposal allows for additional attachments and if they support the overall scope your proposal. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tips on Timelines for your Grant Application

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my husband and I re-landscaped the front of our house. I had taken my measurements, done my math and figured out how much we needed for stone, weed barrier, edging and plants. I made my list, made my purchases, got out all my tools and supplies and we were ready to go. Now being a farm girl, I’m not afraid to push up my sleeves and do a little physical labor in order to get the job done. However, while we were digging holes we kept running into roots that were there from previous bushes and trees. This added to some frustration and extra time to stop, trim the roots then get back to digging. What could have gone so smoothly ended up taking a lot more sweat and muscle to get the job done. Luckily, us farm girls also know how to work from sun up to sun down and the landscape got finished.

No matter how well planned and organized you are, there are going to be setbacks that you didn’t plan for. And this can apply directly to the timeline you prepare in any grant application. Reviewers will want to see that you are making detailed plans to achieve the results the project requires. This section is an area to showcase the amount of thought you have put into this proposal. Be sure to list out people, supplies, and events that will take place. Then describe how those will be implemented, what tasks will be done to accomplish this. Lastly list the amount of time it will take. Don’t be unrealistic as that will not impress the viewer. It might not hurt to give yourself a little bit of extra time to ensure everything gets done, but at the same time don’t take up to much time and draw the project out.

Sometimes this section of the grant is written up as a table, sometimes in bullet points and sometimes in paragraph form. The grant RFP (request for proposal) should state how to include this in your proposal. Also, some RFP’s may refer to this section as Methods, Activities, Procedures, etc. Regardless what it is called it is an important section of your application and can show the reviewer how knowledgeable and determined you are to see this grant projects success.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

USDA-Hunger Free Communities Grant

While US farmers do a fantastic job at producing food there are still some people and food pantries across the country who struggle with hunger issues. This is called food insecurity and in 2008, 14.6% of US households at some point during the year did not have enough food to keep all members of their family fed.

As a way to combat this problem USDA has allocated Five Million dollars in funding to the Hunger Free Communities Grant. This grant is available for communities, agencies providing social services, public health organizations, educational entities and other non-profit entities such as food banks. Funding can be used for research, planning, and hunger relief activities including but not limited to: food distribution, community outreach, initiatives that improve access to food, and the development of new resources and strategies to reduce or prevent hunger and food insecurity. Applicants can only apply once but there are two different areas their proposals could fall into: planning and assessment grants and then implementation grants. USDA does anticipate this grant program being available in future years.

Projects can last up to two years, and there is a 20 percent matching requirement. Grant Applications are due September 1, 2010 and more information can be found at:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tis the Season for Farmers’ Markets

©233x240 Pictures, Images and PhotosOne of the things I enjoy about this time of year is going to local Farmers’ Markets. I enjoy seeing all the fresh produce and the farmers that grow it. Whatever I don’t grow in my own garden I try to pick up at the local Farmers’ Market. If you are searching for a Farmers’ Market in your area you should check out ISDA’s On-line Agritourism Directory. This directory lists local wineries and u-pick stands along with Farmers’ Markets by.

That all being said I wanted to remind everyone that ISDA has two grant programs available that can directly assist Farmers’ Markets and Producers of Specialty Crops.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) awards funds to organizations that will “solely” enhance the Specialty Crop Industry. Applications are due June 25th, 2010. For more information and details regarding this program please check out one of my previous posts about the SCBG

Secondly, ISDA offers the Farmers’ Market Cost Share Program. This program reimburses Farmers Markets for the cost of their advertising and promotional expenses up to $500.  This program runs through August 31st, 2010, however, funds are awarded on a first come first serve basis. More information and details regarding this program can be found in a previous blog post about the Farmers' Market Cost Share Program.

You can also check out ISDA's grant website for applicaitons for both of these programs plus a list of other various agriculture grants. 

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