Allowing time for a proposal review is a necessary step in the grant writing process. Purposefully plan to include this step in the timeline providing ample time to make all necessary corrections. Inviting and receiving critical feedback on grant proposals is highly recommended before making a final submission.
Follow these tips to review the completed grant application:
- Locate the page(s) that defines the requirements. Usually a scoring guide or rubric accompanies the grant application. The requirements page, scoring guide, and/or rubric are key parts of the grant writing process. These documents guide what and how content is written in the planning stage, during the writing itself, and during the review of the written proposal prior to submission. The requirements page, scoring guide, and/or rubric should serve as checklists to evaluate the proposal prior to submission.
- Assess the responses to each question on the application to ensure the responses are structured according to the Request for Proposal (RFP). This is essential as this is the process the reviewers will use to evaluate the grant application against the provided scoring guide or rubric.
- Examine each part of the completed application, paying close attention to required information that must be included in each section of the application. Check and recheck to ensure all content is included in the context requested and the application is well organized. Ensure that required components are clearly identified in the proposal so that reviewers do not have to search for any content.
- Identify collaboration about the project with one or more partners (e.g., university, business) if the grant source stipulates cooperation with partners outside of the school, being sure to explain how their contributions enhance the project.
- Tie goals and objectives directly to the need statement.
- Include all relevant groups and individuals in the target population.
- Always allow plenty of time to accomplish the objectives.
- Do not confuse objectives for implementation methods.
- Determine how the change projected in each objective will be measured. If there is no way to measure the objective as written, revise or delete the objective.
- Remember to budget for the evaluation (measurement) of the objectives if expenses are involved. Ensure the expenditures are itemized.
- Review any numbers that appear in the proposal for accuracy or for omission. Insert specific statistics that will help clarify the need. This addition can boost the grant proposal.
- Become familiar with the Missteps in Writing Grants article. Use these tips not only to write the proposal, but to evaluate the proposal for accuracy.
- Include required documents (e.g., letters of support, permission letters from district personnel, curriculum vitae of project administrators) in the Appendix or as requested.
- Invite more than one individual (other than the grant proposal writers) to read and make recommendations for necessary changes to the completed proposal (e.g., read for easy understanding, read for errors in mechanics). Request that the proposal be evaluated against the rubric’s or grant’s scoring criteria. Address the areas of concern that emerge by adjusting and revising the grant proposal prior to submission.
After your grant is awarded:
- Publicize your award if you are a grant recipient to garner support of the community, especially if this is a shared partnership with a community organization.
- Submit a final report or whatever documentation is required once the project has been implemented if you are a grant recipient. The grant funding source often shares your work with other educators to promote a deeper understanding.
Co-Authored by Sandra Love, Ed.D. and Marian Rainwater
Educator Resources Managing Editor, Sandra Love, Ed.D., develops practical resources for teachers and principals to help them impact students and build thinking-centered learning environments. A recipient of the National Distinguished Principal Award, Dr. Love spent 37 years in public education both as a teacher and principal, where she gained experience at the elementary, middle school, and higher education levels. She has authored numerous articles and develops educational resources on critical thinking and instructional strategies.
Until her recent retirement from Mentoring Minds, Marian Rainwater led the team of math writers in developing research-based materials that make a positive difference in the lives of teachers and their students. Over the course of a 29-year career in public education, Marian impacted students at the classroom level as a teacher and at the district level as the director of K-12 curriculum and instruction.