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.

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