Developing Need Statements
Developing Project Activities
The Grant Budget
Evaluating Your Proposal
Putting It All Together
Sample Grant Proposal
Your assignment for this week
was to write your needs statements (at least one need for students
and one need for staff). This week we will continue to develop
the body of our proposals. We will look at how to write activities
that "fill the gap" from what is to what we want it
to be. Remember that granters fund programs and projects, not
"stuff." Programs and projects are fundable when they
solve a problem, fulfill a need, and fill a gap. Your proposal
must clearly show that your intervention, plan, and set of activities
will make a difference.
From our goals, supported
by our student, staff, and program needs, we develop a solution
procedure, or a set of activities. Whereas we use the "needs"
to formulate the general program goals and specific objectives,
we look at "activities" to describe the solutions that
will help us achieve our project goals and objectives.
Let's look again at last week's
example. The proposal we are focusing on for the sake of example
is a primary and sheltered English language instruction intervention
with the goal of providing access to the science core curriculum
for limited English speakers. Science is often language-intensive
and students in primary and sheltered programs need rich visual
images and specialized instruction in the use of graphic organizers
to develop science concepts. The expected outcome is that English
language learners will continue to learn core curriculum as they
progress in their English language acquisition.
For this program we identified
student-made, collaborative HyperStudio Projects (the activity
or intervention) as a way for students to make learning their
own by creating collaborative projects and developing English
We identified the following
two student needs and gave information on how we determined the
A1. Sheltered instruction and/or primary language instruction to fully access the core curriculum in science and social studies (bilingual program regulations, large numbers of Limited English Proficient students on campus, 44%).
A2. Instruction which uses
visual aids and short presentations of content followed by practice,
comprehension, and follow-up for English language learners (44%
of students are Limited English Proficient, low reading, and composition
It should be clear from our
proposal abstract that the student-made presentations are the
products of the project. However, the process students go through
is actually more important than the final product. Student collaboration
requires the use of English language skills, and the technology
presentations they are creating act as a catalyst for high interest
and challenging situations for our high school students. We now
must build activities that highlight our "solution procedure."
Developing a Format for Your Activities
First, we must consider:
who is the target group of the project?
what will the target group be doing or receiving?
what is the anticipated result?
how will we be able to measure
Use the following suggestions
about activities to help solidify in your mind "what kids
will do" in your project. Consider activities that can be
described easily within the text of the proposal.
Your activities could address the:
instructional strategies that will be used.
innovative curriculum materials that will be developed.
staff development procedures, plans for community involvement, and/or parent participation.
creative, innovative aspects of the program.
timeline or event schedule
that shows when the major activities will take place.
I often write the activities
section within a chart format. Using the table functions in Microsoft
Word or ClarisWorks, you can easily create a chart that will help
you get a lot of information into a very small space. By placing
a table and a timeline within your proposal you help to break
up the text and provide the proposal reviewer with an easy to
use guide. (When I format a grant, I rarely fully justify the
text; the white spaces add to the ease of reading the document.)
The way you describe your
activities will depend on the specification in the agency's request
for proposal (RFP). For our example, I would chart the student
objective and expected outcome. These would be stated at the
top of my table. I would then highlight the major activities,
the person responsible, and the approximate timeline. The timeline
would be broken up to the months of the project, or on a longer
project, the year in quarters. My headers would be: Activities
- Person Responsible - S - O - N - D - etc., for the months of
the year or Fall 97 - Winter 97 - Spring 97, etc., for longer
To recap, at the top of the activities section, I would provide a brief overview statement such as "Through primary language and sheltered language instruction, students access core curriculum in science appropriate for their grade and language level by completing a series of collaborative multimedia-based HyperStudio projects." Note how this statement shows both the need and the expected outcome. Now I add detail by showing the project activities in the approximate order they will take place. For example:
A. A cadre of teachers is self-selected and the first data points are collected by the project evaluator.
B. HyperStudio training for teachers, parents, student peer aides, and others.
C. Computer equipment is ordered. Teachers select CD-ROMs and other support materials from a hands-on preview day.
D. Schedule project classes in the Multimedia Lab, volunteers in classrooms, and student peer aides.
E. Monthly project meetings to share progress and provide collegial support. Key planners meet for additional time to manage learning resources.
F. Students create first projects.
G. Mid-year evaluation of program.
H. Students continue building HyperStudio projects and prepare for culminating Science Technology Fair.
I. Final evaluation and retooling
for following year.
As you can see from the above
activities, the table you create lets you write in sentence fragments
and you are often able to get more information into less space.
Next to each statement I would
then show the person(s) responsible and place a mark under the
milestone date. For our first activity (letter A above) where
teachers self-select to form a cadre and initial evaluation data
is collected, under the heading "person responsible"
you would write something like "Key project planners, site
instructional technology specialist, University evaluator, and
teachers." On the timeline, I would mark September and October
as the months for these activities. For each activity, you would
continue to fill out your chart.
Painting a Picture
Following the chart, if space
is available, I always try to "paint a picture with words"
and describe what kids will do. This is rarely asked for in an
RFP, but I believe it adds invaluable information for the reviewer.
As the proposal reviewer quickly reads through your proposal,
the easier you make it for the reader (headings, well formatted,
simple explanations), the higher your score.
So, in our example I might
add the following:
Students in bilingual and
sheltered life science classes study plants, animals, the human
body, living systems, and the interrelationships between members
of the biosphere. The classes use textbooks, school library materials,
on-line resources, laserdiscs, and CD-ROMs for information gathering.
The teacher assigns a project such as animal research and divides
the class into groups of three to five students. The groups select
anywhere from one to three animals to research, depending on their
language skills. The students will use a project-developed "research
guide" (a graphic organizer), devised by the bilingual teachers
to serve as a road map for the group. It is arranged in order
of language level so that the more advanced bilingual students
are able to complete the entire organizers (the animal's classification,
geographic locale, physical description, habitat, natural enemies,
food, type of eater, etc.). The groups at the highest language
skills will extend their critical thinking by comparing and contrasting
their animals, identifying where in the world they live, and locating
environments in which the animals could live. Some may select
to look at the effects of shrinking habitats. The groups research,
select, organize and synthesize the information into a meaningful
project. Each group plans a HyperStudio project, an electronic
environment, where students create their multimedia presentations.
Working collaboratively, students create a storyboard for their
project, determine card design and layout. Once their cards are
created, students select appropriate animal sounds, graphics,
or QuickTime movies from resources such as CD-ROMs and laserdisc
sequences to incorporate. Some may select and use background
music. Students will draw and scan pictures and type the necessary
text. The groups complete and present the projects to the class.
The project is "printed" to video and a copy is included
in the student's portfolio. An additional copy is sent home to
share with their families.
Your homework for this lesson is to:
1. Clearly state your program objective and expected outcomes.
2. Develop a list of activities and who will be responsible for each task.
3. Order your list in chronological
order and add approximate months for the activities to take place
over an academic year. Some activities may overlap and extend
over several months.
In the next lesson we will look at Key Project Personnel and Budget.