Webinar Series Starting on January 18th

We are excited to present a four part webinar series on how to tackle grant writing!

Shannon McBride, webinar instructor, uses a stimulating hands-on instructional approach to help you quickly grasp the course learning objectives. Exercises simulating the practice of grant writing enhances the learning experience and increases your comprehension of the standards of grant writing.

After completing this webinar series, you will:

  • Know the structure of a grant application
  • Understand the grant as seen through evaluators’ eyes, thus ensuring you write with the reader in mind
  • Effectively plan compliant, responsive narrative sections by reviewing a funding organization's guidelines and requirements
  • Write more confidently in the appropriate proposal style

Register Here


Session Descriptions

Session 1. Develop Your Grant-writing Toolkit

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Why should you develop a toolkit for grant writing? Because when you begin any labor-intensive effort, you need the right tools to ensure the task goes smoothly and efficiently. Your grant writer’s toolkit will help you get started early on the grant writing process.

In this first session of our four-part webinar, Writing Grants for the Common Good, you’ll learn what to gather and keep in your own grant writing toolkit—including the Baseline Proposal and required forms and documents. You will learn how to establish a logical, easy-to-follow hierarchy of folders and files on your PC so you can quickly find what you need and other members of your grant team can locate vital information in your absence. 

The basic layout and organization of the Baseline Proposal—the most important part of your toolkit— will be introduced (which will be covered in more detail in Session 3, Organize the Baseline Proposal, scheduled for Wednesday, February 1). You’ll learn how to set up a location on your PC devoted only to the Baseline Proposal, and will become familiar with those parts of the Baseline Proposal that should periodically be updated, including the Organization Overview, Program Budget, and Supporting Documentation. 

Supplementary Materials

All webinar participants will be able to download supporting material including a visual illustrating the standard organization for a baseline proposal, a matrix describing the components of the toolkit, and clear instructions on how to set up files for all grant writing efforts that can be used from year to year.

Session 2. Get the Grant Application and Write the Letter of Inquiry

Wednesday, January 25, 2016 at 10 – 11:30 a.m.

In Session 2, discussion is focused on looking for grant funding opportunities, writing the Letter of Inquiry, and developing a Proposal Compliance Matrix (PCM). You’ll learn how to use legitimate sources for locating grants including Grants.gov, the Foundation Center Online, and other websites. Those grant givers that appear to be good prospects—and worth your effort to pursue— might require you to send a letter of inquiry before you are invited to submit a full proposal. 

You’ll learn how to write the letter of inquiry, which is a thumbnail sketch of a formal proposal. Becoming familiar with the major parts of the letter of inquiry will help you become familiar with the standard organization of a formal grant proposal.

If you are successful in writing a clear LOI, and the funder requests a full proposal, you will be expected to submit a proposal that is both compliant and responsive. In Session 2, you will learn how to examine the grant application form and the guidelines for requirements and issues that are important to the funder. You’ll learn how to prepare a Proposal Compliance Matrix that will help you track team assignments and ensure the proposal is submitted on time.

Supplementary Materials

All webinar participants will be able to download an instructional packet that describes how to write the Letter of Inquiry, how the LOI should be organized, and when to submit a Letter of Inquiry. Participants will be given a form to use for conducting an organizational self-assessment to be sure they anticipate and address concerns the funder might have about the management of their nonprofit—and address these concerns in the LOI.  A template for designing a Proposal Compliance Matrix in Excel will also be available for participants to download.

Session 3. Organize the Baseline Proposal Per Funder Instructions

Wednesday, February 1, 2016 at 10 – 11:30 a.m.

You must demonstrate your willingness and ability to follow instructions to the letter. Evaluators will review your proposal assuming you’ve responded in the order the funder has specified. Differences do exist between government agencies and public and private foundations such as: how to structure the proposal, the order in which major topics should be addressed, and how the grant application should be submitted. If you deviate from the funder’s required format, the evaluator may assume you could fail in managing the grant if you were funded!

In this session, you will learn the differences and similarities for proposal structure among government agencies and public and private foundations. You’ll learn how to write your narrative to fully comply with the funder’s submission criteria, and how to write clear, concise text for the required elements of the proposal narrative.

Discussion about the major sections of a grant proposal will help you become comfortable with how a proposal should be organized and what parts of a proposal should be incorporated into the Baseline Proposal.

Supplementary Materials

Webinar participants will be given a visual showing the major sections of the Baseline Proposal. They will be given a packet describing the major sections including: Cover letter, cover page, executive summary, need or problem statement, project/program description, budget section, organization overview, conclusion, and attachments.

Session 4. Write and Package the Proposal

Wednesday, February 8, 2016 at 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Think of your grant proposal as a sales document. You have nothing tangible to offer the funder except a valid solution to a proven need. You want to sell the solution. You will have a better chance of success if you use the art of persuasion. How well the proposal is written, formatted, and submitted is vital to ensuring your proposal meets the funder’s standards for evaluation. Writing the proposal begins now! 

In this final session of Writing Grants for the Common Good, you’ll put to work all the tips and tools you learned in the previous three sessions. You’ll learn how to effectively guide your reader toward your final target—funding the project. Discussion will focus on how to define and support your strategy for each grant application with clear writing. The narrative portion of your grant proposal is unquestionably the most important part of your submission. 

Crafting a clear narrative increases the likelihood of higher scores and eventual funding. You will learn how to write for clarity using five major communication elements: (1) state the main point of your document up front, (2) use descriptive headings to help readers navigate your document, (3) use features and benefits in major headings, (4) include lists and tables to guide readers, and (5) employ document design elements including type font, visuals, and color to be sure your writing captures the reader’s attention. In addition, you will learn formatting requirements for applications to federal agencies and how they differ from those of public and private foundations. And finally, you will learn how to polish your proposal with a grant proposal review checklist.

Supplementary Materials

Participants can download instructions on how to develop a benefits statement and design a table list with action captions.  They will also be given a template for a grant proposal review checklist to use in reviewing future grant proposals.

About the speaker

Shannon Clark McBride, president and founder of Consulting Connections, Inc., has provided grant-writing training and consulting to nonprofits, schools, and municipalities since 1997. She has delivered customized training in marketing, sales, and grant proposal writing to faculty and staff at universities and colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada, and has been a featured speaker at state and national conferences around the country.

Shannon has taught business and technical communication workshops and webinars for Boston University and American Society for Professional Education (ASPE). She is the developer and presenter of a one- and two-day grant writing course, Writing Grants for the Common Good , and is author of the book by the same name. She teaches webinars for GrantHub, a grants management software company, and is a frequent contributor to their blog.

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