Frequently Asked Questions
Once a project has been accepted for funding a contract is usually signed between the funder and the grantee (you). Generally these contracts clearly outline a list of “deliverables.” In addition the funding agency will very likely ask for written quarterly budget & accomplishment reports, annual progress descriptions, and a final project report (federal grants administration can be even more time-consuming). Resource Solutions, LLC is adept at administering funded projects and keeping them on-track and on-budget.
Generally it takes a minimum of six months after your application is submitted before you are notified of success and the money starts flowing to your organization from government grants (faster from foundation and corporate grant sources). Sometimes this money will come up-front as a large check, and other times you will need to spend the money first, then obtain reimbursement.
Grant writing is a difficult and competitive process. Just filling out the forms and answering the questions is rarely enough. You need to set your organization apart from all of the other applicants and competitors. Resource Solutions LLC is skilled in helping you accomplish this task. We have a proven track record, we are good listeners, and we know how to tell a compelling story that will grab the attention of funding agencies. Our principal grant writer has a 90% success rate in getting grant projects funded. She has also served on many grant review panels which has given her the ability to “think like a grant reviewer” and maximize the point scores on your applications.
Resource Solutions LLC staff needs significant input from our clients in order to write successful proposals. We collaborate with you to obtain detailed knowledge of your organization, your community, and your compelling story in order to craft a winning grant narrative. In addition, you need to be actively involved in reviewing written drafts to ensure that the specific project that you want funded is what is being proposed. Your active assistance in providing data to us also helps you to contain costs. We view our work with you as a partnership. Together we can achieve your organization’s goals efficiently and effectively.
It is essential for grant seekers to be organized and ready to write a grant proposal as soon as (or before) it is advertised. Ideally, grant seekers should have their “house in order” – mission, vision, matching funding, strategic plan, capital facilities plan, and partners identified before beginning the application process.
Identifying potential funders whose interests match those of your organization can be very challenging. Resource Solutions LLC can research prospective funders for your organization, and then provide you with a comprehensive listing of the funders, their deadlines and method of initial approach, and average size of grant awards. We will also rank funders as to their likelihood of funding your organization.
Government: The federal government sponsors 1,000 grant programs offered by the 26 grant making agencies within its jurisdiction. These grants are designed to accomplish many different purposes, such as delivering services to a specific population, or conducting scientific research. These are advertised in the form of RFP’s (Request for Proposals) or NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) and generally have very rigid formats, specific purposes, and strict deadlines. The State of Washington also administers a significant number of grant programs. Applications are generally accepted once per year by each funding entity for a wide variety of community-based projects.
Foundations & Corporations: Many large foundations and corporations provide grant funding to local government, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Most foundations restrict their giving to projects within a specific focus and geographic area. The three types of foundations include:
- Community Foundations: foundations involved in grant giving within a specific community or region, (e.g. Community Foundation of North Central Washington).
- Corporate Foundations: foundations which receive contributions from a profit-making entity, such as a corporation (e.g. Citigroup Foundation). Many corporate foundations only fund programs which directly impact communities located near their company operations.
- Private Foundations: foundations which receive income from an individual, family, or group of individuals. Funding priorities of private foundations are usually based on the personal philosophies of the founding members.
Grant applications can range from two pages to 100+ pages, depending on the funding entity’s requirements. Thus it can take anywhere from two hours to three months to write a grant proposal. In addition, a great deal of research must be conducted in compiling data, statistics and “story” for the first grant application. It will, therefore, generally take longer and cost more to write the first grant proposal than subsequent applications. Once a specific grant has been identified we can provide you a timeline and price estimate for writing and submitting a specific grant on behalf of your organization.
Michelle S. Mazzola, owner & principal, has written and administered many successful grant proposals for a variety of community- based organizations, including Fire Districts and Fire Departments. She will personally write and edit your grant proposals. Resource Solutions LLC can help you identify funding sources, write & edit grant proposals, prepare & implement income and needs surveys, institute NEPA & SEPA environmental reviews, create strategic plans and administer your funded grant projects.